For lunch I had the tawook platter from my favorite Lebanese deli, followed by heavenly, heavenly baklava. O sweet baklava, why did it take me twenty years on this planet to cultivate my love for you? When I was little, my Greek stepgrandmother would come for a visit and say in what I’m sure she thought was a tantalizing voice, “Saaaarah, I brought bak-la-va!”, and I could never figure out why in the world she thought I gave a shit. When you’re five, it’s not dessert unless it’s chocolate or filled with cream, and seeing as how the only other things she ever brought me were those tins of god-awful dry butter cookies and a 14k gold fake fingernail for my sixth birthday, I was not interested in sampling any more of her wares. Plus, she wore scary Liz-Taylor-as-Cleopatra wigs and smelled like gin.
Foolish, foolish youth. Now I regret all those years I missed out on baklava. I do still have the gold fingernail, though. Maybe someday I’ll get drunk and give it to a frightened little stepgranddaughter of my own.