Sunday, August 11, 2019

Seven People. Two Bowls of Chowder.

I’ve explored the Northeast. It was a great trip and no doubt it wound up that way because of Deb’s careful planning. She has a gift for making our vacations something memorable. You might assume Trip Advisor is the key to her success but it’s just a tool. Deb’s North Star is creating memories for her family. I’m grateful.

I could describe every moment but those are mine and I’m stingy. I hiked on mountain tops and cruised on the ocean in search of whales (and found some). My shoes touched gentle country grass and rough city pavement. We were all over the place and I liked it. My favorite moments happened when I watched my daughters treat each other like humans. They walked arm-in-arm. They had conversations and laughed at each other’s jokes. Of course, most times they threatened each other with flames and tried to drip venom into each other’s eyes. But, when they got along it made me very happy. 

I ate food. I couldn’t leave Maine without eating a lobster. I thought lobster was going to be cheap in Maine. It’s not. The menus always say “MKT” instead of the price. I learned that "MKT" means you really don't want to see the price. We also visited places with names like "Grandma's" or "Mother's". They had parking lots filled with resident plates and people over 60. The food in these places was always good. I had the chicken-fried chicken at Grandma's in New Hampshire. New Hampshire Grandma clearly knows her shit, the people were friendly and I felt like I belonged.

It sounds like I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to people with money and the places they eat. I do. I like eating at fancy places as much as New Hampshire Grandma's, but I usually feel like I'm being judged at the fancy places. It's dumb. I always tell the girls that wherever they are, that's where they belong. But, I can't help but think it's clear to everyone at Chez Black Card that my shirt is from Target and the meal I'm ordering will have a significant impact on my bank balance. Plus, some of the people at the fancy places are a little peculiar. 

At one restaurant, where I ordered a $40 example of fresh lobster, we sat next to a booth filled with seven people. They were all well-dressed and looked like they had money. They seemed as normal as rich people can manage to be until they ordered two bowls of clam chowder and a plate of mussels. When the food arrived, they all took turns eating out of the two bowls of chowder. Two bowls. Seven spoons. 

I couldn’t help but wonder about their living arrangements. How many toothbrushes do they own? I’m guessing two or maybe three for all of them. I love my family but togetherness has its limits. It must. Otherwise, we all wind up in a single-room shack writhing around like earthworms. These people probably have a very low carbon footprint but my god get your own cup of chowder and stop wriggling around on the floor. It’s unhygienic and freakin’ weird.

Didn't mean to go negative but I had to record the group-soup encounter I had. I really just wanted to tell you I had a wonderful vacation. Check out these pics: