Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Each, in Her Own Way, Receives Her Due on Mother's Day

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.


Sioux said...

I have to admit I do some of the same things. I go to a buffet (like Ponderosa, or an Italian restaurant where the portions are ginormous) and will eat the salad bar stuff (at Ponderosa) or the bread and salad (at the Italian place) and take the entree home for another meal.

I imagine I am NOT old enough to have spawned you, but it sounds like your mother and I are similar in some ways.

Linda O'Connell said...

I hate to admit this, but your mom and I have a lot in common. My grandkids think it's normal to stuff cookies off the buffet in your purse.

Stephen Hayes said...

Gee, maybe we should arrange a play date for your mom and mine. If we arrange it at a restaurant it will be a cheap bill.

Leenie said...

It sounds like she gets her money's worth out of those all-you-can-eat places. I wouldn't mind being trapped in an elevator or a collapsed mine with her. Well, at least until the food ran out. Then she'd probably pull a roll out of hiding and have my carcass for dessert.

Val said...

At least you order the regular meal. Not a child's plate. But do you stuff your contraband carry-out in your purse?

Well, that's just cookies. It's not like you're hauling home a hunk of prime rib.

What a scathingly brilliant idea!

Yeah. You'd be just another sandwich to her. Of course, she'd talk your leg off first. You might live long enough to provide several meals.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Val,
My mom used to do the same thing, but I drew the line at bringing home silverware.

Val said...

That cuts down considerably on those very special spoons that I set aside for myself!

Don't rat her out, but Mom somehow supplied our home with a couple of motel towels as well.