My husband is one of eleven children. He isn’t the first, second or third in line. Nor is he fourth, fifth or sixth. He is way down the line at number nine.
There are so many great things about being married to someone from a large family. First of all, you’re never bored. There is always something to do and someone to do it with. There are loads of special occasions, card games and get-togethers.
But, there are downsides to these events too. Understandably, seating is at a premium. One time when there were 45 people in my in-laws’ six bedroom house for an extended weekend, even floor space was valuable. You were lucky if you found a place to sleep where you wouldn’t get stepped on. I was not so lucky.
And, what would you guess is the most precious commodity of all?
That would be food.
If you have the misfortune of being in the bathroom when “soup’s on” is called…well, it’s possible you’ll just go hungry. If you’re not one of the first twenty people in line, then it’s a given you’ll find the mashed potatoes gone. And, if there’s chocolate pie for dessert, you need to claim your piece hours before mealtime.
Growing up in this family has taught my husband not to waste food. You just don’t do it.
When leftovers have been in the refrigerator a little too long, he will still eat them…even when they’re starting to look bad. And, he will consume bratwurst and baked beans for weeks after our July 4th party each year. I sometimes think his stomach is made of steel.
I have noticed that he is rubbing off on me. I now make the kids eat their crusts, and I have even started eating yogurt that’s a couple of days past expiration, or the eggs when they are a few weeks old.
But, there’s one thing he’ll eat that I just won’t.
I have to draw the line at gray bacon.