For years Louis and his buddies had been kidding each other about their athletic abilities, their loss of hair, and the growth of their bellies. It was starting to hit home. He had just returned from a trip to the bathroom and had caught a look of himself in the big mirror. “I gotta do something . . . gotta something . . . gotta stop looking in the mirror.” He joked with himself, but he knew it was true.
At lunch time he left his South Tacoma office and drove to Red Robin by the Tacoma Mall. He sat in the car for five minutes before opening the door. He surprised himself when he turned away from Red Robin and walked across the parking lot and into Pho Dragon. He ordered won ton soup and added the entire plate of bean sprouts into the bowl. He enjoyed the broth and felt full when he left. He looked in the Dollar Tree, wandered past the shoe store and then stepped inside Half-Price Books. He looked at a number of books and then continued his walk around the parking lot before getting back in his car and returning to work.
Back at work, he soon had to visit the men’s room, again. This time he avoided the mirror and returned to his desk feeling a little better about himself.
That evening Louis arrived home first, so he set the table and waited for his wife, Martha. When Martha walked in he helped her with several bags of take-away. Although Martha is a good cook, both husband and wife work, which means during the week they rely on prepared food to go. Louis sniffed the air, “Beef burritos from Tacoma Time?” Martha cast him a glance quieting his guessing and lowering his spirits. Louis loves food. He was almost afraid to ask what was really in the bags. Martha soon was taking small bags out of the bigger bag and revealed, “We’re eating Greek food tonight.” Louis, thought “Oh, no . . . not those little grape leaf things.” He merely sighed to himself and tried to smile.
Martha said, “Oh, I think you’ll like it. I stopped at It’s Greek to Me on Sixth Avenue and bought lamb kabobs. Shelly had them for lunch and shared a couple bites with me. I got a couple salads and a dessert . . . to SHARE!” Louis went from frown to smile back to frown and then back to smile in just a split second. “Well, half a dessert is better than none.” He said this to himself. What he said to his wife, was “Great. Nice choice!” “Each order has two kabobs, so we’ll probably have enough for breakfast,” Martha said as she broke his heart one more time.
After they sat down, Louis slid a lamb morsel off the skewer and popped the whole thing into his mouth. His smile said it all. “This is good,” he mumbled with a full mouth. To himself he said, “Those kabobs will not last through my meal.”
As they shared dessert, Louis mentioned a discovery, “I found a great cook book today at Half-Price Books. It’s called Healthy Aging Diet Cookbook*. It had some great sounding recipes in it.” “Where is it?” Louis was caught off-guard. “I . . . I didn’t buy it . . . uhhhh . . . you always have a tough time finding a Christmas gift for me, so I thought you might want to get that for me.” Martha slowly nodded her head and said, “Nice recovery.”
Louis was proud of his chicanery and said, “It’s from a local author. By the way, what would you like me to give you for Christmas?” Martha said, “I’d love to lose twenty pounds.” She was looking at Louis, who found himself thinking . . . before he finally spoke, “You look great, but how about I lose those twenty pounds for you?”
Martha and Louis had a nice Christmas . . . and a better new year.
* The Healthy Aging Diet Cookbook is available online – healthyagingdiet.com/cookbook.html