My dad could eat pork steak and fried potatoes for dinner every night. We kept pigs in a barn on our property for my whole childhood. We also had horses and chickens at different times. My dad always wanted to be a farmer, for some reason. I remember, at nine years old, watching one of our pigs give birth to several piglets. We treated them like pets, but each pig made the inevitable trip to the slaughterhouse so we could have pork chops, steak, sausage, bacon, and ham. We ate pork chops or pork steak at least twice a week. I grew so sick of it, I would complain(we're having that again?)and my brothers would eat at their friends' houses. Dad didn't mind pizza sometimes, but he hated fast food. If I suggested something to my mother, and if she said,"Your dad doesn't like that," it was better not to press, because she didn't want to listen to my dad bitch.
I stopped eating dinner at the table by the time I was ten years old. I now had a TV in my room, but eating with my dad was an anxiety-inducing experience. He once poured a glass of milk over my brother's head. We were not allowed to laugh at the table or talk too much. I had to switch seats with Mom because my second brother didn't want me sitting next to him. My third brother, the one who got the milk on his head, had a tendency to pick at his food. One year, I think I was five or six, my dad didn't come home for dinner very often. He was drinking with his friends. When I was four years old, my paternal grandmother died at fifty-two. She was an alcoholic and had taken my dad and his father and siblings on the long, painful ride to her death. Dad felt guilty and sad, so he decided to be a jerk for about a year. He left us for a few weeks, and I can't recall being torn up about it, unlike my two oldest brothers.