Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Let Out of Their Cages

a mad tea party by Arthur Rackham

I just can't take my family anywhere. Well, yes, I can. What I can't do is take my family anywhere and blend in as a normal family. It's fair to say we are a bit on the strange side.

Yesterday hubby, William and I went out to eat at a local, popular coffee shop. We stopped at the junk/antique shop beforehand and I scored a big stack of language and travel books - most of them French, one Spanish. I also scored a giant paper mache parrot. Because of course everyone NEEDS at least one giant paper mache parrot. But I digress...

We brought the new books in with us to the restaurant. Hubby and son both sat across from me in a booth as I'm somewhat hard of hearing and it's easier for me to have a conversation when I can also see them. We spread the books out on the table, passing them back and forth, reading to each other, and fantasizing about future travel plans. Food came and we ate it.

Lingering over the last of the french fries and parsley garnishes, the conversation still going strong, William, being a teenager, decided it would be fun to crunch ice cubes and spit chips of them at me. He did it once, I told him to stop. He did it twice, I told him to stop. He did it three times and I told him to stop. I was going to follow up by taking his water glass away from him when, suddenly, my husband picked up his coffee cup and flung the almost full contents of coffee across the table at me.

Are you sitting there stunned? Wondering... WTF????? Well, I didn't sit there stunned, let me tell you. I jumped up shaking coffee off me best I could and then realized most of the coffee was sliding quickly towards books and so I started grabbing them and tossing them to the ground in the aisle. Ditto my jacket and purse before they could get soaked. Simultaneously shouting "WHY did you DO THAT!!!!!?????"

Hubby looked as shocked as us as he tried to explain that he didn't know there was any coffee in the cup, that he thought the cup was empty, that the ice chip William spit landed in the cup and he didn't want it in there (although this begs the question, if his cup was empty then what did it matter if a pea-sized chunk of ice landed in it) and he thought he was just shaking out the ice. William thought the whole thing was hysterical. He didn't laugh for long however because seconds later hubby reached for a napkin and instead knocked over William's full glass of water!

William shouted and jumped. Tiny, amber tinted waterfalls tinkled down all three sides of the table, pooling on the seats and floor and hubby. People peered over and around their booths to see what all the excitement was about. William and I are stood in the aisle in a nest of jackets and books. We gathered everything up and departed. Quickly. We left a BIG tip.

Hubby and I went out again today for our weekly date to the local tea room. We arrived to find the gate was closed, the lights were off, and a sign read "Closed Until Further Notice". Since we know the owners well enough to consider them friends, this unexpected and unexplained turn of events startled and saddened me. There had been no talk of them closing for the winter or having financial troubles. My imagination leads me to consider all sorts of unhappy reasons for the sudden closure. Along with my worry for them there's also selfish dissappointment, I love having the tea room in town. Sigh. I hope to find out soon what's up.

So, we went to another restaurant instead and had salad and creme brulee. At least, I had creme brulee. So that helped ease the pain and dissappointment a teensy bit.

It's not all bad news in the food department, however. I was driving up main street a couple of days ago I saw a big sign on a vacant shop window. "COMING SOON - INDIAN RESTAURANT - Applications being accepted" WOW! First a tea room (knock on wood - still a tea room?), then a French Restaurant, more Mexican and Chinese Restaurants than a small town can handle, now Indian Food. We are becoming quite the hidden mecca of global cuisine. I can hardly wait for them to open so we can try it. I just hope my family can manage to keep their food and drink on the table.


Blogger Miss*Laurence said...

Gosh, I'm so sorry but I laughed out loud at your story! I could just see it... I wonder what the people at the next table imagined... think about all those strange inexplicable acts we observe in people we only meet just for a fleeting moment ... Worth remembering that somehow everything has a rational explanation.

Like a tiny piece of ice in a coffee cup...

3:52 PM  
Blogger Connie Carpenter Macko said...

heaven help us if our two families dine simultaneously! i am routinely subjected to blasted straw wrappers, attacked by small sandwich swords, subjected to ketchup attack and more... and that's not even when my son is there! when he's home from school - anything could happen! they have learned however not to 'ruin' food i'm still eating then they suffer the wrath of mom! (truth be told, i have occasionally launched a pre-emptive strike...)

i'm so glad I found your blog!

5:07 PM  

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