My mother’s number was 5. When packing my school lunch she always gave me 5 cookies. My number is 3. When I pack my own lunch, or bring tea and cookies into the living room for a bedtime snack, I always take 3. If I have company and there are two of us, I put out 6. If three, 9. In talking to her people I’ve found out everyone has their own number. Think about it. What’s yours?
This is an extension of last week’s blog where I wrote about the Indian restaurants lining Lexington Avenue in “Curry Hill.” I was now on my way back to Grand Central station to catch the train home, having had lunch and catch-up time with a friend. As usual, I chose shoe leather (or in my case, sandal leather) over the subway, and as I strolled along I was thinking about all those restaurant photos I’d taken (way too many) and wondering how many to include in the blog. Naturally the number 3 sprung to mind, and my mind rambled on from there to bologna. That’s because in addition to the 5 cookies, my school lunch box usually contained a piece of fruit and a bologna sandwich.
Bologna was a staple of my school days , actually our school days – our, being my brother Jimmy and I. Jimmy’s consumption of bologna extended to breakfast as well as lunch. In addition to being a believer in the number 5, my mother believed in the importance of breakfast. The problem was – we didn’t; not if it meant cereal, eggs, or anything else children all over the country were eating. Determined to get something into me, she resorted to leftovers. If we’d had spaghetti the night before, I had spaghetti. If it had been pot roast, my breakfast was two slices of bed, covered in pot roast and gravy. Not Jimmy, though – all he would eat was bologna. Not a bologna sandwich, though, but bologna cut up with mustard. It had to be cut up into bite sized pieces and slathered with mustard. To this day, the smell of mustard makes me nauseous.
So there I was, immersed in memories of Jimmy and mustard fumes, when I looked up and saw this restaurant smack dab in front of me!