Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Do you know how much you would pay for this in a restaurant?"


A family of four sits at a suburban Montréal dinner table. The mother has been working all day as a nurse yet still cooked supper, the kids had been at school and the dad has been at work. The meal is the usual West Indian fare. As the mother places the steaming plate of dasheen, yams and curried chicken onto the table, the family yums their appreciation and tucks in. After a few minutes, she says it. The dreaded words: "Do you know how much you would pay for this in a restaurant?" Never mind that no circa 1980's restaurant in the whole town would serve anything as basic yet exotic as this. Then, the inevitable, random answer: "9.95 plus tax." No one ever skipped a beat although the kids would sometimes giggle and roll their eyes. She was obviously looking for some glimmer of appreciation. Passive-aggressively of course. Poor woman.

It's just another bizarre thing that went on in my house in St.Hubert. Now I'm aware that most families have their odd moments but mine seemed odder than most. I guess it's since my parents came to Canada as adults and never really lost their accents and Dominican weirdness. Let's call it eccentricity. Which, naturally has rubbed off on their Canadian firstborn daughter.

Yesterday as I served a scrumptious meal of ginger beef and sticky rice (it's actually a Canadian concoction that arrived here via the East), I remarked to the slurping crowd: "You know how much you'd pay for this in a restaurant? 21.95. Plus tax." Scott giggled and the kids rolled their eyes. Sigh. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


Personal for Mikey: I heard myself say daddy's famous: "Moves, man, MOVES! Hi-yi-yi!!" during Dancing With The Stars last night. When I start wearing mum's muumuus you have permission to come to Ottawa and put me out of my misery)