It had to happen eventually and like her mother before her, she resisted. But finally, Alison has fallen hard.
She'd been curious about it for a while, but I'd been hoping to put it off. She's nearly 15. Such a dangerous age. She's so freaking cute and tiny that I'm almost afraid to send her outside the house.
But last week, she fell off the ledge.
Let me set the stage for you. We were on our way home from school/work. She'd been spending a lot of time "studying" lately. Between her bedroom and her bath, she's been popping up as infrequently as prairie dogs in a drought. But I was trying to get her to come clean.
We were talking about dinner. We were going to be on our own, so we could do anything from eat cereal in from of the TV to going out. We've been driving by a Little Ceasar's Pizza shop for the past couple of years since it moved into a closed storefront on College.
She'd seen the commercials. I panned the place, saying we were Papa John's people and she wouldn't like it. But she'd had a hankering. I thought I'd probably have salad and she could have a small, terrible pizza on her own.
We pulled in. "I have a deep dish pepperoni ready to go," said the young man at the counter. We shrugged, picked it up and went back to the car.
She pulled open the box to view the new treat. It was like angels sang. Fat, red-sauced smeared angels. The cheesy goodness was thicker than some lasagnas I've had. And the smell. Oh, the smell.
We were two minutes from home.
"We could try one," she suggested, tugging off a pepperoni, stringing three feet of cheese.
"I could have a bite," I said.
And right there on 49th Street turning onto Guilford, she fell in love.
Am I sad that she fell in love with deep-dish pizza? Not one bit. Well maybe a little. Because I can't resist it, either, and while her metabolism is akin to that of a hummingbird and mine is more sloth-like, it's a delight I've forgone too long.
How did we go this long before she experienced deep-dish pizza? Because I've been on a freaking diet since she was born, that's why. And yes, I did advise her that there were something like 58 trillion calories inside that wonderfully greasy cardboard box.
"We can only have this once a month," she said, through a mouthful of pizza. "I'll go jogging later."
I took my piece on a walk around the neighborhood so I could reach my step goal. It was a six-piece box. She finished it for breakfast.