Today, my mom convinced me (as she does most weeks) to come down to the bar/restaurant she frequents and have lunch with her.
I’ve been home sick for an extraordinarily long period of time, but Mondays have been my normal day off for awhile. I needed to go run some errands, however, my mom is hard to say no to mainly because she gets kind of snappy when you tell her no. The restaurant also has soup, and she hadn’t seen me for my birthday yet (because I’ve been sick), so I agreed to meet her.
Normally, I have a whole bowl of soup, but I didn’t want to take advantage of my mother’s kindness. The cup was smaller than I remembered, so I decided to supplement it with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Approximately ten minutes passed. Usually whatever I order is out by that time, so I found it a little odd. I was trying to be patient, so I decided I would wait a little longer before I inquired about the food. In the meantime, I was re-introduced to my mom’s friend who recently been dumped by her boyfriend. She was pretty sad and more than a little tipsy. She kept asking me when my husband and I were going to have kids, and if we were going to have kids, and whether we had talked about it. Nope, on a whim we decided to get married in Vegas after being introduced that day. NO TIME FOR CONVERSATION! Before I started to foam at the mouth between the crossed emotions of fear and annoyance, my mom leaned over and said, “Okay, GIVE IT A REST. I have a grand dog, THAT’S ENOUGH. Now where are the pictures of her?”
Five minutes passed, and the bartender informed me that they hadn’t made the grilled cheese sandwich yet, because they had run out of cheese. So the chef or one of the owners ran to the store.
“I would’ve ordered something else if I knew they didn’t have any,” I told the bartender. This is true, I would’ve. Normally, she’d offer me something else, but she was already on the other side of the bar, because they were pretty busy. I couldn’t even ask for something else, because I was so confused about the fact that they just left without mentioning they were out of cheese.
“Ugh, this is so typical. This kind of thing happens all the time,” my mom complained to me in a whisper. “Stupid management. What are they doing?”
I whispered back to her, “It’s not even real cheese. They use Kraft. It’s not like it goes bad.”
Ten more minutes went by, and they still weren’t back from the store. I don’t know what happens to you when you’re hungry, but I go from feeling peckish to completely unhinged in a short unraveling of time. I was already on edge from being asked all the children questions, so I knew that I had to get out of there.
“Ma, I really need to go to the library. Otherwise, I will have to be put in the queue and wait behind lots of other people to print off the materials I need.”
My mom scoffed, “I know, what are they doing? What else did they need to get while they were there? I have things to do today too. I need to go home and putz in my yard.”
When my mom says this, she means she wants to stand outside and admire how she can’t see her neighbors despite being able to hear their hillbilly sounds. While she does this, her German Shepherd mix runs the enclosed area with his megaphone bark which lasts approximately 3/4 as long as the “The Song That Never Ends.” You know in Jumanji how Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, and the kids end up heading away from the house, because that pelican runs off with the game? They return several hours later, and the house has become completely eclipsed by the overgrown plant life that has submerged the house to an almost indistinguishable nature? That’s what my mom’s yard looks like, and come to think of it, that’s kind of why she leaves the house from time to time.
The bartender said, “If you want, they can hold off until you come back.”
No, this is NOT what I wanted. I wanted melted cheese in my mouth now.
My mom added, “Yeah, you should go to the library, and they can just make it for you when you come back.”
This was not these people’s faults. They were just trying to help the hangry, so when I spoke, I did so slowly as if I was considering doing this. Was I considering doing this? I did really want to eat any other kind of food, but I didn’t want to wait or come back either. “Well, I didn’t want to make two trips. I wanted to go home after.”
“Yeah, of course,” she said, but my mom’s wheels were turning. “What if you go to the library, and I just bring the sandwich over after they’re done?”
My mom is less patient than me, so I’m picturing her calling me up at the library and saying, “What is taking so long? I am outside your place with your sandwich,” and then leaving when I don’t show up immediately. Or worse, showing up at the library with a sandwich. This idea doesn’t sound so bad, but she spends a lot of time with her friends, so by the time I wanted the sandwich, it would probably be several hours later and cold.
“Now you’re the one making an extra trip. I don’t want you to have to do that.”
“I can just take the sandwich home, and you can get it tomorrow.”
I couldn’t tell if this was my least favorite idea, or if the ideas were just getting more out of hand by the moment.
“No. I can’t even go home and have any, because we don’t even have any cheese.”
My mom’s tipsy friend at the end of the bar added, “I have to go to the store anyway. I can pick up some cheese for you.” She had just shared her list with me and had giggled after saying kitty litter adding, “This is such a silly list.”
Nope, that was my least favorite idea. The only idea I liked less than the ones mentioned are the one where I’m semi-responsible for a drunk lady getting ticketed, because her friend’s daughter had a hankering for some cheese.
“You are sweet, but you don’t have to do that. I appreciate it.” I turned to my mom. “Okay, I’m leaving.”
I’m still craving some grilled cheese, but I’m still pretty glad I didn’t go with any of those options. Especially, the last option.