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overheated supper

March 12, 2009

When I was growing up, family supper in the Schwartz household was a daily event, and attendance was mandatory.  It was always the highlight of our day.  The entire family, all eight of us, would sit around the table in our assigned seats and share our lives over a home-cooked meal.

Supper-table discussion was always varied and interesting.  Dad required us to come prepared not only to share about our day, but we also had to be ready to share a current event.  Sometimes, the discussion turned into a lecture as Dad gave us the entire history of the events that were brought to the table.  Other times, we would find ourselves in the middle of a debate, usually religious or political and always between Rose and Charles, with Dad as the mediator and Mom as the tear-dryer.  Once in a while I tried to contribute, but was often drowned out.  Dad did his best to make sure everyone had a chance to have their say.

One evening, we found ourselves in the middle of such a debate.  It was getting rather intense and though I kept trying to interject, Charles succeeded in talking over me every time I opened my mouth.  Finally, Dad cut him off and gave me the floor.  All was quiet as I started to make my point.  Then from the other end of the table came a low rumbling.  It sounded like a car switching gears.  I was getting distracted as the car noises increased.

“Dad, please tell him to stop!” I cried.

“Cecilia, ignore him.  And Charles-”

“Yes, sir?” Charles tried to sound innocent.

“Stop it with the car noises and listen to your sister.”

I continued… and so did the noises.  I was getting more and more flustered.  I rarely got a word in edgewise and now I was being upstaged – again!  Being the ultra-emotional person that I was at fourteen, my voice started to waiver and my eyes welled up in tears, which frustrated Dad.  The other kids were pretending to be respectful, but their suppressed laughter came out in snickers and snorts.

I sat on Mom’s end of the table and Charles was on Dad’s end, with Ang in between us.  Mom told everyone to stop laughing, as she sat ready to catch my tears if they started to fall.

“Cecilia, ignore him!” Dad exclaimed.  “Charles, cut it out!”  The vein on Dad’s forehead started to enlarge, a sure sign that he was no longer amused and was getting mad.  That didn’t stop my brother who was enjoying vroom-vrooming around the track with his rather realistic and impressive car sounds.  I tried to talk over the ‘car’ but the boy was imitating a V-8 engine – I didn’t stand a chance.

“Charles, turn it off!”  Dad’s raised voice was at the level of obey-now-or-else.  Charles sighed and proceeded to ‘turn off’ the car.  He made the noise of the key turning in the ignition.  I finally had the floor to myself!  Or so I thought.  Charles went through the entire cool down process, too.  He hissed and sissed.  I finally had enough of the never-ending car fiasco.  I decided to put an end to it once and for all.  I jumped up from my chair, glass in hand.

“Cecilia!” Dad bellowed.  “Sit down!”

The glass of water was tilted, ready to dump its contents on my brother’s head.  “But Dad,” I said sweetly, “he was overheating.”

I never did state my case in the debate – my comment left all of us rolling on the floor laughing – but I beat my brother at his own game.  Having the last word was more satisfying than if I had won the debate!

**This post is dedicated to my mother, who has been on my case to write this story since the day it happend (better late than never!), and to my brother, who provided me with an abundance of lessons in patience (I really do love you!).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Felipa permalink
    March 13, 2009 11:07 am

    I Love it!! I remember it, as if it were yesterday! I Love you.

  2. Charles permalink
    March 13, 2009 12:33 pm

    You throw water on me, and I’m the bad guy…ha ha. I probably should be more sorry than I am. But funny is funny.

  3. March 13, 2009 1:23 pm

    Reminder: I didn’t actually throw water on you. I stopped before the first drop fell. So yes – you are the bad guy!!

  4. Rosario permalink
    March 13, 2009 6:57 pm

    What a punk!!! I’m sooo sure *rolls eyes* He’s STILL trying to claim innoncent. This story speaks truth! She didn’t pour the water although, she had every right to!

    Looove it Ceci! Like mom said, in my mind it’s like it happened yesterday. Goodness time flies by although somethings never change! ;) Te amo! ~Besos!!!

  5. Felipa Schwartz permalink
    March 13, 2009 8:23 pm

    And if she had thrown water on you, you really did deserve it
    Love you both!!

  6. sylvia permalink
    March 14, 2009 10:56 am

    Children, Children! Behave yourselves because I could tell many embarressing things on ALL of you!

  7. sylvia permalink
    March 14, 2009 10:57 am

    p.s. you too Felipa!

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