Monday, June 14, 2010

The Night of the Very Long Lunch

Howard Mohr wrote a book several years ago titled How to Talk Minnesotan. There really is not better guide to getting along in our state. There is a chapter about how to eat in Minnesota. You see -- at least out here in rural Minnesota -- if you are offered food any time of day besides breakfast or supper, it's called "lunch." I don't know what to tell you. It's not a snack, really. It's a small meal. You find "lunch" at auctions, piano recitals, ladies meetings and the most famous, of course, "funeral lunch" after a funeral.

One of the side bars in Mohr's book addresses high school graduation. He calls it the "night of the long lunch." This is what Brent and I did Saturday. Four graduations. Four graduation "lunches." We started off smart -- light breakfast, one coffee. We had a strategy. We would just eat a few small bites at each . . . but then we got there and something happened. We ate and ate and ate. I talked to a pastor friend who was looking a little green on his seventh graduation lunch at one point in the afternoon and he said, "I wasn't going to eat a thing, but then you get there and everyone has worked so hard and everything looks so good and they are expecting you to eat."

We tried to cope. At first I eschewed the buns. I just ate ham and pulled pork on the side. I think in the end I was glad because I can't imagine how awful I would have felt if I hadn't. One friend I met along the way said she'd been scraping the frosting off the pieces of graduation cake. We all tried to do the best we could, but I am guessing there were a lot of Tums consumed in Central Minnesota on Saturday.

And, I'm afraid, we lost -- well -- our appetite, if you will, for graduation parties this year. If yours is another time, we wish you well. It doesn't mean we don't love you.

We just can't.

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