The Boat

My Culinary ADD entry was initiated by a trip to Famous Dave’s BBQ joint last night.

We probably go to restaurants at least twice a week, but I don’t enjoy it very much lately. The food seems to get more expensive as the quality lessens. We’re looking at a bill for $60 and ate chicken strips & french fries for dinner.

This should be the simple definition for “assholes.”

If you’re spending that kind of cash, I feel like you should have a great experience. Consider these factors, however: I spend all day, every day, with my daughter; my husband only speaks about 1,500 words per week, at least half of those at work.

So their expectation is that I entertain them. My expectation is that they entertain me. Sometimes that doesn’t work out so well. If I bring a book or a newspaper to the table they stare at me, waiting with longing looks for a comment or two. It’s too pathetic, so I had to stop.

I initiated last night’s topic of conversation by telling my husband about my friend A.’s adopted Haitian son and the ensuing medical issues. Suffice it to say there are things that have to be taken care of, paperwork and bureaucrazy mostly.

That’s not what my daughter heard. She began to cry, thinking I could possibly “catch” something from the little guy. I don’t think she had time to consider that she’s been with him as much as I have! I may have mentioned that at some point, attempting to increase her hysteria. I can be really stupid, obviously.

She’s got tears streaming down her eyes and I’m pissed that dinner is now ruined. My husband is sighing, since he’s the one who actually pays the bill and has to sit with these two females for nearly ever meal he takes.

He cannot wrap his head around the fact that anyone could burst into tears at Famous Dave’s, the happy BBQ place. He cannot believe his wife’s anger quotient can go from 1 to 10 in a heartbeat, when he’s had to deal with the public for 35 years at work. He could accomplish an arrest, takedown & trip to jail with less angst then I express in a simple mother/daughter conversation.

So I tell my daughter: “You had better be nice to that little boy, because you know what? If we were in a boat, and the boat began to sink, which one of your little friends do you think I would save first? Who do you think is my most favorite?” And she says, “I don’t know.”

And I say, “J.!,” my little Haitian friend. In your head you must try and imagine me practically spitting across the table, I have such a thing for this kid, his lilting French accent & his giggles.

She looks at me with confusion, partly because she never really listens to every word I say. Maybe only ever fifth word. I will admit that I speak too much and so sometimes a filter is necessary.

We leave the restaurant and get into the car. While traveling home, R. says, “What about Daddy? I thought you would save Daddy on the boat.” Her voice is still cracking.

WHAT?

I begin trying to explain that Daddy will never need my saving, that I was only talking about children, not grown-ups. Of course I would save Daddy or her brother if they needed saving.

The fact that I am a mediocre swimmer, a middle-aged woman with no lifesaving certification, never comes up.

She begins to argue that if I didn’t save Daddy then I should save her friend T. instead. “Who would save T.?”

I begin to argue back: “T.’s mom would save her.”

My daughter says, “What about S.?”

Realize that this conversation is all spoken with the utmost seriousness.

We will never, ever be able to take a cruise with these people.

My husband should run for his life. My daughter will become a teenager at about the same time my ticket for the hot flash train arrives in the mail. Our conversations are bound to deteriorate from here.

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