After a mirth-filled day in good ol' Branchland where the many lil'uns hunted eggs while wearing felt bunny ears and opened cellophane baskets containing toys and then used those toys to turn their favorite aunt into a bubble-stuff sticky blob, Harry and I met his grandmother at the local Olive Garden.
Now, before I get the big long list of e-mails where everyone tells me how horrific and un-Italiana the big "O" is - lemmie just explain something: My husband will not eat anything unless it is of four major food groups: bread, potato, meat and, of course, sugar. Since he's recently discovered pasta (and added a sixth food group to his stunted list) we've become regulars at the O Garden. So it was only natural for us to meet his granny there for a little late Easter dinner.
We sat at our table and I immediately seized up. Sweat beads appeared on my forehead, my freckles popped out, my eyes buldged because the table behind us had a man, a woman and two very rowdy kids seated at (and around) it. The woman and the man ate, drank their large bottle of wine and seemed to be oblivious to the fact that their hellspawn were tripping waiters with pushbrooms, sneezing on clean tables and basically wreaking havoc. I stared at the blonde woman as she emptied her glass and tried to communicate with her non-verbally, letting her know that she should, I dunno , parent her damn children.
She ignored me and readjusted her napkin on her tacky pink and grey adidas track suit, circa 1995.
Trying to carry on a conversation with Harry's older grandmother while the young boy, seven or eight years of age, yelled at every waiter that crossed his path is not an easy thing to do. Especially when she starts nodding and you have no idea why...
"Is this McDonald's? Are we in the Playplace by mistake?" I asked Harry as he stared at the couple who continued to slurp pasta while their two kids ran all over the restaurant.
"I'm ready to yell at them," he said to me.
"Don't let me stop you," I said, half-hoping he'd stand up and dump his garlic-cream sauce over the head of the supposed father-figure.
Just when I could take no more of the screams, cries and catterwalling of the wilderbeast children, the foursome stood to leave. Harry burst into laughter - sniggering hartily into his balled fist.
"What?" I asked.
"The kid, he just ran face-first into the pillar!"
And, of course, the parents didn't notice.
Why bother having children if you aren't going to be parents to them? Why not just have a dog or a cat? Or, better yet, a beta fish? You can't kill those things? Unless you get a suicidal one like my sister. But I think she talked it to death...
Well, Happy Easter!