Every time we venture out to render any of our local eateries functionally useless and terrified in our wake, I think, “That was so nice. Let’s never do that again.”
Yet, a month or two later, like a bad dream you can’t quite recall, we try again and then, I remember so very clearly the horror. Oh right, in that last dream, no one made it out of the cruise ship alive.
No one makes it out of the cruise ship alive. Ever.
Why yes, I’d love a refill of Diet Coke. I’ll just toss the empty cup to you over the throngs of children wearing macaroni tribal face art and eating straw wrappers. Yes, you can also bring the check. Yes, please add the customary 40% for not calling the authorities to have us physically removed. Yes, I would like the molten lava cake to go. I would also like to bring your bartender home for a few hours. I can’t quite get the Dark and Stormy right.
Under the table it looks like a fight that no one won.
My face looks like a fight lost due to seven years of mothering Vikings.
My husband looks for the closest emergency exit.
Things are shouted. Terrible things. Things that have waitstaff playing a to-the-death game of rock, paper, scissors in the kitchen in an effort to avoid our table. Things like, “MOMMY, THIS IS SO FUNNY. I SAID COCKPORN INSTEAD OF POPCORN. COCKPORN! IS COCKPORN A WORD?”
Step right up and get your hot buttered cockporn. Oh yes, and the check. We’d love the check.
They always want to order their own food. My son orders his food loudly in the direction of anyone who will listen immediately upon entering any fine dining establishment that does not suddenly close for a suspiciously well-timed yet impromptu Department of Health inspection upon seeing our minivan enter the parking lot.
Often, I will look across the expanse of corn dogs and table to fashion my napkin into a white flag of defeat. Signaling with the glare of the rescue fire I’ve built under the table that it’s time for my husband to start the van while I gather coats and whatever is left of my dignity.
Often, over the loud requests for an ice cream shaped like a walrus, I will see adults staring at our table. May I suggest an eatery that does not have an ice cream cone as a mascot? Oh ye adults without children, what are you doing here? Get thee to a steakery! Run. Don’t turn back. Don’t worry about us. We’ll be ok here…as soon as we get the check. We’d love the check now.
On one hand, they must learn how to eat out in public. On the other hand, I keep getting banned from public places. On the other, other hand, can you PLEASE bring the check now?
Random Stranger: “Oh, your children were so lovely and well behaved.”
Me *wipes mustard from eyebrow with stray floor fry*: “Why, thank you! We’re working on it!”
We’re working on it.
Mother-farkin’ CHECK. PLEASE.