Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grow Odd Along With Me

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd."

-Flannery O'Connor

"Princess Jessica" the babysitter comes over and Milk Man and I make a quick escape, after changing diapers, Pull Ups, getting bedtime drinks of water, etc. Okay, maybe it isn't that quick, but eventually, we leave the house childless for the evening. We choose a local restaurant, and street-side parking. An ambulance screeches down the road as we cross. I almost get hit. "That would have been bad," I remark. I'm thinking I would have missed an opportunity to go out to dinner. "Yeah, but we would have saved some money if you got hit," my husband says aloud. Reader, there comes a point in time where you don't have to speak as much to your spouse, because you become fluent at mind reading. Sadly, we've reach that point.

The restaurant is candle-lit and crowded. We exchange "day stories" at a small table while waiting for drinks. "I had a light working lunch at the local country club. It was really cool. We had a table overlooking the Long Island Sound," Milk Man says. Then, he asks me how my day was. "Really," I say sarcastically, I had a light working lunch too!" He laughs, knowing what's coming. "I served yogurts and Sippy cups of juice, while I stuffed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my mouth with my free hand. We ate overlooking a suburban back yard strewn with chewed stuffed toys and abandoned Hot Wheels motorcycles."

Milk Man apologizes for the inequality. I tell him it's all right. "I'm planning my escape." He asks where I'm going. Last year I went to Chicago for the weekend with a friend, but she'll be giving birth soon. "She's got some nerve," I say, picking out the croutons in my salad. "Actually, I'm planning several small escapes throughout the year." I tell him I'm thinking about visiting Florida and maybe Flannery O'Connor's house in Georgia. My husband looks confused. The waitress interrupts us to ask how I want my salmon cooked. "Um, not like I cook it," I say. She makes a note on her pad and walks off.

Milk man cuts the bread. "Flannery O'Connor, isn't she dead?" I agree that she is, but her house is still open to the public.

"Really, so on your weekend to escape you're going to crash at a dead writer's house?"

I stop eating my salad. "Sort of. Her house is in Savannah, and that looks like a very cool place."

He laughs. "You're strange."

"You picked me," I retort.

"That's the sorry truth," he mumbles, grinning.

"Well, as Flannery O'Connor might have said if she ever married, 'Try staying at home with the kids; now that will make you odd,' " I reply, in between blowing bubbles into my soda through the straw.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Too true! On the rare occasion I eat in a restaurant or in front of a non-family member I sometimes catch myself almost cramming food into my mouth or eating with my fingers and realize my manners have really gone down the tubes!

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