The World As Mare Sees It...
My Big Fat Consistant Family 2003-05-02

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I'm making fajitas for the entire world tonight. The. Entire. World. The hungry, the thirsty, the related to me... they will all be at my house this evening to celebrate Brother's 23rd birthday with a fajita dinner, followed by a possible bowling expedition. It's kind of anti-Italian Italian-ism at it's best. Italians don't eat fajitas, you see. And they definitely don't bowl. But they do gather en masse at other people's homes to eat large quantities of food. The following is how I foresee the evening; itís a guess, of course, but itís a pretty damn educated one.

My aunt, Zia Crazy will come in and plant herself in the middle of my kitchen, while I'm losing my mind trying to make Mexican food for 18 Italian food critics. She'll look around, poke at our mail, go through the cupboards, and then casually ask, "So, what're you doing?"

My uncle, Two-Ten Jimmy will come in and start eating the food right out off the stove. He will hover about, wanting a hug at the precise moment that I'm trying to put out the fire started by 60 burning tortillas.

Zia Crazy's husband, Zio-By-Marriage-And-Don't-You-Forget-It will start screaming at his children, Future Family Scandal and his sister Tomboy, because they happen to be breathing, or some such crime. Then he will insist on speaking in a horrible Spanish accent for the next fifteen minutes, as a kind of thematic accessory to the evening. He will have no idea how incredibly offensive the accent really is.

FFS and Tomboy will alternate between running and ducking through the legs of whoever's around, and staring condescendingly at the four pounds of meat I'll have simmering on the stove. Then they'll ask, with a perfected, too-cool-for-you pre-pubescent sneer, "Whuuuut's daat?" And then they will giggle. Screeching, ear-piercing Devil giggles.

My mother, who Iíve gotten to agree to wash her hands of the matter, will push through the throng and start poking at the platters of food on the stove, on the table, on the counter-tops. She will look at this mass quantity of Mexican plentitude, recognize none of it as pasta, and insist that even though Iíve invited everyone for a fajita dinner, we canít possible serve fajitas alone. She will pull out enough prosciutto and bread and cheese to feed a whole other Italian family, because, you know, Ējust in case.Ē

My Italian Restaurateur Father will dismiss the notion that Mexicanís eat real food. At dinner, however, he will fill to beyond capacity approximately 8 tortillas, and ask for more when the platter runs out.

At the end of it all, when the fajitas are gone, and my motherís bread and cheese is staring mockingly at us from the middle of the table; when our waistbands are straining and our faces are red from the chili and we can barely breath because food just shouldnít be eaten that fastÖ at then end of it all, when itís all gone, someoneÖ SOMEONE will have the nerve to utter, ďWhy do you do this? You always make too much!Ē

Like I said, this is only a guess. One can only base so much on an annual occurrence, after all.

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iimage: Jack Vettriano