I used to be an elementary school teacher and one of the things I disliked was lunch duty simply because I think little children are gross eaters. They pick apart pieces of food and use their fingers for everything. Lunch duty=wet fingers stuck with unidentified crumbs. Flash forward ten years and my grandmother has adopted many similar eating habits. Mostly, I try to ignore her while we eat, which proves to be impossible at times because I spend most every meal with her.
These habits also seemed to have changed over night. One day she refused to eat the skins of the cucumbers in her salad–“I don’t eat the skins,” she said, as she chewed a hole in the center of each piece. Immediately after this declaration she grabbed a piece of fried shrimp and popped it in, tail and all.
“You’re not supposed to eat the tail,” I pointed out.
“Yes you can! They’re good for you!”
“Oh well. Guess it won’t hurt you.”
And that’s my attitude about this entire transformation: if she’s not hurting herself or anybody else, she can eat her food any way she pleases, as long as I don’t have to bare witness.
It’s hard not to watch though. Recently, we were visiting her sister Marge, and Gran was chowing down vigorously on potato chips when she took a large rippled chip, swirled it around in her coffee a bit and ate it. I just observed, mesmerized by the whole thing. Two minutes later I looked over again and she was peeling her grapes and piling up the skins on her plate.
So how do you peel a grape, you ask?