Sunday, June 04, 2006

The dream of the perfect picnic

This dream started when I was 18 years old. Maybe it was too much Luke and Laura on General Hospital or one too many romance books, but I was obsessed with the perfect picnic. Not the kind of picnic where you are eating non stop fried chicken wings and there are no ants fighting you for a yummy piece of pie. Oh no! That was just an average picnic.

I mean the kind of picnic that books,soap operas and commercials lead you to believe exist. I would be in a long flowing sundress with kicky sandals and a glowing tan. I would spread out a red and white checkered tablecloth on the ground under a shady tree. Then,as if there were a drumroll,I would pluck my picnic basket from behind the tree and voila! begin to set up our lunch.

The meal would consist of French bread,Brie,grapes and wine. Looking back,I would've passed out after that meal. Where the hell was the protein? How much Brie could I eat before my blood sugar dropped? Anyway,I don't know where I got that menu but it seemed so very romantic to me. "Who was the picnic with?",you may ask. I never knew......just some guy I was in love with....Whoever that might be.

See,the guy wasn't as important to me as the perfect picnic. The picnic was all about romance and the dream of what could be.

In 1989,I was 26 years old. My friend Karen and her husband Mish,came to visit me from England. (I had lived with Karen in Israel in 1985). At that time,I was dating a guy named Barry. He was nice. I really liked him. When I saw the wicker picnic basket on sale,I knew it was a sign. I bought it without hesitation. When I opened it up,I was surprised that there was anything inside. It had 4 large plastic plates,matching plastic mugs and plastic utensils. My dream was coming true.

That weekend,we packed up our lunch in the picnic basket and headed to New Hampshire for the day. Barry insisted we bring paper plates even though I explained I had my picnic basket which contained everything we needed. Barry gave me a look so I reluctantly threw in some paper plates just to appease him but I knew we weren't going to use them.

The night before,we all discussed what we would bring on our trip. My perfect lunch was vetoed immediately. No one liked Brie and besides,we'd be hungry so we would need to eat sandwiches. French bread was not the ideal bread for deli sandwiches,too hard to handle,so we brought rolls instead. All I could do was sigh and watch my dream slip away.

When it came time to make lunch,Barry insisted that we use the paper plates instead of my beautiful colored matching plates for four. Everyone agreed that there was no need to dirty the plastic plates.

Now,17 years later,Lillianna keeps her doll's clothes in the wicker basket. She uses the four plastic mugs for when she wants to get her own drink. (Regular glasses are too high for her to reach.) The plastic utensils are kept in a bag with disposable plastic forks and spoons....just in case.

As for my perfect that I'm married to the perfect guy,it doesn't seem so important anymore. Besides,Rich would never eat Brie and neither one of us drink wine. We'll have to make a new dream....Together.

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