I bought four scallops at Sprouts.
The remarkable part about this, if something uneventful could even be considered remarkable, is not that I bought scallops (love them) or went to Sprouts (I’m there every week), but that I ended up with four.
At the counter, I asked for “a few” scallops, the unfamiliar request sounding strange as soon as I said it. Some things we only purchase by weight and never by count, even if we have an idea of how many individual pieces we will end up with.
Scallops fall into this category.
These were wild caught, and fresh. All of these things made them much more appealing than that lonely looking chicken breast the next case over. Still expensive on sale, I rationalized that just a few is all I needed.
I cooked them tonight. I read a refresher on a brown butter sauce, made sure my pine nuts were unspoiled, clipped some sage from the yard. When it was time to reap what I sowed, I had sudden thoughts about that two pair, arranged in symmetry on my plate.
For a while I struggled with how many people there are in my family. Is Hank included or not? Are there four of us Mathays, or five? Years ago I made peace on how to answer this, and the answer is….whatever feels right at the moment.
As I unwravel my marriage, what is my number now?
The theme that we will stick to in the coming weeks when we tell the kids about us divorcing is that we will still be a family but we will live in separate houses, and not be married. A pair will split, but there still will be four. Or five. I’ve thrown a new number into the mix.
A) “Hi! I’m a single mom with two kids.”
B) “Hi! I’m a single mom with three kids, and one of them was stillborn.”
C) “Hi! I’m a single mom who has a good co-parenting relationship with my ex and we are all hunky-dory and we have three kids but one passed away so we have two that run around.”
Ummm….D? All of the above?
Family will always be fluid, which I heartbreakingly learned on October 16, 2012. All family units are the Lokis to the world, always shapeshifting, sometimes in a tricky way that can’t ever be fully explained, but only felt.
I may get more scallops tomorrow. My mom will be here, and they are her favorite. Plus, I have a lot of sage to use up and who likes turkey in July?
I’ll ask for a pound (like a normal person would). When I get home and carefully peel back the brown paper, I’ll count them.
A true count of scallops in a pound could be different each time, depending on size and density. However many I get tomorrow (and however I answer the family question) will be the right answer for that moment in time. And, that’s really all that counts.