Now that she has lifted her 1 week long nazar off my work and I found my swim goggles again and I'm sitting in a Starbucks sipping a iced green tea while listening to Led Zeppelin, I feel like a million bucks. So I'll tell you a story.
Quite some time ago, I thought I'd compose a few bits about my family. Namely, extended family, because that's where all the crazy resides.
I have this uncle on my dad's side - dad's sister's husband. Let's call him the fat one.* This is really a story for another day, but on my dad's side, me being the only grandson (heir to coconut plantations?), I was the favorite. This was most evident through my grandmother, who kept a 8"x11" picture of me on her dresser (and, unabashedly, of no other grandchildren). So everyone who came to visit her instantly knew who she liked. And of course they had to like me in the process**. The fat uncle liked me, and wanted me to visit. I'm not saying he had to like me or anything, just that, if there was a grandchild to be liked, it was me.
So one day I visited. Plus, he had HBO and a nice theatre system so I was like, fuck this, I'm going over there to chill. The problem was, as I should have seen it coming, he loved food. Loved. I make fun of people constantly for liking food a lot but this guy LOVED FOOD. Every time he came back from work - pakoras (of different varieties). There was a pre-dinner dinner. A dinner dinner. A late dinner dinner while sitting around and talking. You'd wake up on Saturday and there'd be aromas in the house in the morning. From 7am! Multiple kinds of drinks/teas, pastries, veg/nonveg items - and that was just brunch.
Lunch was another spectacle all together. You wanted mushrooms? You got 2-3 mushroom dishes within 15 minutes. You wanted lamb? (I love lamb) You got lamb in 15 minutes. He had a nearby restaurant that he ordered so much from that they'd essentially be on standby and he'd fetch the servants to get the food. Now that, was part of the fucking problem. Not doing anything yourself.
Maybe some of you are salivating right now. I will tell you that after a day I was sickened. It was so hard to say no. The constant pestering of trying new things (it all tastes the same after a while). Every day. Even if you were full - you can take another bite, no? Just one more. Just finish this portion of this dish and right when you think your stomach is going to explode it filled up.
Part of it was my problem too - I try so so so hard never ever to waste food. The greatest luxury is not in vehicles or rapid transportation or concierge service, but never having to worry about food, having it always available, and having a selection to cater to your palate. I go to Costco and I see food piled from floor to ceiling and I think - I could have anything my heart desires in that warehouse.
I sometimes think that if you were to bring a caveman to modern times, and you were instructed not to teach him anything that would alter the course of history, but only to show him something amazing, I'd take him to Costco. Space shuttle launch? Eh, it's like magic to him. For all he knows, the thing is controlled by the gods. Medical miracles? Give me a break, he'd get bored in the OR. But to show him food stacked in an airconditioned warehouse 3 storeys tall? He'd understand how far man has come. Walk in, take what you want and swipe some shiny piece of plastic? Mind-fucking-blown.
It came to be psychological torture after a while. My mom called me (as she did almost every day, I mean, still does) and quickly picked up on my deteriorating mood. She visited later to dole out some truly Imperial-command level reprieve. I hid behind her, so to speak. She just said "no", and food, there was none. And she saw the tables cleared and the burden lifted, and it was good.
**: Remind me to tell you the one story about how my grandmother once rained hell with regards to what happened to me.