This is perhaps one of the stranger things I've revealed on the blog, but I am really into betting. Not in a dangerous way - don't worry, you won't find me sneaking off to Mohegan Sun at 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday to spend away our mortgage payment. But I love little, frequent bets - who can guess what time we'll arrive, or who will show up last at the party. These almost never involve actual dollars changing hands; that would stress me out. The prizes are more like, I'll make you a fun dinner if you're right!
Last fall, I was in Connecticut visiting my family, and a frequently repeated conversation came up again. This is going to sound mean, but we regularly made fun of my dad for not being much of a reader. He reads newspapers - I think at one point, there were three delivered to their house. But books - not so much. He'd do maybe one a year, and he'd read it over the course of the entire year, but just on vacations. We'd jokingly refer to his "book of 2011" or "the San Diego-Italy" book.
Somehow, on this particular day, the conversation morphed into betting territory. An official, signed agreement was drawn up betting that he couldn't read ten new books in the next year. If he won, I'd have to cook him a five-course dinner (and - I'm about to reveal something else weird about myself - I would have to switch my toilet paper from over to under for an entire year. I am PASSIONATE about toilet paper that comes down over the roll, and he is equally passionate that it should be under. If he had lost, he would have had to do it
Well, guys, he blew the bet out of the water. I think he finished his tenth book sometime over the summer, and he has truly, officially, become a person who loves to read books! I sent him a few options for his five-course feast, and we held it at my parents house a few weeks ago. The dinner was an absolutely joy to make, and it was wonderful to celebrate his new-found love of books. The toilet paper, on the other hand, will continue to plague me for many months...
Feast for a Reader Menu
1st course: Figs on Parmesan Toasts
2nd course: Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts
3rd course: Roasted Fennel and White Beans
4th course: Chard and Mushroom Stuffed Breast of Veal
5th course: Crack Pie
If you're curious about his book selections, they were a very eclectic mix! He read the Hunger Games series (loved), a Harlin Coben novel or two (loved), The Paris Wife (we told him he wouldn't like, and he didn't!), Outcasts United (loved), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (loved), and a handful of others. And now - post bet - he's reading a WWII book about fighter pilots.