Grandma used to flirt with the butcher. During WWII, when meat was rationed, she’d sidle up to his counter in her finest frock and chat him up for hours.
“Grandpa really liked pork chops,” she told me, “so I’d say, ‘Gee, I’d really like to have those, but I don’t have enough stamps,’ and he’d tell me, ‘Well, I think we can arrange that.’
“I just made him feel important,” she said. “And you’d do just about anything to get more meat.”
I used to blame the desperate times for Grandma’s indecorous behavior. Having come of age myself at the peak of second-wave feminism, I couldn’t fathom using my femininity as a tool to manipulate a tenderloin vendor. Also, I’m uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of sexual tension and ground chuck.
But I recently found myself at the meat counter of my local market, staring in confusion at the oddly named offerings, when a hunky young aproned man leaned over the counter and offered to help.
And just like that, I was righting my posture, flashing my teeth, and complimenting his dizzying raw-cow know-how. No ration stamps. No wartime. Just a dopey damsel in dinnertime distress going all girly and guileful for a gallant gristle-chiseler.
What the flank?!