French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 185 (1 January 2011) – Mon Beau Père

I’m kicking off the new year on a high note. You see, Dwight, Melinda’s dad, has lamented that he can’t find his favorite salad dressing, Thousand Island, in France. Now he’s been to France many times so I think there is something to his lament. I mean, I know Dwight well enough to assume he’s looked for it, and I was part of the crew that checked for it in Leclerc, one of the huge grocery stores in France. We have salad with our dinner each night, and Dwight pretty much takes it on the chin each time he wishes he had some Thousand Island for his salad, which is pretty much every night.

On the subject of Dwight taking it on the chin, and to further illustrate the significance Thousand Island dressing plays in the Shaw family, both as a source of semi-embarrassment and humor, I have this story. At Dwight’s & Michele’s 50th anniversary party two years ago, in front of 200+ guests, I was asked to make a little speech. Sitting at the head table, I had just witnessed Dwight lamenting the lack of his favorite salad dressing at such a significant event in his life. Apparently, some thoughtless chef had whipped up a supremely elegant dressing, likely something with virgin oils and vinegars manufactured in remote countries or something, a dressing capable of miracles, no doubt. Michele was thoroughly enjoying it, as were Melinda and Brenda, when Dwight asked for some Thousand Island. So in my speech I made reference to this, that any marriage that can last though 50 years of Thousand Island controversy has to be a good one.

But I digress… I started this off by saying I’m on a high note. And if you haven’t put it all together yet, tonight I made some Thousand Island dressing for Dwight. It was a hit! Even Chloe and Ella liked it, meaning there is undoubtedly years of Shaw embarrassment ahead. Dwight even compared me to Paul Newman (I don’t think it was my blue eyes).

Oh, about the title of this post. In French, father-in-law is “beau père.” Fair enough. But translated, it literally means “beautiful father.” So today’s posting is dedicated to “my beautiful father” for withstanding years of salad dressing abuse.

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January 1, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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