And then there’s the time I asked a side dish to marry me

English: cow

Dinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My sainted mother took me to dinner the other night.  I love when Mom comes to town–mostly because she’s awesome and I love her, but also because I get a free steak dinner.  In fact, if I order a steak big enough to provide leftovers, I get two free steak dinners.

This time around, we went to a really fancy steak house that I would never go to on my own unless I knew for a fact that the Mayans were right, the world was about to end, and I would never get the credit card bill.  It was fantastic.  Well, my meal was fantastic.  When my mom wasn’t looking, I proposed marriage to the risotto.  It turned me down, said it was holding out for the Mint Chocolate Napoleon.  I couldn’t blame it.

My sainted mother’s meal, on the other hand, was good right up until she cut into her steak.  Which was, you know, the point of the dinner.  Appetizers are nice, but all foreplay has to end sometime.  She had ordered her steak done medium, and even talked with the waiter about the amount of pink she wanted and would medium be right for that.  She cut into it:  no pink.  Not a wink of pink anywhere.

She very politely mentioned to the waiter that her steak was not, in fact, medium, and he looked at it and agreed.  He took it away and brought her another.  She cut into it to find–wait for it–that it was even drier than the last steak and was, in fact, a different cut than she had originally ordered.  At that point, I was almost done with my steak (rare, if you’re curious.  I like to hear it moo) and my sainted (and now very hungry) mother just gave up and patiently chipped away at the steak in front of her.  The waiter was very apologetic and she got a free dessert out of the deal (see above re:  Mint Napoleon), but still.

I got a peek at the bill and was horrified to see that it came to more than the price of a good hotel room for the night.  Things have changed since I went to prom!  Or maybe my date just took me to a bad restaurant and a nice hotel.  A good daughter would, at this point, be very grateful or perhaps even offer to chip in.

I am not that daughter.

English: This is an image from the classic 191...

English: This is an image from the classic 1918 edition of Gray’s Anatomy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw my sainted mother looking a little queasy, so I told her about how I’d heard a celebrity claim that red meat stays in your colon for years and just keeps decaying and breeding bacteria until it eventually causes whatever ends up killing you (quote from celebrity:  “And that’s a fact!”), but that, despite all of that, I had enjoyed dinner very much and that I hoped she wouldn’t feel too bad when I was in the hospital.  Especially since she’d probably be in there with me.

She laughed and said “Only you would find a way to make me feel bad about taking you out for a steak dinner!”  True.  It takes the skills of a master to pull that off.  But I made her laugh!  I think that’s why she keeps me around.  That, and she follows the blog.  Hi, Mom!  Thanks for the dinner!  It was really good, and I’m 99% sure that celebrity was wrong, anyway.

Bags of boxes and boxes of bags

This is a joke that my mother and I have with each other: Because I can’t drive to the store (no licenses for the legally blind) and I get tired of calling a taxi for every little thing, I order a lot of stuff on the internet.  Delivery has gotten super-fast and you can usually get free shipping if you try.  Even if you can’t, it’s still cheaper to ship than to pay for a taxi.  So the UPS guy knows me really well.  He actually saw me walking home from work one day, turned the truck around, and pulled over to give me a package that had just arrived.  If for some random reason he’s reading this blog, thanks UPS guy!  That was really cool.

Probably the most annoying part of all this, other than endlessly signing those “Please leave at the door” slips, is the number of boxes I end up with.  Our apartment building won’t let us throw boxes down the trash chute and we only have a dumpster outside the building on Monday evenings, and it’s a tiny dumpster.  So I inevitably end up with this big pile of boxes and no way to get rid of them.  Why not cut them up, put them in garbage bags, and put them down the trash chute that way, you ask?  All perfectly legal, all management-sanctioned, all a really bad idea.  I can’t cut up most of the boxes with scissors, so I would have to use a box-cutter, and after the incident where I accidentally stabbed myself in the wrist and had to spend a week explaining to the people I work with that I wasn’t attempting suicide, I decided that was not a viable option.

Hence my joke with my mother.  Every time she visits, I put her to work knocking down the boxes with a box-cutter and putting them in garbage bags so we can put them down the trash chute.  We end up with bags of boxes, and of course we get boxes of bags to put the boxes in, and after a while we started making up a song that goes, “Bags of boxes and boxes of bags.”  That’s it, really, lyrics-wise.  We think it’s hilarious.  We dance around while we sing it.  What brought this to mind was the unfortunate run-in I had with my current pile of boxes this morning.  My mother hasn’t visited in a while and there’s been a bit of a pile-up, so to speak.  I wasn’t paying enough attention to where I was going and knocked into the pile.  The boxes came crashing down around me–I thought I was being attacked at first, they all went for my head–and when they settled, the boxes literally came up almost waist-high.

Mom is coming to visit next weekend.  I think I may have to take her car keys before she sees the pile of boxes waiting to be put into bags.  But if they decide to attack her, at least she’ll have the box-cutter to defend herself with.