Nostalgic Moment #18

I come from a family that loves to eat out. Don't get me wrong, my mom is an extraordinary cook and loves to whip something up in the kitchen. And now that I've been married for a few years my wife has taken over the title of head chef and is quite the master in the kitchen. There's just something about sitting down at a restaurant and having tons of options to choose from, the unlimited amounts of refills on my soda (oh yes, I get my money's worth,) the suspended televisions broadcasting sports above my head and the random, heart-stopping outbursts from teenagers singing Happy Birthday off-key while clapping that just makes me... for lack of a better word, happy. Plus, as you can tell from my previous posts, a lot of crazy stuff happens in the privacy of my home. Who wouldn't want to showcase that stuff for hundreds of other innocent restaurant goers?

A few years ago we were in Alabama visiting my folks for a summer vacation. While there, the women (my wife and mother) decided to go shopping while the men (me, my dad, my brother, and Jackson) went to Red Lobster. The food was great and we had some good laughs, but the biggest laugh came when my then 2 year old son was getting a little unruly and the restaurant manager (I think he was the manager) was passing by with a handful of beads (red shiny ones with a lobster charm dangling from the center.) He was offering the beads to all the kids in the restaurant and of course, Jackson wanted them. It was humorous how the man (who spoke with some accent that I couldn't quite place) was making Jackson literally beg for the beads. Finally, seeing that Jackson had begged long enough, the man was about to hand a strand over when he noticed something on Jackson's face. He assumed it was some food from when Jackson had been eating and in one quick motion, the man removed the spot from his cheek. Jackson flinched and his eyes began to water and we all waited for him to explode with screaming because the spot wasn't food, rather it was a scab from a cut Jackson had gotten on his face. Luckily, Jackson was so excited about his brand new strand of cheap, plastic beads he paid not attention to the blood now trickling down the side of his cheek. The restaurant manager remained oblivious to the fact that he just injured my child and wandered off to go torment other children at other tables. I guess that was a little sad now that I think about it, but we did laugh pretty hard at the time.

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