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Thursday, May 26, 2005

How's About Cookin' Something Up With Me?

If you grew up Lane style, you were a poor group of people. You wore hand-me-down clothes, shared a bath with your older sister until she got body hair. You, even if you were a girl, got your clothes in the boy's department of K-Mart because Daddy Lane said, "Boy's jeans are cheaper."

You wore Tracks gym shoes, the blue kind with the white stripes. When you stepped into a puddle, your toes and socks turned blue. It was your first lesson in chemistry.

You had so much fun goofing off and growing up Lane, you didn't really feel poor. In fact, for my brother Mark, he didn't know we were poor until he wanted his first pair of Converse as a teenager. The day he learned of our financial situation, he convinced Dad Lane to take him shopping for new shoes.

Mark was growing fast and coming of age. He wanted to be cool like his friends. He dragged Dad Lane into a store and showed him the $5 shoes he had his little heart set on. Dad Lane looked at the price tag, grabbed his chest, gasped and told Mark, "I'd cut your feet off before I'd spend that kind of money on shoes."

Anita found out we were poor around the same age. She really had her heart set on some Jordache Jeans, to which Dad told her, "Get a job kid!" And sure enough, crazy Anita wanted those cool jeans so bad, she got herself a job. She was the only Lane kid to buy her own school clothes for many years.

Of course while she was busting her ass working and going to school, some of us, or maybe it was just me, were sneaking into her room stealing her jeans. I might have been many, many years younger, but I was always long-legged enough for her jeans to fit just right.

Being poor didn't suck. We had the basics. We had a roof over our head, we went to a parochial school, we had a couple of loving parents who always made sure our tummies were full, sometimes on weird concoctions, but full nonetheless.

After My sister Angie left a comment on yesterday's post, a couple of you asked about the bacon spaghetti she mentioned. That was just one of those crazy concoctions that kept our tummies happy. You see, Mom was a creative cook. Back in the day, bacon was one of the most affordable meats. She and my aunt (Benny's mom), who happened to live right next door, decided to fry some bacon and add it to their spaghetti sauce because together they didn't have enough funds for Italian sausage or meatballs. They were always concocting stuff to feed their brood of children.

As it turns out we loved it and who knew years and years later, we would all still love it.

To answer your question, Ang, no, it wasn't bacon spaghetti that caused my burns, but now you've given me a hankerin' for that. So hopefully when I make it in the next couple of days, I'll be spared from any more kitchen disasters.

By the way, the one burn that was an inch under my eye has completely healed, without a scar. The other, on my cheek, it's getting better. Thank you guys for all the tips and concern.