Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Teriyaki Restaurant Fiasco

The following story actually occurred. It happened yesterday. I heard it straight from my husband Matt, who experienced it all.

When Matt got home from work yesterday, he was a little agitated.

He said, “I have GOT to tell you about my lunch today. It was the most horrible thing I have ever seen.”

So I said, “Who was chomping their food this time?” Matt’s pet peeve is when people talk with food in their mouths. He often tells me very animated stories about suffering through lunches with clients or colleagues who are chompers.

“No, this was worse. Way worse.”

So I tried to think of something worse. “Was someone bare-breasted breast feeding at the next table?”

“No. Barring violence, what is the worst possible thing I could have seen?”

So I thought for a moment . . . “A penis.”

“YES!” He said, emphatically pointing a finger at me.

So I laughed. “How did you manage to see a penis at lunch?”

And so then he related the following story:

He has been working through lunch all week, trying to stay on top of his work because things are busy. One of his co-workers, Cami, who has also been skipping lunch, came and asked if he wanted to grab a bite to eat, and he thought a break sounded nice. So off they went to a little Teriyaki place nearby.

Matt and Cami were comfortably situated at their table when a homeless man came in. The man went to the counter and very loudly started asking about every item on the menu. Apparently he wanted a description and a price for every single thing before making a selection. This went on for quite a while. Matt had his back to the counter and was trying to ignore it all. Cami wasn’t so lucky. After a while her eyes got really big and she said, “Oh my gosh, his pants are sinking down.”

Matt turned around to assess the situation and was greeted by at least half a moon. The man’s pants, which were way too large for him, had fallen very low on his hips. No underwear. Matt said he pretty much saw the entire “Bum’s bum.”

Well, not being one to stare at such a thing, Matt turned around to try to finish his lunch.

Matt is not sure how it happened, certainly the pants had something to do with it, but shortly thereafter the man fell down. His pants found themselves around his knees. And there he lay, on the floor, exposing . . . everything.

The commotion of the fall had caused Matt to turn around, and to his dismay he got another eyeful—and not just of the backside this time. The man was lying in such a way that everyone could see his backside and his squeaker. (My nephew Tyler coined the phrase “squeaker” when he started describing his own anatomy as a toddler. We have all used it ever since.)

The man started yelling, “Help! Someone help me up! I can’t get up.”

Matt is usually one to lend a hand. Normally he is a Good Samaritan. But something about seeing a naked squeaker in a Teriyaki restaurant had paralyzed him, and he hesitated just long enough that two guys from behind the counter came and helped the man up.

But apparently they couldn’t be troubled to help the man pull his pants up. And he couldn’t be troubled either. And so he walked to a nearby table, pants around his ankles, and sat down. He was still exposed when his food arrived and he began eating it.

Matt and Cami were trying to ignore the man and his naked squeaker. They were more successful than the guy at another table, who after a while couldn’t take it anymore, and yelled at him, “Hey! Could you pull your pants up? We’re trying to eat in here!”

The homeless man stopped eating, “Oh sorry. I didn’t think you could see that from over there.” And then he wiggled his pants back up around his waist. “I guess that’s pretty disgusting.”

The guy at the other table agreed: “Yes, it’s VERY disgusting!”

The bum then decided to turn his attention to Matt and Cami—probably an unsuccessful attempt to help everyone in the restaurant to forget the last five minutes.

“So how long have you two been together?” he asked.

“We aren’t together. We just work together,” Cami responded.

“Oh, it must be nice to have someone you can talk to and share your feelings with,” he said.


I’m pretty certain that Matt wasn’t very into the small talk. I think he felt he already knew far more about this stranger than he wanted to. He told me that they finished their lunch and got out of there as fast as they could.

Matt said he had never experienced anything like that before, and he was surprised that the workers at the restaurant hadn’t put a stop to it.

I told him he should have called 911. Indecent exposure. Or he should have called 911 just because it’s fun.

Well, one thing is for certain. I think it will be a while before we go out for teriyaki.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Doomsday Girl

Sometimes I like to get caught up in "end of the world" drama. I like reading the Book of Revelations and I loved the History Channel's Armageddon week. I just think it is kind of interesting to ponder the end of days, and to wonder how the evening news is playing into it all. Matt likes to call me "Doomsday Girl" whenever I get going on this topic.

Well, apparently some of this has rubbed off on Cora.

We were at the Studio the other day and the children were entertaining themselves in the office with pens and paper. Cora wrote the following on three separate pieces of paper:

Page 1:

Plese save ar Planit

Page 2:

The Planit
it is not saf

Page 3:

The cow is on The moon
its not saf

As you can see, she is concerned not only about saving the Earth, but also about Animal Rights and the entire solar system. She is very conscientious. I'm not sure who to whom her appeal was directed, especially considering we were at the dance studio and not a lot of teenage ballroom dancers have the means or desire to save the planet and/or cows who happen to live on the moon.

However, it is nice to have a kindred spirit hanging around, worrying about the planet with me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Boy Craziness

Here I am, a young mom, happily bubbling along enjoying the innocence of her young daughters--coloring books, princess costumes, PBS--when I am completely blindsided by a phone call from a concerned father regarding my eldest daughter, Cora.

The concerned father was Brian Bernecker, father of Daniel Bernecker. Daniel was all set to be Cora's dance partner until he mysteriously became very dancephobic several weeks prior. His parents were very perplexed by his sudden change of heart, but decided that he just wasn't into ballroom dance right now and they should just let him be a 10-year-old boy.

Cora, who was all excited to compete at Nationals, was very sad about the turn of events. So we had been shopping around for another dance partner, but hadn't found a good match yet.

Back to the phone call. So Brian says to me, "I think I've gotten to the bottom of Daniel's problem."

"Really?" I say, not knowing what the problem might be, and cautiously optimistic that it is a resolvable issue.

"He finally told Steven (his brother) that he didn't want to dance because Cora tried to kiss him."

Wasn't expecting that.

"She did WHAT?" I say, trying to wrap my mind around this new information.

"Yeah, and then she told a bunch of people at the Studio that Daniel was her boyfriend."

Well, mysterious dancephobia explained. No wonder he didn't want to dance with her--he was probably completely traumatized.

I guess I should have seen this coming. I was aware of Cora's crush on Daniel, but I had chosen to ignore it. I figured that if I didn't make a big deal about it then it would pass like the rest of her obsessions--the color pink, the game of Old Maid, and cheese quesidillas had all had their moment in the spotlight of Cora's life, and each had been retired to the wings in its own time. I figured Daniel would be the same. And truth be told, the crush had passed, but alas, not without some casualties.

Another problem was that I had underestimated her. I didn't think she was so bold as to actually attempt the kiss. I remember once she made a passing comment about kissing, and naturally I provided the obligatory lecture--something like, "No kissing until you are 25." She was usually obedient when I told her to clean her room, so I had no reason to think that she wouldn't listen to me on this subject. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

So now, along with Daniel, I am completely traumatized. I wasn't expecting to deal with this issue for several more years--I thought we'd hit kissing about the same time as training bras, acne, and braces. I am so not ready for this in Kindergarten.

And while the crush on Daniel has passed, crushes in general have not. After Daniel there was some boy on her bus that she loved for a day or two. Now I can't remember his name and neither can she. And then there are the Whitlock boys--Ryan (who is in Cora's Kindergarten class), and his two older twin brothers Hunter and Conner. Hunter and Conner even gave her Valentines.

And then there is Aidan, her true love. Aidan's mom is Lynne Boudreaux, another instructor at the studio. Aidan is also in Kindergarten and so he has not yet reached the point where he thinks girls have cooties. Consequently, there is a lot of hugging and nose rubbing in the dance class they both attend that I happen to teach.

Lynne told me that when they went to buy the Valentine's for Aidan's class at school that he started wandering the aisles. She finally asked him, "What are you doing, honey?" to which he replied, "I want to get a Valentine for Cora." She thought that was sweet, so she asked him what he had in mind, and he thought for a moment, and said, "A music box."

How cute is that? I think I have a crush on Aidan too.

Well, Lynne had to explain that they were at Bartell's and so he probably needed to scale back his ideas, and they finally settled on a little box of chocolates with a kitty on the front. The exchange of Valentines was very sweet. Cora had picked out a chocolate frog with a gummy bug inside for Aidan.

Anyway, back to my problem. What am I supposed to do with a boy-crazy 6-year-old? Matt and I are banking on the probability that soon she will enter the "boys are so gross" phase and we'll be golden for several years. If that doesn't happen I don't know what we'll do. Maybe we'll have to move to a deserted island somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Matt would love it.

The good news is that Cora truly doesn't love Daniel anymore, and after I promised his parents that she would be docile from now on, they have had several lessons together. Dance wise, they are both developing very nicely and I think they will have a great time at Nationals.

As for the kissing, let's just hope she keeps her lips to herself for a while. A very long while.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Farewell, Moldy Tooth

I thought I should report that Allison's moldy tooth fell out. Inna, Allison's babysitter, informed all of the moms at the bus stop about the tooth loss.

So as we walked home I decided to ask her about it.

"So, Allison, I hear you lost a tooth."

"Yeah, it was my moldy one. Do you want to see it?"

Of course I wanted to see it. How could I pass up a chance to inspect the infamous moldy tooth up close?

It was all wrapped up in a special pink tooth pillow. We paused and she very ceremoniously unwrapped it. There it was--a little molar covered by a silver cap that glinted in the sunlight.

"So that's your moldy tooth, huh?"

"Yeah, see right there, that's the moldy part." She turned the tooth over and pointed to the little stubby part of the tooth where the roots had once been. I leaned in closer as she explained, "See that brown stuff, that's mold."

"I see, mmm-hmmm," I said, nodding my head appreciatively. It just looked like tooth to me, but I didn't let on. "So Allison, why didn't you put the tooth under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy?"

She was very distressed. "I don't know what I'm going to do with this tooth. The Tooth Fairy can't take it up to Heaven and give it to any babies."

"Because she only gives babies white teeth?"

"No, she sometimes gives silver teeth, but not moldy teeth."

"I see your dilemma."

We had arrived at our homes by this point, and so we our goodbyes and parted ways. I'm not sure what will become of the moldy tooth. It may just stay where it is, forever enshrined in its little pink pillow.

Luckily, soon Allison can expect a nice new white tooth, fresh from Heaven. It will be pretty and clean, but it definitely won't be as interesting as the moldy one.