There are some large, hairy, deep-chested sportsman-type men in the world who look like they could subsist, and enjoy subsisting, wholly on meat. You know, the Gaston types who like to kill it themselves and then tear the insides out before roasting it on an open fire. In the woods.
My dad is not one of those men.
There are also some maybe-not-so-rustic but demanding men who would object fiercely if their womenfolk insisted on stocking the house with a diet consisting, roughly, of salad, beans, and, well . . . salad.
My dad is not one of those men, either.
But he is a man who likes his meat.
At about this time last year, the older two thirds of the Sixterhood, along with our esteemed mother, decided to take on the challenge of a 4-week vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free, sugar free cleansing diet. It was actually fun, and everybody felt better. We learned a lot about sugar and fats, and how little we really need to eat to be satisfied (something you learn pretty fast when nothing seems to taste good). And we learned how to cook some delicious stuff from basic and healthy ingredients. And we also started to appreciate more simple joys like cilantro, avocados and cashews.
This year we decided to do it all over again.
All that to say that, for the last two weeks, there hasn't been a whole lot of meat in the house.
Obviously we were aware of the general pain that this may cause the remaining members of the family.
But we had no idea just how deep and horrible it could be.
Until I went with my dad to the grocery store.
He groaned when he saw the cart loaded high with produce. "How embarrassing! Look how many vegetables, and no meat!"
I was shocked. I thought that the goal of all Southern Californians was to appear healthier, more tanned, richer, better connoseuirs of sunglasses, and more like they owned a BMW than their neighbors.
But, the further we went, the more obvious it became that my grocery selection was an affront to his very manhood (draw your own conclusions about what this means for California).
He was still looking around furtively as we rolled into the canned bean aisle. The beans were cheap (and convenient; I keep forgetting to soak raw beans . . . thanks, Fresh & Easy!). Three cans went in. Six. Nine. Ten. Eleven...
"Stop!!" he insisted in an urgent whisper, trying not to attract the attention of the other shoppers. "Enough beans!"
That's when I knew that when Brendon brought over the ribs the other night, and my dad said, "You saved my life!", he meant it. He really did.
This is sacrifice, people.
My dad is a hero.