I had just returned from Washington where I’d been visiting family and friends. I sat at the kitchen bar amid stacks of paper, several library books, and my laptop.
Layce eyed me and asked the question that gets asked a lot in our house. “What are you doing?”
“I’m trying to come up with a grocery list that adheres to all the dietary restrictions I learned about when I was in Washington. Everyone there is on these certain diets. I thought we’d give them a try.”
“Let me guess… you’re doing research?”
“Precisely. See one diet is completely sugar-free. You wouldn’t believe all the stuff that has sugar in it. We’ll need to make our own ketchup, barbeque sauce, mayonnaise…”
Layce interjected, “That sounds like a lot of work.”
“Then we’ll just go sauceless. We can make ice cream that kind of tastes real by using coconut milk because we can’t have regular milk. Or bread, so no toast. And we can’t have peanut butter because that has fat, which we can have, but we can’t have because of the sugar.”
“I don’t like the sound of this,” Layce said, picking up one of the diet books from the library and flipping it open.
“We can have a lot of potatoes,” I said, doing my best to look delighted. “You like potatoes.”
“I don’t like this diet. What about the other ones?”
“My parents are doing this one where all your meals come prepackaged. They have these enormous boxes of food that come every 28 days. I think they’re working on a six-month supply because they can’t eat all the low-calorie food. You have to eat five meals a day. It sounds time consuming.”
“It sounds expensive,” Layce said putting one book down and picking up another. She sniffed it. “This one smells like French fries.”
I ignored her. “They are sinking some cash into this and they’re running out of freezer space,” I said. I omitted telling her that there were boxes of food everywhere. It would come in handy in case of a national disaster or an apocalypse.
“What’s the next diet?” Layce asked, picking up my research papers.
“This one is kind of complicated,” I said.
“They all sound complicated,” Layce said, peering over my shoulder at the laptop where I was looking for grams of this and grams of that and what had fat, what was a carb and what time of day you could eat them.
“Not really. You see, for breakfast you can have fat and one carb, lunch has to be fruit and veggies, carbs but no fat. You can eat all the veggies you want with each meal except maybe breakfast but who wants broccoli with oatmeal.” I studied my papers. “No, wait, we can’t have oatmeal because that’s a grain and I think it’s got sugar in it, but we could have blueberries, those have sugar too, but it’s a different kind like glucose or sucrose. We can have veggies except corn or peas because they are carb. Who knew? Then at dinner we can only have protein like chicken, but no carbs and veggies, but not peas or corn. Then there’s something about gluten, so no pasta for lunch or breakfast.”
Layce picked up my papers, stacked the library books, and closed my laptop.
“What are you doing?” I asked as she dumped my research into the trash can.
“I’m making the menu with gluten, peas, sugar, barbeque sauce, eggs, bread, pasta and oatmeal, and we’ll eat them in any order we like three times a day.”
“But what about the diet?”
“Have you come up with a menu after all your research?”
“Well no, I can’t figure out what we can and cannot eat.”
“Exactly. On your diet, we’ll starve because we can’t eat anything, and then we’ll die dreaming of pasta and toast with peanut butter on it.”
She had a point. I did what I usually do when she makes sense—I listened to her. (This is not to imply that she usually doesn’t make sense.) *smirk*
Escape with a funny book!