A Wolf at the Table

I just finished Augusten Burroughs”s book ” A Wolf at the Table.” I was annoyed immediately simply because I thought, “Darn, that could have been the name of my book.” (Whenever that gets done). This book is a memoir of his father. I wondered if he shared my father? Did my father have a separate family somewhere else?

I love the visual of a wolf that table simply because often that was what our dinner time was like. Looking back, my father was probably OCD or maybe just plain crazy. He was a control freak. He would say something and then act like the real world lived by this too. He had odd habits that he would force upon us.

Example… alfalfa sprouts… he would tell us to all eat a handful at dinner time. I simply would put the whole lot in my mouth and wash it down with a big glass of water. WOW… did you know that was the WRONG way to eat sprouts? He would LOSE it. With a voice that shook with anger , just about to reach the exposive point, he would tell me I need to take a bit with each bite and dump a huge portion more on my plate. To this day I do not eat sprouts, perhaps just to defy him even now.

Other things like the temperature the food should be when served… or if he was not served his “special spoon” (a spoon that was a cross between a teaspoon and a tablespoon) he would lose it. He had a stainless steel plate that he eat out of … just weird things that one would not take into account when having dinner.

When he did not get his way, he would BELLOW and his whole body SHAKE and take his hand and swipe all the food that my mom had just cooked onto the floor. This included the plates and glasses, so the floor was covered with our dinner and broken glass. We were starving but fear can replace the growling quickly.

We lived with the wolf at our table. Except he sat in every chair… they were too big or they were too small. He would eat out of all the porriage bowls and find them all too hot or cold. He made our dinner time a nightmare. Family dinners were not a pleasant time but rather a time to simply survive and not let the wolf get you.

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