The family seated for dinner, squared to the table, parent opposite parent, child to child. Each self-served the American Chop Suey, while the mother served her youngest.
Casual conversation sprang up between bites of food, stories of work and exams at school. Busying with pushing around elements of her serving, the youngest held silent and disconnected from the social circle, trying for a truce with dinner by filtering out unwanted onion and celery.
The vegetable outcasts formed an arc around the further rim of her plate. As the others wound down toward finish, her sister took notice of the heavy accumulation of dinner discard.
“Mom, look at Kelly’s plate!” her sister pointed out, ever the bratty rat.
“Kelly, eat your dinner,” Mom ordered.
Kelly protested. “I see onions and celery. I hate onions and celery.”
“You can’t taste them,” the unhelpful sister piled on.
“Yes I can, and they taste yucky!”
A parental edict froze her at the table, unable to vacate until she consumed half the dinner. Ten minutes yielded to twenty. Obstinate Kelly held out, vowing she would never consume an onion ever. At least she liked celery when uncooked.
Alone and pouting, head down towards the despised and cooled slop, she decided to remove the offenders, pushing the dislikes off plate onto the table. She ate a few bites of the strip-mined remaining dinner, and asked her mother to certify her effort as sufficient.
Kelly stood in her kitchen making homemade marinara sauce with new partner Jen. Fresh garlic, sun dried tomatoes, diced peppers, and various spices cut and ready waited addition to the sauce base.
“I’ll cut up an onion,” helpful Jen offered.
“Buy an onion.”
“So what if I did?”
“You wish to live here with me, no onions, ever. Rule.”