On Saturday night, I called up the local fried chicken joint, the famed Hitching Post, and said I’d like to place an order for pickup. The woman on the phone said she didn’t know me, couldn’t trust me and I’d have to come in. And so I did. I walked up to the counter, looked at the menu and decided to order two chicken dinners for my boyfriend and myself. Two waitresses and the owner, the woman from the phone, took my order. Or at least they all stood listening as I explained what I wanted. We managed somehow to get the whole thing totally confused and by the end, giggling and still not clear, the owner’s husband and cook said “I’ll take care of it.” An hour later, after paying about $20 for my order and $10 for a glass of plain old table wine, I walked away with 20 pieces of fried chicken, three ears of corn, a tub of mac and cheese and four slices of squishy brown bread. The waitress shrugged and said “Merry Christmas.” Tonight will be my third night of chicken dinner and I’m not sick of it yet. I feel healthy and strong.

Oh, and the owner asked me my name and said I could order over the phone from now on. I think I’ve arrived.