i have no head for facts numbers or geography. i cannot name all 50 states, in fact if you put me in my backyard, blindfolded me and spun me around, i would not be able to tell you how to get into my house. i feel like my brain is holding on to so much other pertinent information that it can only retain so much. so while i cannot tell what years in history world war I occupied i can tell you a million inane details that would possibly lull you into boredom as to forget all about ww1. in fact one evening i spent an hour regaling patrick on my family’s food preferences from my youth. i believe he was too confused as to why i remembered these things, and maybe mildly entertained, to tell me that he had no need whatsoever to know this information. i started off with a breakfast food naturally, donuts. my brother would only eat glazed donuts, while my sister preferred boston cream with chocolate icing. i liked jelly filled ones the best, covered in powdered sugar while my dad’s only preference was that there were a dozen in a box and he could eat all twelve. my father must eat enough sugar each day to kill a small horse, but i like to think it just keeps him well reserved. my mother on the opposite token withheld from sugar for most of my young life (as well as salt) and stuck with special k for breakfast, but if she were to break down and eat a donut i can guarantee that it was eaten off of a plate, with a napkin. i think my brother has the most restrictive diet out of all of us. and no this was not due to allergies or digestive conditions, it was all self imposed. my brother was immensely brand loyal. he would only eat skippy peanut butter, creamy no chunks and san giorgio thin spaghetti number 9. any bigger or smaller was no go, sometimes i wondered if he had a pair of calipers hidden under his bed that he would measure the dry pasta with. my sister was second in pickiness, but if she had known she was second i am sure she would have nixed a few more things off her list to be first (hey she is the oldest). she would only eat chipped ham on a sandwich, it could not be cut thinner (is that possible?) or thicker. she also liked gravy, a lot, but only canned gravy that was 98% fat free. i remember the first easter patrick ate with my family, he was so transfixed with my sister’s plate that he barely ate. it was a sea of gravy that reached from one edge of the plate to the other. as she carried it to the dining room table everyone held their breath as the gravy threatened to spill over the very thin edge of plate that was left showing. underneath this sea there were some indistinguishable lumps that must have been mashed potatoes and turkey. when my sister was very little she would insist that my father “skin” her hotdogs. which of corse he did, because he just couldn’t say no to us (not until we got older and much less endearing) and because i wanted to do everything beth did i insisted upon having my hotdogs skinned also. and the only type of hot dogs eaten in my house were shore good chicken dogs. sometimes i wonder if my father worried that my sister would never grow out of this and that when meeting a suitor of my hers for the first time he would only find them worthy of her attentions if they could answer one question correctly, and then he would ask “can you skin a hot dog boy?”. mind you i was a good little eater, but i also had my preferences, such as tang powder. i would pour tang powder into a ziplock bag, place a spoon in there and carry it around to snack on when i needed a sugar buzz. i remember lots of meals from my youth. i have a very vivid image of my mom drinking tab with a straw in the can (i thought she was very sophisticated) as well as eating a slice of cheddar cheese on apple pie. i remember when i was very young, in our first house, and she would make the two of us melba toast. my father would eat anything, and i mean anything. i remember my parents eating canned asparagus and my dad pouring the juice from the can into a glass and drinking it with dinner. i also remember nights he would dine on muskrat that had been slow cooked all day with vegetables, or for dessert when he would take 2 frosted oatmeal cookies and spread canned frosting in between them to make the ultimate sandwich cookie. my father loves food. i love food. that is why i felt so comfortable with patrick’s family when we met. being at the breakfast table with 4 other people discussing what was for lunch just seemed right as it seems right that one thing i can always remember is that last meal i had.