Delora is deciding whether to use the best Spanish surgeon or the best English-speaking Spanish surgeon for her abdominal hernia. She looks in the mirror one more time to confirm her diagnosis and, as she runs her finger over the pink bump, she wonders what in the world she's been lifting to cause such muscle strain. She carries a 14 pound dog up the stairs when she refuses to walk, but that shouldn't bust a gut.
Delora decides to show the hernia to her daughter, who had one repaired when she was 6 months old. She says look, this is what a hernia feels like! This is what you had fixed when you were a baby! Delora's spawn wipes a finger over the lump and offers a different opinion: what you have, she says with a smirk, is a blister from the button on your jeans. Then, like Matlock, she re-zips her mother's partially unzipped jeans and shows how the button matches where the hernia is located. While Delora is relieved at not having to speak to a surgeon in Spanish while undergoing anesthesia, she is a bit chagrined. It's true, Delora's skinny jeans have been tight lately, but Delora believes that jeans fit best after a second wearing when the shrinking effects of the dryer have been reversed. Then Delora detects a bit of faulty logic: Delora doesn't even own a dryer in Spain.
When Delora takes a mental inventory of her last few weeks, she can point to several culprits for the hernia weight gain. Delora has always been a card carrying believer in the old adage, When in Rome, do as the Romans. Adapting this personal motto to her time in Spain has meant that Delora has emulated the Spanish and allowed herself to eat several more meals per day than she does in the United States! Here's a typical day: For breakfast, pastry and coffee (or -- for Spaniards only -- chocolate and churros, before going to sleep -- at 6 AM.) The next meal is served at around 11:30 AM when the Spanish enjoy a light sandwich or tortilla. Lunch is from 2 PM until 4 PM where there is bread (no butter), a first course, and a second course, followed by dessert. At 7 or 8 in the evening one enjoys a merienda, a mini meal, before heading out for a late night dinner at 10 PM. Delora has noticed that the Spanish love potato chips, and while she has denied herself this pleasure for years, she now feels that eating chips is a cultural experience and must be indulged. As Delora's friend, Taylor, will tell you, Delora is now often heard furtively piling sour cream and onion chips into her mouth while speaking on her Vonage phone.
Part of Delora's recuperation from her non-operation involves an adjustment in wardrobe to looser clothing to avoid irritating the stitches from the hernia non-operation blister. Another part of the healing involves figuring out which diet strategy can work with the heavy-on-the-jamon-and-chips, five-meal-per-day plan.