This is Vince. We’ve been friends with Vince and his family for about 5 years. We meet them for dinner every single month. Before we leave each other’s houses, we get the next dinner date on the calendar.
Vince has a wife and 40 children, so I’m never exactly sure who will be coming to the house when we invite them and how much food to make. I only know two recipes that can feed a large number of people, so on their 2nd visit to our house I served a big pot of minestrone soup. It was July and Vince was thinking, “Yuck. Who serves soup in the middle of a heat wave?”
And then he tasted it. And now, when it’s our turn to cook, he won’t let us cook anything else.
And then Vince and his wife had another baby (bringing the total to 41), and we started going only to their house each month, and never mine, because my house isn’t baby proof. Every other month I would bring the minestrone soup to their house.
This past summer, we somehow fell off each other’s calendars and didn’t meet for dinner for months on end.
During this time, I invited myself and the family to K’s house (because they have a baby and my house isn’t baby proof.) And I know from experience that transporting minestrone soup is easy, so when I invited myself and the family to K’s house, I offered to bring the soup.
There we were, getting into the car to go to K’s house, taking the minestrone soup to K’s…and who should drive by but Vince (!) along with 30 of his children. What are the odds?!? Vince stopped to say hi.
Darling Husband choked.
Instead of playing it cool and pretending we were going to the movies or an art show, he blurted out, “We have minestrone soup!”
Vince said, “What?” It seemed so random. What’s he saying about minestrone soup?
Darling Husband tried to clarify, “We’re taking minestrone soup to a friend’s house!”
With dawning horror, Vince realized that we were packing a big pot of soup into the car, destined for someone else.
“What?! It’s only been a few months and you’ve already replaced us??” Great dismay. We offered him a bowl, but he was having none of it.
So, in the picture of the day, Vince is happy that he’s finally getting to eat the soup again after many months of separation.
Vince teaches 7th grade and it’s driven him to partial madness. He was so delighted to be in one picture that he insisted on being in more pictures.
So, here he is, looking serious about the soup: (This is at my house. One of the other 41 children babysat for them, so they came here.)
And here he is doing an impression of his wife while she watched the goofy picture taking. She wasn’t impressed:
There was a slight problem with our evening tonight. Their entire family (all 43 of them) is sick. But they were so afraid that if they cancelled we’d pack up and take the soup to K’s house that they came anyway, sniffling and demanding tissues. We gave them surgeon’s masks (the type I used to use while dusting my house.)
Since we provided dinner, it was their turn to provide dessert. All day long, they’ve been lying around their house like wet dishcloths, sick and miserable. Vince’s wife sent him to get the dessert assuming he’d get a pie or something reasonable, but instead Vince walked into the store in his medicated haze, saw the birthday cakes and thought, “Gee, I really love birthday cake,” and bought a huge birthday sheet cake. (At least it was big enough to feed all 47 of us.)
After dinner, I went for a refill of my drink in the kitchen and came back out to find Vince on the living room floor. Apparently his head was clogged and he was hoping to clear it up by lying on his side. When he saw me, he managed to squeak out, “Take a picture!”
and then, “Let’s pretend I keeled over from the soup!”
Here are a few more pictures that illustrate why we have to wait a whole month between seeing them. We need that long to recuperate.
Next dinner date: March 23rd. Their house. (I won’t have to clean next time.)