I played the Amalfi’s card tonight. It’s just too damn hot to cook. I can’t deal. Along with curly hair and a love of food, I share with my family an intense hatred for hot humid days. Hell to us looks a lot like Florida in late June. I’m not exactly sure why, but we can’t deal. Did you hear me? We can’t deal!
Mom was no exception to this rule. In fact, hot weather invoked a special brand of irritability in Jeanne, one that involved a sheer disregard for decorum and lots of bad language. (Consider yourself warned, if you don’t like potty talk.)
The summer of 1993 was particularly brutal in this regard. Not only was it a New York scorcher, but we were in the process of moving out of our house. Our little white, un-air conditioned Cape Cod had been our home for nearly twenty years, and held a lifetime of precious mementos. Or crap, as Mom referred it. Neither my brother nor I were particularly keen on packing or –Gasp!—throwing away the aforementioned crap. Our attitude pissed Mom off to no end.
Each night, Mom came home from work to pack. I’m being way too kind here. In reality, the scenario went something like this: Jeanne would put on a bathing suit and these God-awful white flats from the 80s. (If company was coming, she might throw on her over-sized “Life’s A Beach” shirt. Just to make it fancy.) Then she would throw stuff into boxes, cursing: “It’s too fucking hot! You kids haven’t done shit!” It was not a pretty scene.
So ugly, in fact, that my job at the gourmet food store –where anorexic women violently tapped red lacquered fingernails on the glass counter top, demanding “Is there oil in this pasta salad? There had better NOT be oil in here!!”— seemed like a soothing respite.
I don’t remember what we ate that summer. However, I do know that I returned to college a lot plumper. Maybe we played the Amalfi’s card a bit too loosely. Maybe there really was oil in that pasta salad.
Either way, I still hate the heat. Tonight, after we ate our take-out food, I banged around a few pots and pans and let loose a couple of four-letter words. Oddly enough, I felt a lot better.
Stay cool. Order in.