No, this is not a post about either of our daughters. This is a post about the stand off at the Okra corral.
Well, not actually okra, but Jerusalem Artichoke Corral and Barley Grass Pass just didn’t have the same flair, but trust me, both were in the magical recipe that sparked our confrontation.
S: You need to drink. You are sick, it’s the only way you’ll get better.
A: But I did drink.
S: Not enough.
A: But look at all I’ve had.
S: You need to drink things that will make you better.
A: Like what?
A: It’s green. I am not drinking something that is green.
S: Try it.
A: You try it.
S: I’m not sick.
A: Drink that and I bet you will be.
S: Manda, drink it.
S: Drink it.
A: No, and you can’t make me.
S: Drink it.
I start to laugh, because really, how canhe make me drink it? And how can I possibly drink it? My god, it’s so thick it leaves gritty marks on the edges of the glass like a milkshake. A putrid, green milkshake with three different kinds of grass in it.
A: I can’t.
S: Drink it.
A: How about if we compromise? I’ll have a spoonful.
S: I am going to feed Briar, you better finish that by the time I get back.
A: Perhaps you’ve forgotten who’s mom I am. I can outlast you in a battle of will.
S: Drink it, Manda.
I look at the glass. I even pick it up, sniff it. I can’t. I am as afraid of drinking this liquid as I was of singing a Burt Bacharach song in front of an auditorium of people in college. I know with near certainty that if I try to swallow the contents of that glass my body will rage against me and violently send it back from whence it came, still cool and thick in my esophagus. I carry the glasss into the living room, with a resolute jutting of my stubborn chin.
A: Not only can I not drink this, I won’t drink this.
S: Damnit Amanda, drink it.
A: No. You drink it.
S: Fine, give it to me. I will drink some.
I hand him the glass thinking there’s no way he’ll be able to do it. Health food aisle cereals make him gag, how can he possibly swallow something that for all the world looks like the gunk peeled from the bottom of a fish tank and then melted under a hot sun? My self-righteous reverie was broken by the glass being thrust at me with at least an inch worth of “Superfood” funk now absent from the glass.
S: There. Now drink. It isn’t that bad.
(Stony silence and a defeated retreat to the kitchen.)
A: All right. Glass. Hateful glass of green. I’ll have you know I would rather puree pearl onions and eat them than drink you.
A: I would rather make a poultice of lima beans and pear onions and apply it to my entire body and leave it to dry for an entire day than drink you.
Through my frustration at being cornered into acting like a recalcitrant two year old I am touched. My eyes well up as I think of him at the store picking out the different Odwalla elixirs, filling the basket with different products to nourish me back to health. The image of him holding a forkfull of macaroni and cheese while the other lifted the heinous green nectar to his mouth to share the burden of the 16 ounces of vile make-you-betterness. I realized that just as I once followed a boa wielding, Ella Fitzgerald sounding classmate’s performance with my own warbly, adrenaline charged Bacharach slaughter, I must drink this concoction. And so, I drink.
The hairs on my arms, neck and face, yes, my face, stand on end. I fight the tidal rush of bile and actually stand on tip toes to stave off the desire to clutch the kitchen sink and unleash my body’s protest of this unwanted and unappreciated health brew. I am only half way there. I stare the glass down again, playing a mental game imagining myself to be one of those muscleheads that breaks cement blocks with their head. I shake my hands at my sides, make a guttural sound and bring the glass to my mouth before I lose my will. I win, sort of, as I redirect my defiance from Sean to my body, and hold the juices down. I carry the glass with my arm extended to Sean.
A: I drank this much.
S: Oh, honey. I had no idea you were out there doing that.
A: I cannot finish it. I am sorry. Can this be enough? Please?
S: Tell you what, I’ll finish the last part.
S: Bruuhuhuhhugkaka. It is so much less nasty cold