What happens when conversation briefly stutters or goes completely silent?

If you are a female relative of this writer, the sounds of sighs soon fill the void. And they are not subtle. Like far too many folks living their lives in the ether of social media, she requires constant attention and background noise.

Such folks are not comfortable with contemplative silence. They feel compelled to stir the air with unnecessary vibrations. Filling the silence with random thoughts or questions is their specialty.

During a conversational pause, someone poses the old question: “If your destination is a desert island, what three things would you take with you?” The answers vary from practical to intellectual or even religious because people want to come across as wise.

Some say “The Bible.” Or perhaps Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey.” Granted, the stories found in those three books and their meanings might keep a person occupied for a considerable amount of time.

But what if we turn that somewhat trite question into something practical? What if we present a similar query without the limitations of a desert island?

“Of all the foods you like or love, what can you not live without?”

Please try not to complicate things with concepts such as foods that may or may not be bad for your health. It is a simple question; treat it accordingly.

The thought popped into this lady’s head one morning because she craved pizza. We are not talking about leftover, cold pizza, but rather the hot and fresh from the oven variety available at your favorite pizzeria or Italian restaurant. Sadly, at 7:00 am, there was nothing open to satisfy her craving.

Our mother loved her family and tried to keep them close. She frowned in disapproval whenever her daughter skipped the family meal to eating pizza with her college friends. “That is not a real meal,” mother would mutter. And yet over the years, mother, too, succumbed to the siren call of pizza. She served it for many a family dinner.

When this writer was a working mother of two children and the wife of a hungry spouse who was too busy at work to eat, Fridays were pizza night. It was easier to serve something everyone in the family liked. And the best part was the pizza place was nearby and delivered.

Living out in the wilderness, as our daughter likes to think of our home site, if the pizzeria does deliver, they add a mileage fee to the total. That is why it is faster and cheaper to drive and pick up the pizza ourselves. But not at 7:00 am.

If we are brutally honest, the foods we love and crave tend to fall in the unhealthy category. But when you take your first bite of that melt-the-skin-off-the-roof-of-your-mouth hot pizza, you bliss out.

For some, an exceptionally splendid hamburger may also belong on your list of must-have foods. This writer must confess to periodically succumbing to a Jose Burger from a nearby small-town café. Jalapenos take the starring role buried inside a quarter pound of meat.

The Jose Burger is a rare indulgence. It is filling and bloody too much meat for frequent consumption. (Please note: we did not say the meat was bloody. This writer prefers it well-done.) If you enjoy a gorgy (a gorge yourself on too much food orgy), the café includes an indecent pile of French fries or Tater Tots as well.

If your must-have food of choice falls in the dessert and libation category, then you cannot go wrong with a generous glass of wine and chocolate. This lady will never turn down that sinful confection from the gods, be it in a cake, a cookie, or that quintessential yummy found at a local restaurant, Death By Chocolate. That particular dessert is chocolate, plus chocolate, covered in chocolate. Eating it will make you think you had died blissfully, and do not even mind it.


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