Monday, October 17, 2011

Tell Me What You Really Think

When Brent and I first moved to Kansas City we fell into a routine that included weekly Sunday afternoon matinees of craptastic movies, for lack of anything better to do, which my sister referred to as "dates."

"I want to go on a date!" She'd say. Or, "Ah, you're so lucky you can go on a date!"

Personally I thought she was crazy. We were bored out of our ever loving minds. We were seeing movies we didn't even care about because we had no friends and there are only so many weekends you can foist yourselves upon the self-same family members with whom you work the other five days a week. I couldn't get/stay pregnant to save my life so we had little to no responsibility and it wasn't like we were rolling in cash so that we could go on a real date. We were seeing the $4 movie in our comfy clothes. I'd dress up for a date. And maybe get dinner out of the deal.

I digress.

So last week I told Brent, "We need a date. Do you think there is any chance we can find someone to watch the kids so we can go see a movie?"  And by Saturday I'd gone from "I want a date." to "Get me OUT OF HERE for the love of all things holy!" Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've been to a movie that wasn't animated? May. I just remembered. We sprang for a movie for our anniversary. But before that? I'm guessing it tends toward the "years" category. Avitar. Pretty sure it was Avitar before whatever unremarkable thing it was we saw in May. And before that was Star Trek in Branson when my old babysitter drove down from Springfield to give us a reprieve.

So what do we do on our "date?" We shopped for running shoes. Oh yes we did. And then? Say it with me: Target. With a Latte. I know. We go all out. And then what does this idiot do? Talk her husband out of PF Changs because I had a hankering for the chocolate cake with bourbon butter at Granite City.

Oh, I have to back up. We're driving through W-town after buying shoes when Brent asks, "So, what do we want to do?" To which I responded, "Well, when this whole thing started it was because I wanted to go see a movie. Shoes were the conduit to a date. But, whatever. I just needed out. Target it is." We'd timed out for the movie. Our distance from a movie theatre and the length of time we have to beg persuade harass manipulate bless people to watch our offspring in order to do so, is prohibitive to doing anything else lengthy on the same trip. Which, interestingly, I was weeping uncontrollably about not too long ago. A date will never again just be a date. It will have to be functional. Multi-purpose. Home Depot AND Dinner. Movie AND Wal-Mart. It's depressing. Trust me on this. Some day I may get used to it. I haven't yet. When you use up all your free babysitting for the necessities, dates don't happen.

And no, this isn't That Thing That's On The List in case any of you are wondering.


Granite City, yippee skippy, has their flatbread pizzas for $6 on Sunday evenings as their game day special. LOVE their Olive Procuttio (I have zero idea how to spell that and outlook is making prosecution their spelling option) flatbread pizza. But last night? Not so much. And I happened to say something like, oh, "I'm done wasting calories here. Let's go get ice cream," to Brent's "Do you want chocolate cake?" When who pops out from behind me but the manager. And she's all, "How's your flatbread pizzas?" And Brent's all, "Great!" And she looks at me, who cannot tell a baldfaced lie, "And yours?" And I squirm because I've waitressed enough to know that complainers can ruin your night and hesitate and finally say, "It isn't as good as it usually is." Because it wasn't. And she's all, "Oh?" and I, who can't keep my mouth shut once I start, said, "It's usually my absolute favorite, but something off with the procuttio." And she says, "Yeah I noticed when I brought it out with was just kind of laying all out there..." and I finished with "It's like a slab of ham."

It WAS. The "Procuttio" was thicker than the flatbread.

And she offered to bring me another pizza of a different recipe and I thanked her and said no, I was full (And I was looking at the clock by then because we still had an hour's drive home and it was less than an hour from bedtime for the kiddos). Then here comes the waiter who can see his tip dwindeling (because he doesn't know me and the fact that I always tip waiters well, even the crappy ones, because I used to be one and I want to prove that people who order water aren't necessarily cheapskates when it comes to tips, but I think all it proves is that crappy service still gets good tips) to offer me desert, but I just want to bail and go home. So he brings the check and our boxed up flatbread pizzas. $6.41.

I was not asking for a discount. I was certainly not asking for free food. So we tipped him the cost of my pizza and left.

And about a mile down the road got the giggles. Brent started it when out of the blue he says, "Yeah, could you box up these crappy pizzas we didn't like and didn't pay for but want to take home?"

In our defense, we did not know they were going to comp the pizza when we asked to have it boxed. Also, in my defense, I'm not even sure we will ever eat it, but I hate to leave food on the table. Besides, we were boxing Brent's and I thought they'd just throw mine in on top of it. All of which we talked though while getting a little light headed from laughing.

Car goes silent. Moment has passed. At which point the words "Slab of Ham" ricochet through my brain.

Maybe it's just me. And I'm sure the delivery will be lost in print. But I might as well have said "Side of beef" with as much disdain as you could inflect in three words.

Oh. My. Word. I laughed until I cried. Off and on for the full hour it took to get home and off and on throughout the day today.

I have a friend who is well enough acquainted with me to clarify. She's known for saying, "I know you tend to speak in extremes, so what do you really mean?" She would have blown off my "slab of ham" with a shrug. Poor Tia-the-Manager. She didn't know I hadn't been on a date since May or that I'm weirdly blunt, especially when pressed for information that I don't want to give. I only insult people without meaning to and I beat myself up for nearly everything that comes out of my mouth. She was right that I was unhappy with my flatbread and she is probably also right that I won't be itching to go back any time soon....of course I didn't get that cake. Regretting that now.

Slab of ham...compliment at a BBQ place. Not so much on flatbread with a "misting" of olive oil. It just doesn't paint a pretty picture.


Mrs. D said...

I still haven't gotten used to dinner, movie and Wal-Mart, just for the record. Not to mention the waste of 2 hours driving so you have to decide which one is more important - Wal-mart or a date. Wal-Mart usually wins.

Chaos-Jamie said...

It's really just not cool that something as sucky as wal-mart has to preempt dates.

Senior Citizen said...

Gone through most of that! Really exciting.. Now the big deal is Tuesday picking up sale bills for Dales and Vogt's. Takes at least one pot of coffee to study those.

Then comes the big deal - Wednesday, going shopping for a hour or so. Then nap time. Can't seem to sleep good at night if I don't get at least one morning nap and one afternoon nap.

Rest of the week is trying to find where Mrs. Sr. hides my coffee cup.

Need to get the excitement of Wal Mart back on the excitement list. But they won't let me nap there without someone coming up and asking if I'm OK or still alive. Drat, be nice to be young again.

MotherT said...

This post had me chuckling. I'm a little on the blunt side myself, and I have been known to let my thoughts out before screening them a few times.

I promise you there will come a time in your marriage where you can have a real date without WalMart, Target, or Lowe's.