Tuesday, August 28, 2012

small talk

(Backstory: for those nine people in Russia who read my blog who have no idea what tropical storms are: I evacuated New Orleans on the morning of Monday, August 27. I decided to make the beautiful and progressive state of Alabama my temporary home; I have two cousins and an aunt in Prattville, and then my brother and two more cousins in Birmingham, so I should not overstay my welcome anywhere.)

So. Today was a normal Tuesday in Prattville. My cousin's three children went to school. Well, except for her youngest, Andrew, who stubbed his toe really badly last night at the exact moment I arrived. (Screams are super welcoming, in case you wondered.) When his whole foot was swollen this morning, I confirmed my cousin's instinct to take him to Urgent Care. Turns out he fractured the growth plate in his foot.

After spending some time working a half-day, watching her youngest's foot put into a cast (temporary until they meet with the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow), collecting her girls from school, getting locked out of the house (my fault), knowing that her husband had a board meeting and would be working late, and dealing with an extra person in her home (Isaac's fault)... Julie decided that eating dinner out was appropriate.

Andrew protested. "Mama, do I have to wear these to the store?" [Do I have to use my crutches at the restaurant?]

She mentioned a Japanese place super close by that the kids love, and the next thing I know, I'm in her SUV  (with a go cup of gin, of course) headed towards Osaka Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar.

Yes. Sushi. 3+ hours from any major body of water. 87+ hours from any major body of cold water. 

Whatever. They have air conditioning, which is more than New Orleans can say right now.

I've recently joined Weight Watchers, and I have learned that sashimi is pretty much the greatest amount of food for the fewest points. So I ordered the sashimi dinner.

Then a platter of raw fish arrived, and my cousin's children completely freaked out. Apparently their father, who married into our family, is freaked out by anything raw. He eats his steak well done. You know the type; you probably aren't friends with him, unless you married him.

So, leave it to the middle child, always the attention seeking/crazy one, to be the only one to try my fish.

We started with tuna, because she recognized it.
Then whitefish, which of course she preferred.
She wouldn't even try the salmon, because I told her that I don't really love it raw (extra points notwithstanding).

Anna Kate bravely touched 1/10000 of an ounce of tuna to her tongue, certain that she's going to get salmonella or the plague or something that only comes after little girls who disobey their daddies.

"Wait. Do you have to be a certain age to eat this?"

(She turns 10 tomorrow. I think dying before she hits double digits was a serious consideration.)

Then, after some more talk of salmon, I suggested that I'd take it home as leftovers and bake it for breakfast in the morning. Andrew, who apparently listened better at dinner last night than we realized, rebutted: "But you hate to bake!"

When he started complaining that his foot hurt, which was approximately the same time I realized I'd taken longer to eat than I should have, plus had ordered a second glass of wine I'd have to finish because for some reason you can't take alcohol with you in lesser parts of the country... I told him if he drank some wine, he'd feel better. He had almost touched my wine to his lips in true Communion-with-Jesus, just-the-tip fashion, when Anna Kate yells out: "NOT IN PUBLIC!"

Which reminds me of my two most favorite quotes about what we do privately vs. publicly:

1. We want a lady in the street, but a freak in the bed. --Usher
2. No matter which sex I went to bed with, I never smoked in the street. --Florence King, Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady

The moral of the story is: life is about the journey. Laugh along the way, even if you evacuated out of harm's way into... Alabama.

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