(Hot)dishing family affairs

Hunting, Fishing and other Grounds for Divorce,

By Jacki Michels, for the Redoubt Reporter

Over the past decade I’ve shared a lot about our family, at times too much information (perhaps) but, hey, to my credit I’ve never discussed anyone’s hemorrhoids, nor have I trampled upon the sacred ground of adolescent dating rituals. Go me.

That being said, I have shared openly about the dining habits of toddlers as well as a smorgasbord of other grotesque bodily functions. Yes. I’ve stooped to serving up a cheese-cutting rant on farts. I’ve disclosed some not-so-secret aspects of my girlfriend’s clothing faux pas, and I’ve even gone as far as to spend over 500 words on my oh-so-varicose veins.

I always wanted to grow up (still working on that) and be the kind of writer who gently fans the flame of succulent prose that flows deliciously, yet deeply, into the very marrow of the reader’s soul.


Not happening.

What I get when I scrounge for a scribble stick and scrap of paper is something like what one gets when they excavate the surviving remnants from last week’s eats in order to create what we affectionately refer to as a Midwestern hotdish. Surprise! I went to explore the deserted, deepest regions of the fridge to see what I can whip up — and, well, with a can of cream of mushroom soup and a few stale potato chips we will dine on an untitled dish of questionable digestibility and an idea for a dissertation regarding the state of affairs of a potential botulism outbreak.

Eventually I’ll put all the metaphoric green beans and noodles of our lives together and end up regurgitating more information than one should ever share if they hope to ever have company over for dinner.

So this month’s column got me to wondering — what the hell to write about, why do I write what I write in the first place and, dear God, why would anyone read it?

A little side dish of brutal honesty, there. Bon appetit.

Truth is, our family is exceptionally unremarkable. It’s not like we would ever preface a statement with, “Hey honey, remember that speech I gave at the White House?” Unless, that is, we were reflecting on how we hosted a boy-burping contest and they mimicked the speech, “If you like your — URppppppp — health care — uuuurp!”

If there were a vote we would be voted Most Likely to Have a Family Board Game Night.

Puzzling. Maybe it’s the fact that we all live to tell our homely stories and enjoy hearing other people’s? Face it, not even Hollywood folk really live like the tabloids tell. I bet their very best stuff is their off-off-off Broadway moments.

  • Grounds for Divorce No. 7, 450: Being a sore loser at Yahtzee.
  • Grounds for Divorce No. 7, 451: Talking politics or the origins of the hotdish during dinner — especially if there be company.

Jacki Michels is a freelance writer who lives (and loves) in Soldotna.


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Filed under Fishing and Other Grounds for Divorce, humor

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