“Hey Hon, so whaddya want for Mother’s Day anyway?” my husband inquired a couple days ago, much too late to actually plan anything decent.
My mind flashed to Mother’s Days past. I winced at vivid images of kitchens destroyed by my children’s best intentions. My lips puckered at the distant taste of cold burnt breakfasts in bed. Allowing my mind to reminisce a moment longer, I nearly gagged at the thought of pond scum.
Well, not exactly pond scum, but that scummy film that forms in the bottom of a flower vase containing week-old cut flowers. My uvula twitched at the thought of slimy stems breaking the algae-like skin on the surface of old vase water to reveal murky dregs and the pungent odor of rotting vegetation.
I never really liked cut flowers because of the pond scum, but my husband orders them almost every year. He makes a call to the florist and, voila! his job is done. One year, I delicately suggested he consider potted flowers for Mother’s Day. That year, I received a lovely hydrangea that bloomed in my garden for years. I thought my days of dealing with green slime were over.
The next year it seemed like a heck of a lot of work driving over to the garden center for another potted plant when my husband could simply call the florist from the comfort of his Barcalounger. Back to the pond scum.
I shuddered and tried to focus on an answer to my husband’s question. Hmm, I thought, is there something that my family would enjoy that would not require me to clean the kitchen and wash out dirty vases?
I recalled Mother’s Day 2007. My Navy husband was in the fifth month of a yearlong deployment to Djibouti, Africa. I met some other “geographically single” military moms at an indoor play center to let the kids run off some steam while we chatted. A couple hours later, the kids, sweaty and sufficiently coated in invisible ball-pit bacteria, told us they were starving to death.
The mothers begrudgingly trudged toward the exit. “Ugh,” one mom groaned, “I really don’t want to cook.” “Me neither,” another chimed in, her lips stretched downward in an exaggerated frown.
After months of parenting alone, I seriously contemplated eating my daughter’s filthy sweat-dampened socks to avoid cooking another meal. “Hey, you guys wanna go out to lunch somewhere?!”
We huddled in the parking lot to plan a lunch outing, but our excitement soon turned to disappointment when we realized that, without a reservation, we’d be lucky to get Slurpies and Slim Jims at 7-Eleven on Mother’s Day.
We said our good-byes again and slogged to our respective minivans.
Just then, a 150-watt bulb blinked on in my deployment weary brain with possibly the best idea I’d had in my entire life. “I know where we can go!” I blurted. The other moms and their offspring looked to me with hope in their hungry eyes across the quivering asphalt, and I bellowed with outstretched arms like their pseudo savior, “HOOTERS!”
Much as I had predicted, we had the whole place to ourselves and lazily munched on wings and fries late into the afternoon. The waitresses seemed more than happy to cater to feminine clientele who don’t giggle nervously and ogle at their ill-fitting shirts, so the service was excellent. While I did have to wipe drool from my 11-year-old son’s chin a time or two, all in all, it was a perfect Mother’s Day.
“Hon, did you hear me?” my husband inquired impatiently.
“Oh, yea,” I said, snapping back to reality. For a fleeting moment, I considered suggesting a replay of that wonderful day in 2007, but I thought better of it when I realized that Mother’s Day at Hooters only works when fathers aren’t around.
The taste of chilled scorched eggs and the smell of slimy vase water suddenly seemed appealing when compared with seeing one’s husband stare bug-eyed at a woman half his age while sucking down chicken wings and beer, so I said, “Breakfast in bed and a vase of flowers would be just wonderful.”
What is YOUR secret Mother's Day dream?
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