Dolores, Are You Going to Eat that Meatball?

Or: Elinor! Don’t eat so fast!

Years ago my sister had a friend, Dolores. They went to high school in Danbury, CT together on the bus. Sometimes, on Spring evenings, they’d get together after supper and walk in the quiet dusk. And sometimes I’d sneak after them. We were six years apart–we lived in separate worlds.
One day Dad ordered a spaghetti dinner for us. He worked for Connery Brothers general Store and knew all the housewives who lived just outside Georgetown, Connecticut. He spent his weekday mornings driving around taking grocery orders and afternoons delivering them. I wonder now: was there any gossip he didn’t know?
When he went to pick up the spaghetti and meatballs, Mrs DeGrazzio (do I have her name right?) would wait for his truck to drive into her driveway before she’d put the spaghetti in the pot of boiling water.
My sister had asked Dolores for supper that night to enjoy the treat.
After I had finished my plate of spaghetti and meatballs, I eyed Dolores’ plate. She sat next to me. She was a more careful eater, but then so was the rest of the world.
After looking at the second, uneaten luscious meatball for some time, I asked, “Are you going to eat that meatball, Dolores?”
“Yes,” she said.
“Elinor! You eat too fast!” said my mother. She probably said more than that.
What a brat I was!
I wish I felt sorry for coveting–aloud–Dolores’ meatball but I don’t.


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