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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

But I’m a Happy Hick!

When I graduated from high school, over a half a year before I turned 18, I had a list of places I wanted to see, places I wanted to think about living. One of those places was New York City. I just knew I was the kind of city-child who’d really thrive in the biggest metropolis in the country. I’d walk city blocks to my office in heels, I’d eat gourmet food and dine in the trendiest restaurants and I’d see every art gallery and cultural icon and love it all.

That was just over 27 years ago. The world was my oyster then. Now I realize that I don’t like oysters and I don’t have to pretend I do to be great!

I’m not at all saying anything negative about the birthplace of the man I love. New York is a wonderful place! I’ve always enjoyed it when we visit family, but that whole part of the country is too…too not quite Nani.

I love watching the incredible pace things happen, people attending multiple parties in a weekend evening during the holidays, people crowding into trains and making connections with seconds to spare to get in just in time for the first pitch at a ballgame, veering off the crowd on the sidewalk to get in line for a coffee, it’s amazing to watch! I guess that‘s the problem with me. I’d like to watch because I often fee like a lost country bumpkin! Thank goodness I have David and family and friends to guide me!

It’s not just my knee problems that make me feel this way. The first time I visited New York was before that. It’s that I realize that the city would swallow me whole and spit me out in pieces, mostly in New Jersey, where I’ve heard a number of New Yorkers say the weak are sent for rehabilitation. Okay, I’ve heard some New Yorkers say less flattering than that about New Jersey, but I have no reason to believe them. As a Michigander for 40 years, where we said the same things about Ohio, where I love living now, I know better!

I can actually keep up pretty well in art and classical music appreciation discussions in New York City and it’s neighboring states. But I can’t join in a talk about fashion or the newest restaurants on the scene or fine decorating. Truth is I often look at other people dressed to go to some restaurant or cultural event we go to and realize that I really need to do something about my wardrobe and dining can represent it’s own difficulties!

We went to a nice place in Connecticut after Kay’s memorial with a more typical gourmet-type menu. As one who doesn’t eat red meat, any kind of game and I don’t care for the more trendy fish either, it scales down nicer restaurant menus pretty quick! There was one item that made my mouth almost water to read the description, though. Pork tenderloin medallions prepared with a maple braised vegetable and sweet potatoes. YUM! So when the waitress asked for order, I asked for that. Then my “hick” tendencies resurfaced.

“How would you like that prepared, rare or medium rare?”
I’m sure I must have had that lost look on my face. I mean, pork. RARE? And the choice was rare or medium rare??

I smiled and said, as a question to be sure she heard my order correctly, “pork tenderloin?”

I was told it’s usually prepared medium rare. The chef does an excellent job.

(Gomer, ‘d’joo bring the ketchup??)

I know me. If the pork, if any meat, arrived in front of me with any pink to it at all, I wouldn’t eat anything on the plate. That’s just me, my taste. I thought quickly. I didn’t want to make a scene or be insulting, so I told her I was just this side of vegetarian and if I eat meat I have to have it done really well.

Save – I came off as weird instead of a bumpkin! Oh, and the well-done pork tenderloin medallions were incredibly delicious!

I love the family I married into and I like the part of the country from where my husband comes, I just don’t really fit. Well, it’s obvious I’m not native!

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