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Turtle Weenies

By , Woodland Park, CO
Just like every other family, my family had decided to have a party for my grandma’s birthday. As always, of course, there is a meal prepared for all of us to stuff our faces with, making it impossible to eat a single piece of cake. However, we always seemed to find room. In my family we have those who usually are the ones to cook, and those who aren’t allowed to step in the kitchen. Knowing that my Uncle Bruce was cooking, I was extremely excited for dinner. Being the curious seven year old I was, I wondered into the kitchen to see what exactly was being prepared. “What is Uncle Bruce making?” I asked my grandma. “Turtle Weenies!” she replied.
Knowing my family now, I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear an answer such as this one, but when I was seven I didn’t exactly understand the strangeness of my family just quite yet. As my grandma started bursting out laughing, I’m sure the look on my face was priceless. This was one meal I was no longer looking forward to. As I walked away from my grandma, shocked at what I was supposed to be eating tonight, I began panicking trying to figure out what to do. “I’m not going to eat turtle weenies! How disgusting!” I thought to myself.
As dinner time began, I hesitated to go get food. I saw my mom motioning for me to come get in line with her, but I continued to just shake my head and smile. After my mom had gotten her food she came over to me and asked why I haven’t gotten in line. “I’m just not that hungry,” I explained to her. I suppose this excuse wasn’t the best considering I had complained about being as hungry as a bear all day. After a couple of minutes of my mom nagging me to go eat, and asking questions about why I’m all the sudden no longer hungry, I decided to explain. “I don’t want to eat turtle weenies, mom,” I whispered. “What are you talking about? These aren’t turtle weenies,” she explained. She seemed as confused as I was. As I looked around the room I saw my grandma walk over to us laughing just as she had been when I left her before. As she explained to my mom what she had said to me, my mother began to join in her laughter.
To this day, I can’t make it through dish of tortellini without thinking of my grandma’s birthday party. Even though, I was as innocent as a lamb, my grandma decided it would be fun to mess with my head. She had no idea she would make an imprint on my life forever. When I was just seven years old I believed that the simple Italian dish of tortellini was made up of turtle weenies.
This I once believed.



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