Monday, July 26, 2010

You Can't Choose Your Relatives

I was fascinated by Anthony Horowitz: My Family Values in The Guardian earlier this month. It sounds as if Horowitz grew up in a pre-1960s novel.

I couldn't help comparing his stories to one my mother reminded me of just last week. Her father-in-law, known as Grandpa Gauthier by the time I came along, was famous for licking his plate when he was through eating. During one of her first meals with her future in-laws, a sudden silence fell upon the table. Evidently everyone knew what he was about to do and couldn't wait to see how she would respond. She didn't. She ignored him, which I suspect disappointed a great many people sitting around her.

I don't recall seeing my grandfather eat, though I do remember being in his kitchen with the table all set for a meal and a small cooked pig in the place of honor. My sister and I were very taken with the sight, so much so that the rest of the day is a blank.

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