Annie hasn't been home since Christmas. She's coming this week, and I'm trying to clear my slate for her visit. That's easier said than done, but I'm gonna stick to my goal as much as possible.
Whenever our 26-year-old daughter visits, we can count on several givens. She'll go to the Cedar Street Bridge deli at least once for lunch. She'll take over the TV remote and watch all her soap operas or those airhead teeny bopper shows---the ones she's already seen a dozen times. " Sabrina, the Teen-aged Witch" seems to be her favorite.
Some evenings she even rents a movie, insisting that I watch alongside her on the couch and constantly chipping away at me throughout its duration with, "Mom, are you awake? Wake up, Mom!"
Annie will want some Second Avenue Pizza. She'll take her yellow lab, Annie Dog, for a swim out at Trestle Creek, and she'll ask for some "family bonding" via a hike or boating or both. She'll spend each night after everyone goes to bed, seated at the computer with a large glass of ice water, typing away and conversing on her Internet chat rooms. I also suspect she'll expect her dad to barbecue up a steak or two.
Annie's eating habits have become notorious among all who come in contact with her. In fact, I even have a posting on my website from someone who heard about them second hand. These days, she's in to steak, Totinos Pizza and chocolate cake---every day. She'll occasionally throw in some Wood's German sausages whenever we send a package along with a Seattle-bound traveler.
She says she's obsessive-compulsive, and possibly the eating routine supports that claim. Annie selects a specific food to be eaten daily and sticks with it for years on end. Before her steak-Totinos pizza- chocolate cake phase, she ate a calzone nearly every day at the same time for a couple of years. I learned her need to stay on schedule whenever I'd call and the conversation would come to an abrupt halt, almost mid-sentence when the timer signaled the calzone was ready in the oven.
Before calzones, she fed off from daily (sometimes twice even) unbreaded chicken breasts, often from Schwan's. And speaking of Schwan's, her personal pepperoni pizza fetish probably lasted the longest segment in her life. Annie's dining on these little round delights involved a well-disciplined routine.
Before eating the pizza, she would slowly, methodically, pick each tiny chunk of pepperoni from the topping, always licking the cheesy, tomato sauce residue from her fingers in between plucks. When every last morsal of pepperoni sat in a neat pile next to its original doughy depository, she would dig into the crust, eating it first and saving her pepperoni collection for a chaser. I watched this enough times over the years to know the drill.
As a small child, like many small children, Annie survived off from hotdogs, lots of 'em.
I do know one constant which could possibly follow her through life----jerky. It's her treat of choice, and every time we're in Seattle, she points out the jerky wholesale house----several times.
It will be interesting during her upcoming visit to see if any of these unusual (some observers term them 'bizarre') eating habits have changed and if any new staple has entered her tightly-disciplined diet.
Regardless of what she chooses to eat, we're looking forward to having an "Annie fix" this week. There's no one quite like our Annie, and that's why we love her so.