much like we only eat KFC at funerals, my family only ate chinese when it rained or when someone was ill.
the lone instance in which this was not the case happened to also be the infamous one time my grandmother stuck her pinkie in the hot mustard and tried it "just to see." an uncharacteristically bold move that left her coughing for days.
this resulted in a family-wide embargo on all asian mustards that, even now, i enforce by instantly throwing away the million packets that inevitably come with take-away lest they burn the esophageal tubes of someone i love.
it's probably not surprising that, based on this complex belief system regarding the function of chinese food in american weather patterns and public health, well into my teens i thought there was an intimate connection between egg drop soup, precipitation and puking. it wasn't until i got to college, where people ate chinese food simply because they wanted to eat chinese food, that i realized lemon chicken could function beyond the medicinal and that egg rolls did not have to be eaten on cloudy days.
i know this now, but still there is this impulse, even when k.clen and i've feasted on fried rice and sour soup on the sunny day just before. when the rain comes, nothing will do but chinese, because on drizzly gray days nothing tastes more like home. which makes absolutely no sense. and yet, kind of almost does.