Yesterday morning, I published a post about the day Dad died. I hesitated before doing so because I knew that my words were really personal and a bit sad, maybe too personal, too sad. Ultimately, I went for it because I knew. I knew that people would read and relate and respond. And they did. You did.
Yesterday noon, I met Sister C for lunch. We went to one of our favorite restaurants, a restaurant that shall remain nameless for what I trust you will agree is a solid reason as you read on. Anyway, we sat at a little table and ordered twin lunches. Organic frisee salad and gazpacho for C. Same for me. Healthy and oh so yum, right?
We ate and we talked. We talked about Dad. And that day. We talked about our kids and her impending move to South Carolina and mattresses. We talked about everything, really. As C finished up her salad, she shrieked a bit. I looked up from my own lettuce and saw that her eyes were big and her face was pale.
What? I said.
And she pointed down, to the belly of her white bowl. My lettuce just moved!
And we both hunched over and squinted and sure enough, her salad was a-walkin’. And then we saw it. A tiny worm-like-thing that was probably something much grosser than a worm. It shimmied across her plate. And then, get this, it literally stood up, “on its haunches” as C would later describe to Sister T via text, and did a little dance.
A dancing worm (maggot?) in her organic frisee. Obviously, we were both overtaken by a profound wave of nausea. And laughter. We could not stop laughing. We called the waiter over and pointed out our jazzy new little friend and the waiter did what any good waiter would do when faced with a dancing worm-like-thing in a patron’s salad; he whisked away our plates and promptly sent over the manager. The manager, a humorless skinny guy in glasses, arrived at our side, mumbled a quasi-apology and said something like, We try to scrub as best we can, but that’s what you get with organic…
Suddenly, our meal become far cheaper. And though a bit sick to our stomachs, we could not stop laughing. And then we both thought of Dad. How during summer weekends at our country house, when we would shuck corn and toss the silk into those paper Stop-and-Shop bags, we’d often find little wiggly worms in the ears of corn. We’d be super grossed out of course and we’d bring them to Dad, who would take the worms, chide us for being so squeamish, grin, and then sometimes eat them. He actually ate them, right, C?
Together, C and I remembered and laughed and paid our discounted bill. Outside, on the sidewalk, we hugged and said goodbye, and went back to our days, our good and tricky days. And as I walked away from her and headed toward Middle Girl’s camp, I thought of that little wormish being upright in her dish, frolicking in her feathery frisee. And in the keen summer sunshine that drenched me, I smiled.
It was a good smile, too. A big one.
Any fun Friday stories? Any gross food tales? Now I am remembering the time when Mom sucked a roach through her Diet Coke straw… Ick. Any recent encounters with dancing critters? What’s your favorite type of lettuce?