That’s Amore

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January 30th, 2011

There are so many important things to argue about in a marriage; the remote control, how large is too large for a flat screen TV, who fed the dogs last and who can outwait the other when it comes to the largest pile of laundry known to the civilized world.

The one thing that should never, ever be disputed is pizza. I think it’s the world’s most perfect food. To horribly mangle a Benjamin Franklin quote, “Pizza is proof that God exists and that he loves us.”

I have one of those proverbial “friends” —  only this one actually exists — who for years has sublimated his own pizza needs for the good of the family. His kids are picky eaters so their topping choices are rigid and his wife only likes one thing so he sucks it up and eats what they want.

Then recently a person in the medical profession — who also shall remain nameless — said her husband likes to debate everything and therefore she just eats whatever he likes on his pies even though, gasp, he likes anchovies.

 It’s not often that I find myself dispensing marital advice, but in this instance my words are important, relevant and should be taken as gospel. Order separate pizzas.

If you’re one of the millions afflicted by pizza compromise, unburden yourself and do exactly that; get two or even three small pizzas as opposed to one large one. For me, there’s nothing worse than biting into a pepperoni. My wife is allergic to mushrooms. My daughter is a vegetarian. If you don’t do something, family chaos is just some tomato sauce and dough away., I don’t work for Hungry Howie’s, Pizza Hut, Little Seizures or Domino’s, (although by linking to them maybe they’ll give me free food). Nor do I have any stake in cool local places like Pizzapapalis, Shield’s or Alibi. But I do have a stake in familial harmony and have even been known to visit two or more pizzerias just to make myself and my family happy.

I haven’t always taken my own advice. One of the worst arguments I’ve been in with my wife was when we were on our honeymoon in Italy. The restaurant outside of Naples was famous for their perfect pizzas, wheeled out on carts to your table on the vine covered veranda. These days we would say they sat us underneath a pergola but that word hadn’t been invented yet, I don’t think. I wanted to order their famous pizza the way large local families ordered it, by the meter squared.

“We’re not ordering a meter of pizza,” Marci said.

“But they say it’s amazing and how many times will we have the opportunity to say we ordered a meter of pizza?” I countered.

“We’re not ordering a meter of pizza,” Marci said.

“Look, we don’t have to eat it all; it’ll be fun,” I pressed.

“We’re camping out; we don’t have a fridge; we’re driving a tiny rental car; we’re not ordering a meter of pizza,” Marci said.

We settled on a quarter meter of pizza after much sulking and angered glances. The next afternoon I threw away the many leftover slices.

You can argue that it costs more money and takes more time to follow my sage wisdom and you’d be right. But we’re talking pizza here, not surf and turf or filet mignon. The price is negligible when measured against the greater evil… pepperoni pathos.

The freedom you’ll experience may astound you. Eating exactly what you want could be the most liberating experience you ever felt, apart from learning in college you never have to take another math class again.

And, of course, more pizza lying around means more leftover slices to microwave into oblivion for the next couple of days. Unless you’re driving a rented Fiat along the scenic Mediterranean coast and your new bride thinks you’re a dope for wanting to order nine feet of pizza.


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