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Am I right in thinking that you catered your own wedding?
M: Well, we lived together for two years before I bludgeoned Dad into submission and convinced him to marry me. We decided to get married in our backyard in Hartford. We got people to serve the food, but we cooked the food ourselves.
D: We made fillet of beef with red-wine mayonnaise, lobster salad, and chocolate truffle cake, which we decorated with flowers we had picked. It was beautiful.
Mom, let's talk about the phrase "bludgeoned Dad into submission."
M: Dad and I had a slight disagreement over the fact that living together is not the same as being married.
D: Sure it is!
M: But it's not. Every woman knows that to be true, no matter what a man says. Living together is not the same as being married. So I was just relentless. You know how I am now? I was triply so back then.
Is there anybody out there who loves food more than you two?
M: Dad is psychotic about food. When we leave the factory, we have to stop at three different places on the way home. There's no such thing as going from point A to point B to get home — we have to go to the fruit stand, then the Indian restaurant, then the grocery store. And all I'll want is to go home and sit in the air conditioning and take a hot bath.
D: I'm absolutely crazy about food. I think about it all the time. If I had my choice, I'd be eating all the time.
M: I'll be drinking a cup of coffee, just relaxing in the morning, and Dad will say, "So what are we having for dinner?" I haven't even finished my first cup of coffee yet! Why would I even remotely be thinking about dinner at that hour in the morning?
The company went bankrupt in 2009. Tell me about that.
D: August 14, 2009! My birthday. There was a front-page article in the Hartford Courant. This must have been the century of slow news or something.
M: I went back to school to become a medical assistant.
D: I was studying too. I took a course in cranialsacral therapy... but that was only four days. [laughs] But I was also doing some writing, and generally fucking around.
M: Actually, Dad was doing a lot of heavy brooding at the time. Heavy, heavy brooding.
D: But I was also looking for a new place for us to set up a new business. I was just chasing leads and hoping something would come along.
And you guys eventually did re-open!
D: That, we did!
M: It's the one thing we're really good at.
D: Mom's good at.
M: People really love our cakes.
D: Mom's cakes.
M: It's really an honest way to earn a living, because we're giving people genuine pleasure. How many people can really say that? I make something. Although it's very physically tiring at the age of fifty-three, I honestly couldn't think of anything else I'd want to do.
Why do you guys get along so well?
D: Because we leave each other alone, for the most part. I don't insist Mom goes somewhere she doesn't want to go, she doesn't insist I go somewhere I don't want to go. And she's so cute. And there are some other things I can't mention.
Good. Please don't.
M: Dad is just the only person I know who can sit quietly next to me and read. It's nice just to drink tea and read and lie in bed together and not talk all the time. But we also have some really interesting conversations in the morning. And we have three children and a granddaughter we adore, and you're all interesting and different and quirky and... strange. I think some people, when they get married and have children, it drives them apart. Other people, it bonds them even closer together. You don't know this, because you're not married...
D: But he has a motherfucker of a hickey!
M: When you're with someone for a long time, you're not the same person throughout the entire time. So if you're lucky, you change along with someone.