Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Tunafish Bowl

Before I was born my mother used to go to a movie theater in Thomspon Square under the "El". It was the "Thompson Square E.M. Loews" theater, but everyone called it the "Hippy". There were *give aways* & one of the items given away was carnival glass. We had a bowl in our house that was used primarily to make tuna fish. It was from the Hippy and it was a peachy-orange color and iridescent. Tuna was only made in the tuna bowl although sometimes, meatballs were served from the tuna bowl. But the important part was making tuna in the tuna bowl.
Sometimes we would call each other and plan to meet at my mother's house. I would tell Grace to bring chips, I would bring rolls....we would advise my parents we were coming. Sometimes we went just because we wanted to, sometimes because we needed to. But it was always something that connected us. Jen hates mayo, but we include her anyway. Sometimes we would go "whole hog" and get ice cream and make ice cream sodas too.
More than twenty years ago, we went through a morbid little stage of "claiming" things in the house. Death is something freely discussed with us & very irreverently, I might add. There are discussions of inheritences and funeral arrangements, etc. I said that I wanted to inherit the tuna bowl. Grace objected, saying she wanted it. I told her I was oldest & besdies I had called it first. This has gone back and forth over the years. First Jennifer tried to broker some kind of custody arrangement, a year at Grace's, a year with me. No, I want it. Then Jennifer became heartless and bitter (ROFLMAO) because the item she had claimed was destroyed. Jennifer wanted the button box. The button box is another story, suffice to say, it wasn't a box and it had way more than buttons. Anyway, after it was clear Jen would not get what she wanted....... She came up with her own solution for the tuna bowl. The next time we were discussing it with Grace and I going through the usual nonsense of who would get the bowl.........Jen said that the first thing she would do was to race us to the house and smash the bowl. What a brat. We were shocked. LOL We killed ourselves laughing.
So, Christmas Eve we are all at Grace's and she announces that Debbie has made something for me. It was right after I objected to having the stuffed mushrooms so close to me. I assumed it was something to make up for that. So Grace put a bowl of tunafish in front of me.
It was circus glass.
It was a bowl.
It had tuna fish in it.
I loudly objected to the tuna bowl being at Grace's house. At first I assumed that my parents had brought something to Grace's in the bowl or Grace had brought home a leftover from my parent's house in it. That never happens. My parents are very orderly. There is tupperware! Then I realized most of them were watching me with funny smiles. So I looked for the chip. There wasn't any. And I realized that Grace had found another! Finally! Whenever we go poking around the antique places in our travels, that's what we are looking for. I know some people love this kind of treasure hunting but the only time I do it is to find circus glass. Over the years we have found plates and other bowls, but never the exact tuna bowl. Graces's doesn't appear to have been used much. No chip. And the color is richer.
Now the tuna bowl is ALLLLLLL mine! LOL Our search for another hasn't ended because now my mother wants a nicer one. That's fine with me. I want the *real* one.


Suldog said...

I love family stuff like this. What a wonderful story! I'm happy you got the tuna bowl, and that your sister got one, also.

Barb said...

Oh, man - you had me at Wise potato chips! Dang, I miss those.

Kewl tale :-)

BostonMaggie said...

Suldog - Thanks. It is good Grace has one, but the important part is me. Me. Me. *I* have it, lol.

Hey Barb - Next time we meet up, I'll have some in my suitcase, lol.

FbL said...

What a wonderful story, Maggie!

Of course we are very different in our attitudes and outlook, etc., so there isn't much in your life I really envy. But your connectedness to family and traditions is something that always makes me wistful.

Well told, dear. :)

Pia said...

How can anyone not like mayo? It's pure ambrosia!

Barb said...

That's a deal, Maggie ;-) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Maggie, great family story, but you've heard that already. I miss Wise Sour Cram and Onion Ridgies. No chip better - hands down.