Hide and Seek

When my 88 year old grandfather took ill, my parents flew back to Wisconsin to help him sell his things and bring him out to Washington to live with us. They had originally thought of driving back in his car, but when they arrived they found him in much more serious condition than they had thought. They sold the car and decided to fly back.

“I have a couple thousand dollars in a few boxes in the closet that we can buy the tickets with,” he told them, “You know, I keep it there in case of emergency.”

He had $40,000 in his closet. He was a child of the Depression, a man of WWII; he was truly afraid of an emergency.


My friend asked me once why I wasn’t friends with JJ on Facebook. We were, after all, obviously dating, she said. I told her that I didn’t really care. I didn’t use it much and I trusted that JJ had nothing to hide. I felt like he had a right to have his own, personal places and I didn’t need to be a part of every bit of his life.

He never quite knew how to tell his friends how we met. I guess it was embarrassing for him. When we broke things off, it was, by his reasoning, because he couldn’t bring himself to tell his parents about me. Apparently, I was wrong about the whole face book thing. He did have something to hide – me. I came across his profile on a dating site not too long after we broke things off and I found his answer to this question: “If people went through your things after you died they would, a) not be surprised, b) be slightly surprised or c) be shock. His answer was C. I was not surprised.


My tenant recently gave me an article to read about the DSM-V. It discussed one man’s questioning of the book as a literarily critic. He wondered why the number of mental illnesses identified in the book as pathological had more than doubled since 1968. Was this due to advances in science? Was our society really more sick? What did he find? He found that the rise in mental illness identification exactly paralleled the rise in psychiatric prescription medications available, with a sharp rise in both the 1980’s when drug companies were allowed to market directly to the consumer. He also found that the vast majority of the research published on the symptoms of mental illness, which influenced the identification and inclusion of mental illness, was done by researchers for drug companies. Something they apparently wanted to keep hidden, as the names of the researchers were difficult to trace.


We hide things for all sorts of reasons: because we are afraid; because we are embarrassed; or because we know we are doing something wrong. How many times have you hear about someone who died and what people find is that they were child molesters, criminals, adulters, liars, cheats? How many times have you hear about someone dying and what people find is that they were closet philanthropists, do-gooders, or had secretly sent money to charity organizations?

It seems like an obvious statement, doesn’t it? Why would you want people to know about your bad qualities? Why would you want to hid your good ones? Ask yourself, what is the common denominator between the three stories above? Privacy? Shyness? Some high moral stance to protect others? Compassion? Fear?

Let’s face it, superhero’s and good guys only hide their true identity in the movies.


So, the next time you hear about some food company fighting against labeling, ask yourself, if their product is so great, what could they possibly have to hide?

Zucchini with Peppermint (Curcurica kin Menta)


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil $
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion tops
  • 5 cups cubed zucchini (about 2 pounds) $
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
  • 6 tablespoons freshly crumbled ricotta salata cheese
  • 2 sheets pane carasau (Sardinian music bread), each broken into 3 pieces
  • Mint sprigs (optional)


  1. 1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add zucchini, parsley, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes or until zucchini is tender, stirring frequently. Add torn mint; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with cheese; serve over pane carasau. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

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