Last week, when I went to my follow up appointment with my general surgeon, I also got to see the college boy, as the doctor's office is in the same city as his school. On any visit to the college boy, regardless of time constraints or time of day, it is mandatory to take him somewhere for a meal. His tastes are relatively simple, one of his favorite places being CiCi's Pizza, a buffet-style pizza restaurant (the one in our town was blown away by the tornado and has yet to re-open, so he is still making up for lost time by eating at the one where his school is as often as possible).
It was around 3:00 in the afternoon when he and I headed to CiCi's, and the place was relatively empty, with only a few patrons sitting at booths along the wall. We were the only ones seated in the center of the restaurant, which is filled with tables (and vaguely reminiscent of, say, a college dining hall). We were winding down with the pizza and starting to think about eating some dessert pizza (they have a decadent one they call a Bavarian Cream pizza, which I am pretty sure has nothing to do with Bavaria but everything to do with delish) when a couple in, oh, their late 70s came in.
And sat down at the table right next to us.
The woman and my son were very nearly touching elbows.
All the while, 90% of the restaurant IS EMPTY.
|See that plate? Bavarian Cream Pizza. Totes delish.|
Now, the next part is kind of sweet, as she proceeded to set the table with plates, napkins and utensils while her husband got them drinks. They took turns going to get their food, then sat side by side to eat.
Right. Next. To. Us.
We left the restaurant not long after and laughed about it in the car. My son speculated that perhaps that is "their" table, the one they ALWAYS sit at when they come to the restaurant, and we were infringing on THEIR space by sitting there (you know, like Methodists and the way they all have "their" special pew in the sanctuary).
"And," he continued, "what about the way she set the table?"
"She's probably been setting the table for him for 60 years," I replied.
Then I had a bit of an epiphany. Or a brain fart. Because the next thing I said was, "Your dad and I will never be married for 60 years."
I did not notice my son's reaction and blithely continued on, "I mean, I intend to live to be 104, but your dad, well, I'm not sure about him. And he was 33 and I was 32 when we got married. 60 years? That would put us into our 90s. Probably not going to happen."
And then my son quietly said, "Gee, thanks for that."
I looked over at him and saw a tear trickle down his cheek.
What was just a simple math equation and a certain amount of practicality to me was deeply upsetting to my tender-hearted son.
While he is 18 and considered an adult, inside, he is still that little boy who, at age 6, when he heard a news report about a woman who neglected her baby until it died, cried and said, "Mama, why couldn't WE have taken that baby from her and taken care of it?" The one who turns the lid around on my mother's kitchen trash can every time he's at her house. The one who still likes to climb into bed with us sometimes, all 6'3" of him.
And there are no backsies.
Instead, I apologized for being so unthinking. And I bought him a glow in the dark rat, which he planned to dangle over his roommate later that night.
Now, please excuse me; I have a 60th wedding anniversary to plan.