Comfort foodとしてのシリアル Emily Giffin "Something Borrowed"


I chug a big glass of water, take two Advil, and contemplate ordering fried eggs and bacon, which Darcy swears by when she's hungover.

I loved our Saturday-night trips to Colonial Ice Cream, where we always ordered the same thing―one turtle sundae, one Snickers pie, one double-chocolate brownie―and then split them among us.

In fact, I am suddenly very hungry. I find my menus and call to order a hamburger with chedder and fries. Guess I won't be losing five pounds before Memorial Day.

"Yes, I think we are," I say, and then order the garden salad and tuna.
"And how would you like that done?"
"Medium," I say.
Marcus orders the pea soup and the lamb.
"Excellent choices," our waitress says, with an affected tilt of the head. She gathers our menus and turns on her heels.

Darcy asks for dry toast and a cappuccino, and I order a Greek omelet, substituting chedder cheese for feta, and fries. Let her be the thin one.

I check the inside of my omelet―cheddar cheese. He got it right. I begin to eat as Darcy yaps about her tiara.

She takes a bite of toast, still looking doubtful.
"Okay. So you did hear me."
"Told ya," I say, shaking salt onto my fries.

I plow a forkful of my omelet through ketchup.
"Sure... But I do have to go in to work today," I lie.

"Yeah. Can we go somewhere nice? Get a good meal? Steak or Italian?"
I smile and nod, retrieving my purse from under my desk. Hillary could eat a big lunch every day, but I get too sleepy in the afternoon. Once, after ordering a hot open-face turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and green beans, I actually took the subway home for an afternoon nap.

"Nobu on a Monday night, huh? He does dig you."
I regret my choice; I should have gone for the no-name neighborhood Italian restaurant.

A city of millions, and Marcus and Hillary were seated two tables apart, over identical plates of ravioli on a random Monday night.

My mom points to a plate of cheddar cheese, Ritz crackers, and red grapes. "Eat," she says.
"Are these seedless?" I ask. Grapes with seeds just aren't worth the effort.
"Yes, they are," my mom says. "Now, Shall I throw something together or would you rather order pizza?"
She knows that I'd prefer pizza. First, I love Sal's pizza, which I can only get when I'm home. Second, "throwing something together" is an exact description of my mom's cooking―her idea of seasoning is salt and pepper, her idea of a recipe is tomato soup and crackers. Nothing strikes fear in my heart like the sight of my mother strapping on an apron.
"Pizza," my dad answers for us. "We want pizza!"
My mom pulls a Sal's coupon off the refrigerator and dials the humber, ordering a large pizza with mushrooms and sausage. She covers the mouthpiece. "Right, Rachel?"
I give her the thumbs-up. She beams, proud to have memorized my favorite combination.

"Well, we went out for a really nice lunch, and afterward he suggested that we take a walk in Central Park..."

After we make love, we order food from the diner and eat burgers by candlelight.

"Will there be anything else?"
"Um. Yeah. I'll have a blueberry muffin," Dex says and then looks at me. "Rachel?"
"Yeah. I'll have one too," I say, resisting the urge to order a low-fat muffin. I don't want to be anything like Darcy.
"So two blueberry muffins." Dex pays and drops his change into the tip mug in front of the register. The girl smiles at me, as if to say, your guy is not only hot but generous too.
Dex and I both add a packet of brown sugar to our coffee, stir, and find a seat at the counter facing the street. The sidewalks are deserted.

They ended up going back to his house, where he made her tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad. Tomatoes and basil from his garden, fresh mozzarella. She says they couldn't stop taking―that he is brilliant, handsome, sensitive.

We meet at Naples, a restaurant in the lobby of the MetLife Building. There is a line, so I suggest we go across the street to a deli. She says no, that she has been dying for pizza. I say fine, we'll wait for a table.

Our waiter arrives at the table to take our orders. Darcy asks for an individual pizza. I tell him that I'd like a Caesar salad.
Darcy objects. "Don't you want more than a salad?"
I can tell she's irritated that I'm getting a salad and she's ordering a pizza. She likes to be the dainty eater. So I appease her and say, "Caesar salads are substantial, and actually very fattening."
"Well, you'll have to eat some of my pizza. I can't eat the whole thing by myself."

As he turns to leave, she says, "Oh, and can you make sure they don't burn the bottom of my pizza? Sometimes they burn the bottom. And like my pizzas―how shall I say it―rare?" She moves her ponytail in front of one shoulder.

She asks him twice if she has spinach in her teeth and she eats every last bit of her pizza, then insists that we order dessert.
Over our slices of cheesecake, Hillary and I tell Julian how much we hate our jobs.

We let three people go in front of us before we both decide on eggsalad sandwiches to go. We pay for the bagels and two Snapple lemon iced teas and then walk briskly toward my apartment.

She walks toward my kitchen, starts rooting around. "Do you have any creal?"
"No, I'm out. You want to go to EJ's?"
She says no, that she wants to eat sugar sereal right here in my apartment, that she wants it to feel just like old times, no New York brunch scene. She opens my refrigerator and surveys the countents.
"Man, you're out of everyting. I'll just run out and get some coffee and some essentials."
"Should we really drink coffee?"
"Why wouldn't we?"
"Because I thought we were going to be authentic. We didn't drink coffee when we were in high school."
She thinks for a second, missing my sarcasm.
"We'll make an exception for coffee."

I take the coffees from her hands as she dramatically drops the bags to the floor and shows me the red indentations the bags made on her arms. I make a sympathetic noise until she smiles again.
"I got great stuff! Froot Loops! Root beer! Cranapple juice! And Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chips Cookie Dough ice cream!"
"Ice cream for breakfast?"
"No. For later."
"Aren't you worried about your wedding weight?"
She waves her hand at me. "Whatever. No."

She aims the remote control at the terevision and flips through the channels until she finds MTV. Then she pours cereal into bowls, carefully making sure we have the same amount. I am not in the mood for Froot Loops, but it is clear that I do not have a choice in the matter.

"Tell me when," she says, pouring whole milk onto my cereal. I hate whole milk.
"When," I say, almotst instantly.
She stops pouring and looks at me. "Really? They are barely moist."
"I know," I say, appeasing her, "but this is how I liked it in high school too."
"Good point," she says, pouring milk in her own bowl. She fills it to the brim.
I take a few bites as she stirs her creal with her spoon, waiting for the milk to turn pink.

We listen to the rest of the song as Darcy noisily eats her cereal. As she finishes her last few bites, she raises the bowl to her lips, gulping the pastel milk.

"Have you eaten?"
"No," she says. "Can you order some wonton spup for me?"
"And an egg roll?"
"Yes. Come over now."
I call Tang Tang and order two wonton soups, two egg rolls, two Sprites, and one beef and broccoli.

She slurps wonton soup from her plastic spoon and looks at me blankly. "I don't velieve that," she says.
"Yeah," I say. "I guess I don't either."
After we finish our dinner, I hold up two fortune cookies. "Which one do you want?"

We eat lunch―fish, French fries, and mushy peas that remind me of baby food. Comfort food. And we have a couple more pints. Then I suggest that we go for a walk, see something England-y.

I have often passed through his corridor with Hillary, buing the occasional cholocate truffle to go with our Starbucks coffee.

A moment later, I am arranging groceries on my counter―more food than my apartment has ever seen at one time. I put the chardonnay in the refrigerator, play some classical music, and search for the recipe book that my mother gave me at least four Christmasses ago, a book I have never before used. I flip through the glossy, pristine pages, finding a salad and pasta recipe that contains my approximate ingredients. Then I find an apron―another virginal gift―and set about peeling, chopping, and sauteing. I glance at the book for guidance, but I do not follow every instruction precisely. I substitute parsely for basil, skip the drained capers. Dinner will not be perfect, but I am learning that perfection isn't what matters. In fact, it's the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.
I change my clothes, selecting a white sundress with pinc embroidered flowers. Then I set the table, begin to boil water for our pasta, light candles, and open the bottle of chardonnay, filling two glasses, sipping mine.

Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed