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.

A most alarming tale

Mid-City New Orleans: Middle-Eastern restauran...

Image via Wikipedia

Back when it was warmer, some friends and I were sitting in the outdoor seating area at a restaurant.  It was a pleasant evening, the wine and the conversation both flowed smoothly, and I was beginning to relax.  A full work day in four inch heels is no joke, and it takes a while to (sorry about the pun) come down from it (sorry again).

Through the calm, warm air cut the screech screech screech of a car alarm.  My friends and I looked over at the parking lot beside the restaurant and saw a very harassed set of parents, the mother trying to shepherd their kids into a minivan while the father pointed his keys at the van and pressed a button over and over, to no avail.  The alarm just kept on going.   Conversation became nearly impossible, so the entire outdoor seating area watched the increasingly frantic attempts by the father to get the car alarm to shut off while the mother tried to keep the kids from running off despite the ear-splitting racket.  We were all rooting for the kids.

Do Somethin'

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Finally, the father got the car alarm turned off.  We all sighed with relief and returned to our conversations.  I’m sure we were having discussions of great weight and moment about world peace and the crisis in the Middle East, but alas, they had been irremediably disrupted.  So we fell back on discussions of Britney Spears and the crisis in Los Angeles, which to be honest is probably what we had been talking about in the first place.

Just when we were getting to the heart of the problem, that same car alarm started up again.  Apparantly, one of the children had tried to make a break for it and, after the parents had finally gotten the child back in the car, they set off the car alarm again when the parents tried to get in.  Another ten minutes of incessant clamor, another set of Mom’s daily exercises of chasing the kids and trying to get them to sit still.  Eventually, blessedly, at last, Dad managed to turn off the car alarm for his own vehicle and everyone got in to drive away–but not before the entire audience in outdoor seating broke into applause, led by the table at which sat yours truly, proposing a toast.  I love dinner theater.

It wasn’t until some fifteen minutes later that it occurred to us that they might have been breaking into someone else’s car and that that’s why they had so much trouble disabling the alarm.  You don’t think, do you?  It was awfully dark, and it really did take a surprisingly long time.  Imagine if they were a family of criminals, albeit fairly inept criminals, and we just gave them a rousing cheer when they finally finished committing their crime!  Oh, well, I suppose we all need a pat on the back sometime.