1. My date walked out when I threw a fit over an anchovy on my pizza. You don’t understand, I said. Finger pointing in her face. Luckily, no beer over my head.
2. Are there any other foods that anger you? My therapist, in full serious voice. Spinach—I got that from my grandfather. Perhaps we can talk more about him? No, we can’t.
3. When I was five, my mother tucked a shopping list in my front pocket along with $10, sent me shopping. Ask for help, she said. Instead I returned with Twinkies, soda, and gum, got spanked.
4. I didn’t mention tuna. Ten years old, opening a can of tuna, split my thumb open on the edge. Three stitches to close. Hated tuna ever since.
5. Mom claims she sent me shopping at three but I don’t remember. Excuses: it was just 1,000 feet away, hauling the kids such a production. My initial run: bread, pickles, Tab.
6. I relent: grandfather was surly. Everything angered him. He’d play solitaire at his table, blow cigarette smoke, eat canned anchovies, complain about grandkids drinking his bottled Coke.
7. I called that date, left desperate messages. I’m so sorry. I won’t complain about anchovies. Please call. I’m so alone. She didn’t understand.