Divided Loyalties

East Coast. West Coast. Where Do I Belong?

Divided Loyalties

I’m suffering a bad case of divided loyalties. Tony Bennett sang of leaving his heart in San Francisco, but me? My heart is divided. Half is in the SF Bay; the other half is in NYC. It’s complicated and it’s confusing.

Just the other week, I spent a few days visiting my niece in NYC. I went to museums, saw Broadway shows till my eyes bugged out, and feasted on red meat till my belly bulged. In other words, I’ve lived the life I’m meant to be living in the city I’m meant to living in. All that was missing? Handsome Hubby, who was hard at work in Berkeley, funding my fun.

Divided Loyalties. Locational and Culinary Too

I’d taken a little R&R in the city of my birth, visiting with my niece Leesa, her spouse, and son — a civilized lot of serious carnivores. Usually, my visits to NYC are about the mix of family, friends, and culture, but this visit I admit I was mostly fixated on the food. More particularly I was fixated on the meat.

As you may recall from prior laments, HH has adopted a plant-based diet regime, which for red-meat-eating-me is a crisis. These days I feel like I’m a Tyrannosaurus Rex being forced to play nice in a leafy green playground filled with happy herbivore dinosaurs when all I want to do is snap their heads off for lunch!

Day 1: Arrival in the Big Apple

We chowed down on ordered-in Chinese food. Nary a vegetable dish to be found. Sure, we had some broccoli, but it was surrounded — no, smothered — in chicken. And the beef? Smothered in garlic. Sure there was the obligatory broccoli, but that was just for show.

Day 2: Jewish Penicillin Saves the Day!

My second day in the Big Apple turned chilly and we all were sniffly. We were in need of a dose of a little Jewish penicillin — STAT — to ward off colds. So, after a trip to the Metropolitan Art Museum, I stopped at the market and got the “goods” to make good-old chicken noodle matzo ball soup.

Back at home in Berkeley, when my vegan man gets the sniffles, all I can offer is chamomile tea —without honey! So, it did my aching Jewish mama heart good to serve up chicken noodle matzo ball soup to counter the NYC carnivore chills and sniffles!

Day 3: Yea Ha!

Pre-theater, we dined on beef stew. Hearty, beefy stew. Man, could life get any better?

Now, admittedly I’m a chocolate dessert-a-holic, but seven days of meat PLUS museums, theater, and daily walks along Fifth and Madison avenues and I was in Hog Heaven. (OK, another meat image. What can I say? I’m obsessed!)

Going to the Dogs

And bizarrely, my divided loyalties problem was just coastal, cultural or dietary. Doggone it. My divided heart had even gone to the dogs!

Don’t get me wrong, I love our pet pooch, Olga. I’ve written about her on a number of occasions.  She’s pretty funny, but she’s also a handful. She barks a lot and jumps at our fancy front door, scratching the wood, when the mailman comes.

My niece’s dog in comparison is a peaceful pup. He sleeps a lot. NEVER barks and is cuddly. Olga could learn a few things about manners from Leesa’s Sake.

Divided Loyalties. Looking Westward

Of course, after a few days back East, the glow of Manhattan began to fade. I had caught up on the latest Broadway shows. The weather had turned from chilly to cold, and I started to get a strange itch to go home. I missed HH beyond words. I missed my own bed. My household routines. I even started to have a yen for a vegetable-laden repast! (Sshh … don’t tell HH.)

And that strange itch? Well, keep this one from Olga, but it turns out I’m allergic to Leesa’s cute pooch!

Well, of course, a little pet dander won’t keep me from visiting my sweet niece and her family and my favorite city on the planet, but still, there’s no place like home … and home is where the heart is … and my heart belongs to my plant-eating Handsome Hubby!

There’s No Place without HH

But, thankfully, since I’m a clever woman, I’ve realized there is a simple solution to my problem of divided loyalties. I can actually love both the East and West coasts. And, alas, while, living in NYC isn’t in the cards, I can at least visit there as often as time (and my budget) allow. It may also take a little anti-histamine to counter pet dander, but doggone it, no dog or distance will keep this woman from Manhattan, museums, her meat-eating relatives or a new season of shows on Broadway!

See! With age comes wisdom. I’ve solved my problem with a few plane tickets and some over-the-counter medication! Life is good again. Sing on, Tony Bennett. Sing on!

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