My blog buddy Stephen, who weaves tales at The Chubby Chatterbox, inspired me today with his take on a memorable Mother's Day.
I had not originally planned a Mother's Day post. That's just not Val. No syrupy sweet stories of my momma here. That's not how we relate to each other. But I DO talk to her for fifteen minutes before work every morning, and longer most evenings. Mom is, as Hick would say, set in her ways. Of course, he also says that about me. Which may reveal more about Hick that it does about us.
Mom was born in 1934. She will be seventy-eight years old at the end of this month. As a child of the Great Depression, she is a thrifty old gal. We won't go into her penchant for washing out Ziploc bags (though the generic brand, of course), and foam carryout containers, and saving the plastic wrap and foil to re-cover holiday potluck dishes. But we WILL discuss her habits when dining out.
Mom is known for taking home more than she consumes. If we take her to Ponderosa, she has the chopped steak. Oh, she doesn't eat it there. She puts it on the roll, and wraps it in a napkin, and puts it in her purse. She might have a few fries. A slice of melon off the buffet. But that's it. At a local BBQ restaurant (which has since gone out of business, though I hope through no fault of Mom), she would order the child's plate pulled pork sandwich. Then she pulled the pork off the bun except for a few straggling fibers, asked for a carryout box, and put the majority of the pork in it with a basket of rolls.
At one of her favorite establishments, Captain D's, Mom has the fish and fries. She gives the fries to The Pony, gets him a double order of breadsticks, takes one, and puts her fish on it to take home. At an all-you-can eat catfish house, she does not partake of the family-style platters of catfish, chicken, shrimp, slaw, and baked beans with the rest of us. She orders a child's plate, puts the piece of fish on a roll, and again, tucks it into her purse.
You haven't lived until you've dined with Mom at a Chinese buffet. She orders off the menu. Six crab rangoon and sweet-and-sour sauce. That's it. Never mind that other times, she will eat leftover rice and entrees from our carryout. Every summer, she asks my sister and I to bring our kids to the Pizza Hut lunch buffet, her treat. Food for thee, but not for me, seems to be her motto. While we load up, Mom eats a single slice of cheese pizza.
Always with the rolls...you'd think she was Heidi, hoarding them to take back up the mountain. Stashing food away for later, like Lloyd Henreid in his prison cell waiting for Randall Flagg to show up and save him from eating that rat, or nibbling on Trask's leg. Perhaps she should be banned from watching Survivor each season.
Her actions are the same, no matter whether she is paying, or somebody else is treating her. No matter if it's fast food, a chain, or a nice restaurant. We have, in fact, given up on taking her to nice restaurants. Not that there are many of them here in Backroads, anyway.
Mom's tactics appear to be a personal peccadillo, not financially motivated. Shh...don't let her hear you say peccadillo. She might think it's naughty.
I love ya, Mom! Let's do lunch.