The first time my son, Clyde, saw a “personal pan pizza,” he was confused. It wasn’t that he didn’t understand the concept of getting a pizza and not sharing it—it was that he didn’t understand that some people ever did anything else. To him, the whole thing was somewhat redundant, because, weren’t all pizzas personal pizzas? One pizza equals one serving, right? Except of course when it’s more than just a snack, and then one pizza equals one half of a serving. Or, after a particularly hard day, maybe even one third of a serving.
I’d like to think that this is just another effect of Clyde’s entry into the teenage years, but the truth is that he has been like this his whole life. This is, after all, the boy who reluctantly gave up breastfeeding only because it was too hard to do that and eat a pork chop at the same time. (Not that he didn’t try.) If you don’t believe me then just ask some of the local restaurants in town—the ones we go to the most often don’t even bat an eye at Clyde’s orders: four sides of tortillas at Martanne’s and double orders of double burgers at Mama Burger don’t even faze them anymore. In fact, my family has been taking Clyde to Fratellis downtown for so many years that they have learned the difference between me taking a breath between pizza orders and me actually finishing.
I suppose it’s just lucky for my wallet that his sister is the complete opposite: while Clyde can hoover through an entire family sized lasagna on his own for an after school snack, she is content with half an orange every other day or so. The only way for me to break even at buffets is to bring them both.
Of course, bringing just Clyde means that I more than break even: it means that I win. Which is one of the reasons I am so very much looking forward to taking Clyde on a cruise next month for spring break. Sure it costs about three times as much as our normal spring break vacation. Sure it’s slightly cheesy (despite the fact that it’s a music cruise headlining Flogging Molly, and that there will probably be as many Doc Martens on board as bathing suits, still, a cruise is a cruise). All this pales, however, next to the thought of being relieved of the responsibility of procuring enough food for Clyde for three whole days.
Of course, I am a little bit worried about what might happen if they run out of food—I dread the thought of being trapped anywhere with Clyde when he is not able to feed. I’m sure the preponderance of zombie stories around the world arose out of situations involving teenage boys and food shortages (keeping in mind that “shortage” is a relative term—in Clyde’s case it means anything less than five pizzas). Still, the boat will be stopping at at least one island—worse case scenario is that we just have to fill up again in port.
I’ll admit that I’m also worried about being trapped in a tiny cabin with someone who cleans out the seafood buffet on the reg—although clearly not as worried as Clementine, who took one look at our stateroom specs and just said “no.” (Finding the cheapest cabin possible meant giving up certain luxuries, like windows. Or portholes. Or whatever they’re called. Anyway, it meant giving up fresh air. For Clementine, who regularly shares a bathroom with Clyde when there is both a window and no access to 24 hour a day “all you can eat” oysters, that was the final straw. She’ll be meeting us back in Miami when the cruise is through.)
I should probably tell her to be waiting with a pizza. Just in case.