Friday, August 31, 2007

Thanks, Mom.

You know, there aren't too many things that I'm snobby about. I mean, I don't mind getting dirty, and playing rough, and I'll cheer for the team as loud as the boys (maybe louder)...but I definitely love good food. I blame my cursed palliate on my mother. She could even tell the difference between the Food Lion brand butter and Land o Lakes. Not margarine, just the store brand butter.

I say cursed, because it's hard for me to enjoy things like store bought cookies, or things that are served with margarine instead of butter. At the wine tasting I like the $20 bottle the best. And of course fillet Mignon is my favorite. There is definitely a difference between good coffee and bad coffee. And I'm especially particular about desserts. When she passed on this palliate, she definitely did not know how little money I would have to live on!

Sometimes, I even let little statements slip out that hint at my disapproval. Or even, yes, politely ask the wait staff if I don't like something because it's not done "the way I like it" may I exchange it for something else. Awful, I know.

Another trait that I was passed on by both mother and father was their blatant friendliness, and almost obnoxiously outgoing personalities. You're shocked, I know. I smile at the children walking by me, and usually wave and say something. I say hello to the people in the elevator and ask how they're doing today. I converse with the cashiers about whatever, and usually know the names of the people behind counters, whether they like it or not.

Today, these two traits were really fun to have as "problems".

I went into Great Harvest Bread Company, and to my surprise, they had their amazing White Chocolate Cherry bread. Now, in the past, this bread has only been sold in February for Valentine's day, but not throughout the remainder of the year. This past Feb. I never got a chance to have this delicious treat, which was so sad. All of that said, I was extremely excited to see that they had it. Usually, I'm not a big cherry or white chocolate fan. If I had to pick, dark chocolate is my favorite, and cherries just aren't usually for me. HOWEVER, this bread is amazing. Have I said that already? So delicious.

I go into the bread store to buy some bread for our trip coming up, and I say hello to Rick (the guy behind the counter, of course) and am deciding what to get, when I see the White Chocolate Cherry up on the board as a bread for the day. So, I start saying how delicious that bread is, and how excited I am to see it, since it's not Feb. But, because it's soooo good, it's also pretty expensive, as far as bread goes. I think it's probably their priciest one (go figure!). So, I'm sitting there kind of thinking and trying to justify why I NEED to get the white chocolate cherry bread, when all of a sudden the lady beside me bursts out in a most southern and boisterous voice,

"Did you not think you had died and gone to heaven the first time you tried it?!!? I mean, it's the most delicious bread, it makes me sooo happy! Let's split it! Wouldn't that just be perfect? You pay for it in here, and get your card stamped, and I'll give you half the money outside. I can't eat a whole loaf, I just want a little bit. Wouldn't that just be wonderful! Honey, I'm not kidding, I mean that bread is Divine! Rick, tell her I wouldn't lie to her!"

"No she wouldn't lie to you," says Rick.

"Here, Rick, you take the loaf cut it in half, and put it in 2 bags, and we'll split it. Do you want to?" this friendly stranger says, while side hugging me, her new best friend.

So, after a few minutes of loud laughter and talking, causing trouble in the bread store, we introduced ourselves, and talked about where we lived, and how it truly was the best bread, and how if we ever met again, we should split another loaf, and how we had found our new best bread friend. It was great.

I love meeting people who live life out loud. Not that that's the best way to live, because even I would go insane if we were all like that. But, sometimes it's just fun to meet people who remind me of me, and remind me of my sweet mama. Who remind me that it's ok to be loud and boisterous, and who smile and laugh a lot. And who remind me that it's good to get excited about the little things in life. Like good bread and new friendly faces.

Thanks, Mom, for showing me how to love the little things in life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Are the pancakes that good?

My sister called me today, and informed me that it was all you can eat pancakes at Tex and Shirley's for only $1.09 today. So, we all decided to go there for dinner. I email Randy because he has my phone, by mistake from earlier on in the day, and tell him the place and time.

I wake up the sleeping baby, who hasn't had a good nap all day. We get in the car, and actually surprise surprise get there on time! At 6:00.

I see a blue Toyota van, and think to myself, "Good, she's already here, so that means we don't have to wait for a table." I drive over and park near the blue van.

I unbuckle both kids from the car seats and walk in carrying the babe on my hip, and the 3 year old holding my hand.

I walk through the crowded restaurant, looking for my sister and the 3 blond boys who would be easy to spot at a table. No sister, no boys. Keep looking, while baby is trying to squirm out of my arms. Go back up front, thinking, "Maybe i just missed them." No sister, no boys.

Go get in line at the "Please wait to be seated" sign. Get up to hostess, and say, "A table for 8 - 5 children, 3 adults, please." She says, "Where's your party?" clearly seeing that it is only 1 adult, and 2 children at the moment. I look up at the clock on the wall, now showing me that it is 6:05, and say, "They'll be walking in any moment." She says, "We need to wait for more of your party to come before we seat you." "OK" I say hesitantly, while everyone around is looking.

Still waiting in the hostess line, because to get out of line, I would have to go all the way to the back of the line, and there are lots of people coming in. People who have "all of their party" with them are being sat, while I'm still waiting.

"Oh, what a pretty girl!" a lady says to my daughter. "Are those brown eyes with blond hair? Wow! And look at those blue eyes!" she says as she looks at my son. I thank her for the compliments and continue looking back and forth from the baby to my little girl to the door to the clock.

More people coming in, now at 6:10 so I give up my post in line, and retire to the lobby with my antsy baby trying desperately to move around, and my daughter getting in the way of all the families coming in and wait staff milling around. Remember, no phone, so I can't call, and say, "Where the heck is everyone?"

I move back into the line, hoping that by the time I get up to front, this time, everyone will be there. No chance. The only thing I get is an elderly lady saying to her husband as she looks at me and my children, "She's so young!" I turn around to see her looking over my outfit, and then giving my hand an obvious glance to see if I have on a wedding band, and YES, lady, I'm married! She then says in an irritated tone, "Are you waiting in line?" I answer with a frank, "Yes, I am." She and her party of 2 get sat.

Hostess sees me, and smiles.

6:15, I finally see the real blue van pull into the parking lot. I readjust my 9 month old for probably the 16th time, as my 3 year old gets scolded for not staying with me.

From the front of the line, I yell to my sister and her boys to come up and join me in line. We get sat.

Turns out, the baby is tired of the applesauce I brought to tie him over until we get pancakes served to us. And he doesn't want to sit in a highchair. He wants to crawl around on the floor, and jump out of my arms, and eat food that he finds off the floor.

My daughter wants to drink the creamers, and blow bubbles in her chocolate milk, and get down and go see her cousins, and read books over on the hearth of the fireplace near our table. My husband gets there at 6:30, as the pancakes are getting to the table. I didn't know that he had to get something from home, so he was going to be late. I tear a pancake into little bites for the baby, and then shovel mine into my mouth, so that I can somehow keep the baby contained while everyone else finishes their food. I remember seeing everyone, and drinking luke warm coffee, but I couldn't tell you what our conversation was about. All I remember thinking was, "Are these pancakes really that good?" As we were walking to the car, my husband said, "Maybe next time we can make pancakes at our house." I give him a smile, and say, "Yeah, that'd be good."