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When Gill lived with me, I was accustomed to her strange stock of ‘different’ foods. It ranged from ethnic items to chemically engineered snack products that were meant to appeal to youngsters but strangely attracted my thirty-something’s attention. Some of you may recall her addiction to The Insider’s Report with all of its wild and wacky choices. Unusual shapes and weird colours seemed to be the things that captured her notice most often…like a child with Skittles or  a crow with bright, shiny baubles stashed in its nest.

Now, with Crazy D and L’il Sis here, healthy this, organic that, non-gluten, soy infused, kelp essence and kale chips are everywhere. I swear, there’s nary a can of ‘whipped cream’ or junky Doritos anywhere. A person could starve…or be way too healthy for one’s own good. I first began to get nervous a few weeks ago when L’il Sis began bringing boxes of her kitchen supplies into my house in preparation for her move here. Lentils, every kind of bean known to mankind, yeast extract, brown rice pasta…. and no room at the inn.  I know it’s ridiculous that I, living alone in a large house, have filled every conceivable space in my kitchen. Even allowing for the fact that some items are either leftover from Gill’s stay or are in anticipation of her return at Christmas, I have a lot of stuff. And granted, some cans at the rear of the cupboards likely border on botulism sanctuaries (my ’emergency’ tornado supplies), but there is literally no room on the shelves.

And since Crazy D and L’il Sis share SOME but not all of the same weird foods, we have established a system whereby we can co-exist within the shelves. Yes, move over, Korea. I now also have a DMZ. It’s called my kitchen pantry.

It began with L’il Sis, intent on organizing my new life situation. “Don’t worry, Mom. Just leave it all to me. The re-organizing and cleaning cupboards will be relaxing, therapeutic for me. You don’t have to do a thing!” That’s what I was afraid of. Very afraid.

I came down to the kitchen next morning to find a note along with 3 bags of food: an instant rice ‘meal’, pack of chocolate drink mix, and bag of gourmet crackers replete with trans fats and artificial flavours. I must confess I didn’t know they were in the cupboard. And I also suspect two of the packets came in Christmas gift baskets from friends, so were technically NOT MY FAULT. The note  said:”You do realize these items are NOT real food, don’t you? If we threw out some of this (your) crap, we’d have room for my and Crazy D’s nutritious FOOD. Just saying’…” She had the decency to end with a smiley face. But I was not gullible enough to miss the passive-aggressive nature of that innocent looking smiley face. Oh, it looked benign, but I knew somewhere my daughter’s teeth were grating.

So the food police have arrived, have they? Gill, where are you when I need you? I need you to defend my food. At this rate, I’m going to be eating kale chips and boiled rapine casserole. HELP!!! I didn’t sign up for this when I opened my home to my kids. Gill, I’m sorry…I take back every criticism, every harsh word I said when you were here. At least WE could enjoy and appreciate the benefits of a popcorn- ice cream supper. Oh, what have I done? As if to twist the knife a bit deeper, last night, as I dished my sad yet nourishing dinner (chicken breast and sweet potato) onto my plate, L’il Sis commented: “At least it’s better than popcorn and ice cream.”

“Damn straight,” I replied, somewhat indignant that my food choices had come under her personal purview.

“Oh, don’t worry, Mom. Crazy D and I will have you eating well in no time. I see lots of rapine, kale, and nutritional yeast in your future.”

“Really? That’s what you see? Funny, ’cause I see a plane ticket to London to eat crap food with Gill in my future. And I bet The Pig will be on the plane with me.  Gill, HELP!!!”