Meat and Potatoes (Open)

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Meat and Potatoes (Open)

Post  Meredith Rice on Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:04 am

The food on the plate was something Momma would never have served. Rather, it was something Momma would never have had the cook serve. Momma wasn't much for cooking or being domestic. The cook took care of the food, the housekeeper took care of the cleaning, and the 'event planner', whatever that meant, took care of the 'hand-made', Martha Stewart-esque decorations for holidays, and planned the parties that were meant to elevate Daddy's career. Momma took care of going to the parties, shopping, and having her picture taken reading to sick children and things like that. Of course, no one ever took pictures of the shopping, or the way she doused herself in Purell once she left the hospital.

The point was, Momma, as food-conscious as she was, would never have allowed meatloaf and mashed potatoes swimming in gravy and very soft broccoli to be put in front of anybody, least of all one of her daughters. Momma would have made sure the broccoli was still crisp, the mashed potatoes would be switched to sliced sweet potatoes, or some other complex carbohydrate, and the meat would have been fish or chicken. Meredith, however, was not her mother, and didn't really care. Well, maybe she did care, a little. But she wasn't going to say anything. After all, how could she be so ungrateful as to complain about the food? If she said anything, they might decide that she wasn't serious about getting better, and then they might well, kick her out.

There weren't many open places here, she'd gathered. There had to be tons of other kids who needed this place more than she did. She was probably spoiled even for thinking about the food in front of her. After all, there were people in Africa and other developing countries that would have been glad to just have food at all, right? It was just that Momma always stressed the importance of eating well, treating your body well, drinking lots of water, getting lots of sleep, and regularly exercising. And was that thinking wrong? Wasn't that how to be healthy? And didn't a healthy body lead to a healthy mind?

On the other hand, it wasn't like they were serving Big Macs and fries in this place. Momma would have had an absolute fit about that. Meat, potatoes, and broccoli was actually reasonable. There existed proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, which she knew were all essential to life. And the caloric impact was probably not too awful. Didn't this place grow its own food? That meant all the chemicals and preservatives and additives that were in processed foods weren't going to be present, which was a good thing, right?

So absorbed in this back and forth in her own head, Meredith only poked at the food in front of her, the anxiety of being wasteful and ungrateful nagging at her to just eat it, and the pressure of what Momma would say about it stopping her fork. She sighed. Why couldn't she just be a normal person? She was hungry. She was going to eat. Okay, ready...go!

She picked up a forkful of potatoes. Opened her mouth, but faltered before the fork got inside her mouth. The fork dropped back to the plate. She speared a piece of broccoli and stared at it. Didn't broccoli give you gas? What if she, you know, farted, in front of people? She would be known as the girl that farted. Forever. Her head reeled with the thought of people laughing at her behind her back, of conversations that stopped when she entered a room. Sometimes Meredith hated being Meredith. Other people didn't think like this, they couldn't. Other forks were scraping over other plates. She was the only one just sitting and staring at her food.

Why was she such a freak?
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Meredith Rice

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