We got all the decorations down and finally got the tree thrown out in the front yard and that’s when Minnie decides to start in on me.
Things are gonna be different this year, she says.
Whaddya mean? I says.
We’re gonna start eatin’ right this year, and this time we’re stickin’ to it, she says.
Oh cripes, I thought to myself. Not this nonsense again.
But, I said, I think I done real good over the holidays this year. I didn’t overstuff myself too much at all.
Minnie smirks this smug little smirk, reaches into the junk drawer in the kitchen and hauls out one of them dollar store notebooks.
See, I figured you’d say that, so I kept track of everything we ate over the holidays.
What?! I says, outraged. You watched me and wrote down what I ate all through Christmas?
Not just you, she says. I wrote down what I ate too, just so we could see how we’re not eatin’ right. It’ll help keep us motivated not to be eatin’ junk food in the new year.
Well I don’t care what yer book says, I said. I never ate that much over the holidays.
Oh yeah? she says. I started it on the 23rd, which is the night we went over to Cyril and Joan’s for cabbage rolls. Now it says here I had three cabbage rolls, a piece of garlic bread and a date square for dessert. I know by lookin’ at this, I could’ve easily had two cabbage rolls with no bread and no dessert and I still would have been full. See?
Riiiight, I said, thinkin’ to myself it was no mistake that Minnie started with herself to make it seem like we were in this together. But I knew where she was goin’.
Now let’s see what you had, she says, lookin’ in her book. Says here you started with four cabbage rolls and had two pieces of garlic bread with them. Then for seconds, you had two more cabbage rolls and another piece of garlic bread.
Is it a crime that Joan makes delicious cabbage rolls? I yelled.
No, but then afterwards you had two of the date squares she served for dessert, and then you got into the tray of sweets she had out to pick at. And from that one you had three shortbreads and five pork pies.
I did not!! That’s not right! I yelled, but Minnie kept goin’.
It is, because then Cyril went for a pork pie because he loves them and there was none left and you were the only one that had any.
The damn pork pies weren’t even that good! I said, lyin’ my face off.
Then we had our tea in front of the TV and you ate the whole top layer of a Pot of Gold chocolates, Minnie said.
I nevered! I said. Cyril had three of them chocolates! And why the hell would they put them out on the table if they didn’t want me to eat them? I said, with the full force of good manners on my side.
Hang on now, Minnie says. After the news was over and just as some hockey preview show was comin’ on, Joan put out a platter of meat and cheese. And by my count, you had ten slices of polish sausage, fifteen slices of kielbasa, and eight little blocks of cheese.
Damn right they were little blocks, I yelled. If yer sayin’ they were big blocks, yer dead wrong, Minnie! (I didn’t even know what I was sayin’ anymore.)
Now this is all in one night, Billy. And do you want to know the kicker? she says.
Oh,nothing would make me happier, dear.
The kicker is, on the way home we stopped so you could run in and get a slice of pizza.
I remember thinkin’ that night – I can’t believe Minnie’s not blastin’ me for wantin’ to stop and get a slice. At the time I thought she was full of the Christmas spirit, but little did I know she was writin’ it all down in her little book.
And that takes us to Christmas Eve, Minnie says, flippin’ the page in her book.
Ah-ha! I yelled, clappin’ my hands together. You got nothin’ on me here. You cooked your turkey for supper that night and I was starvin’ waitin’ for it because I never had anything all day!
Well, you’re half right, Minnie says. First of all, you got up that morning and made yourself an omelet. After you put four eggs, half a package of cooked ham and two cheese slices into the damn thing, you left the pan the sink for me to clean.
Damn, I thought to myself, I forgot about the omelet.
And you were out Christmas shoppin’ until about 1:30, when you came home and started askin’ when the turkey would be ready. I told you about 5:30 and you immediately made yourself two salami sandwiches.
Ohhh! I said. Hold it right there! A salami sandwich ain’t a meal, Minnie, it’s a snack! You can ask anybody about salami sandw –
And then at 3:00 you asked me again and then ate the bag of peanuts I was gonna put out on a tray in case anybody stopped by that night.
G’way! I said. They were plain peanuts! Who’d want them anyway when everybody knows barbeque is better?!
Now, she said. The turkey dinner I won’t begrudge you, because that’s our big Christmas meal.
Thank you, I said, crossin’ my arms.
But there was no need to eat three pieces of coconut cream pie for dessert.
Whatchya get it for if you didn’t want us to eat it? I said, with perfect logic.
That’s not the point, she said. Should I keep going, or do you agree we should do something about this in the new year?
Good, she said.
But agree with me one thing first, Minnie, I said.
OK. What? she said.
You admit right now a salami sandwich is only a snack!