Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Embarrass Me Apple

Fair one,

Your parents only took you out to dinner twice when you were growing up.

I asked you about it recently:"Old Country Buffet and Sizzler, right?"

You answered, "OCB and Ponderosa ... And Oh," you paused, "it was great ..."

I could see the aisles of side dishes in your eyes. Creamed corn. Mac and cheese. The big slab of beef under the hot lights ... The soft serve machine! Nirvana for a young boy sustained souly on hearty but homemade casseroles.

I wonder if you ordered a Coke. No. I'm sure it was water. "Nine waters please," your dad must have said a little nervously.

It's the same kind of nervousness you have when we go for walks like we did tonight and I spot an apple tree I had never noticed before and I get so ridiculously excited that I uncontrollably jump for apple after apple while 4 small dogs yip and nip and yap into the calm evening air. Shattering it.

You whisper, "They're sour. Leave them alone. STOP IT. Stop picking apples!"

"No, they're great. They're Granny Smith's," I yell. "I'm going to make a tart,"
jump, ker jump, ker plunk, ker plunk.
Apples falling on my head. Dogs gone wild. I suggest we bark back and you run away. Alright, walk away real fast.

As I caught up I studied your bearded profile and thought that I like how you get embarrassed when I don't. I like that you're sensitive and strong but still seven years old in some ways. Still surveying the big wide world with kind appreciation. Still polite as you were at Ponderosa that special night.

"Your children are so well behaved," the waitress must have told your mother.
"Thank you," I'm sure she whispered back.


Andy said...

"aisles of side dishes" so funny.

this is a great post.

abigail said...

Just yesterday, I told John how awful it was to go to Ponderosa with his sister and brother-in-law last summer. It's held mythic status since I wore crooked, home-cut bangs, and going to the Ponderosa where one had replaced the food under the lights for 12 hours was a mistake.

That first visit was the first time I ever had chicken wings. Crispy, crunchy, spicy chicken wings. I couldn't believe such food existed and awkwardly went for more, wondering if someone would stop me if they noticed.

And, no, we didn't get waters. Right next to the SOFT SERVE MACHINE WITH AS MUCH ICE CREAM AND TOPPINGS AS WE WANTED! were chocolate milk and soda machines. Bliss!

Keep embarrassing that bearded guy.
He needs it as much as he needs a freshly baked apple tart.

abigail said...

NO one replaced that food under the lights.

Maybe Ponderasa would have kept its mythic status if someone had, though.

Sarah said...

Andy and Abby,

I'm so glad you both liked this post; I liked it alot too.