While I didn’t have the language barrier to contend with when I moved to America in the 1980s, I had plenty of new words and expressions to learn.
For instance, I once spent too much time walking around a supermarket looking for ‘Single Cream’ only to discover that there is no such thing. Well, there is, but it’s called ‘Half and Half’.
This was just one of many revelations, but one discovery I made very quickly was my love of Denny’s. Good American food in a real American diner, perfect for those evenings when I was just too tired to cook after a typical racing around like a blue-arsed fly kind of a day.
Best of all, it was cheap.
Not to mention the amazing choice of delicious pies displayed in a revolving show-case next to the reception area. Lemon Meringue pie was always my favourite, but I came to enjoy Key Lime Pie just as much, something I had never tried until I lived in California.
So there we were, one early evening after one of ‘those’ kind of days, me and my three school-age children, seated in a booth at Denny’s waiting for our meals to arrive. It was busy and we had to wait a while for our food. My hungry kids grew more rambunctious (I love that word) by the minute.
puppies boys pawed at each other constantly, giggling and generally messing about, Daughter fiddled and fidgeted, all three sending cutlery flying, a full glass of milk spilling. I hissed at them to behave and settle down. And they did, for a second.
Our meals arrived at last, and from the start, Daughter, who was about four, became obsessed with her garnish of parsley on her plate, deciding not only that it made for a fun ‘toy’ to wave about the place, but also that she wanted to bring it home.
No problem. What’s a bit of parsley to worry about?
Our meal finished, paid for, Daughter skipped happily back to the car singing a song to her beautiful parsley while the boys continued to play-fight. But as they tumbled into the back of the car, disaster struck: Daughter lost her parsley.
She started yelling, “My parsley, where’s my parsley!”
The boys tried to help her find it but couldn’t help laughing, then arguing, then laughing again, all against the backdrop of my daughter crying and shouting about her lost parsley.
Up until then I had not said a word, but gripping the steering wheel so hard that I thought it would break, I exploded.
“Shut up!” I screeched like an out of control fishwife. “Just. Shut. Up!”
Whispering in the back, mad scrabbling, Eldest Son taking control, helping sister and brother into their seatbelts, shushing them…”We’ll find your parsley, don’t worry…”
Me breathing in and out like a crazed beast, staring wild-eyed at them from my rear view mirror, foam spewing out of the corners of my mouth, steam screaming out of my ears.
And that was that. We drove home in utter silence. When we arrived back home, Eldest Son quickly ushered his siblings out of the car and into the house, whispering, “Keep out of Mom’s way until she’s calmed down…”
I felt awful, of course, for yelling at them like that. I can’t bear it when I hear mothers screaming at their kids to shut up.
Funny though isn’t it? Of all the great things we like to think we’ve done, our kids never forget moments such as these. As in, “Remember that time when Mum completely lost it…” This one became known as ‘The Parsley Incident’ and of course, we laugh about it now.
And what of the dreaded parsley? It turned up, albeit trampled and flat in the back of the car, and all was well. No more tears, I calmed down, the evening ended on a happy note.
The next time we ate at Denny’s things went much better, but my daughter never did bring home another sprig of parsley, which is just as well.
This is the last of my Five Photos/Five Stories posts, this particular story promised especially for lovely mommy of two beautiful boys, my friend Sarah of Lemon Shark. Now you know Sarah!
Many thanks once again to friends Irene and Norah for inviting me to join in, I’ve had a lot of fun with this challenge, and thank you so much to those of you for reading along with this series and leaving such lovely comments. It thrills me to know you’ve enjoyed these posts.
Timing is a wonderful thing in life and as in blogland. My sweet friend Heather from Sweet Precision just happened to post a divine recipe for Key Lime Pie. It seems I don’t have to wait until my next trip to Denny’s in California after all, I can make my own! I’m also nominating Heather for this challenge, and as always, no obligation other than have fun!
Finally, I’m squeezing in a photo of a bench. And what does this have to do with the above post you may well ask? Well, absolutely nothing (sorry for the unabashed cheating here), but I promised my friend Jude a bench for July’s theme of ‘Unusual Details’, before she sets a new theme for August.
The day I took this photo at a market in the Dordogne in France a few years ago, it was a blisteringly hot day, not unlike the kind of temperatures of a Californian July. No Denny’s in sight, but plenty of cafes. This stone bench caught my attention. A bit hot to sit on, but the cat didn’t seem to mind one bit.
Have a great weekend everyone!