Childhood was tough. I mean, both at the time back in the 1980s AND last night.
When they put that deconstructed hamburger in front of me, I got a little ill. And the truffled Oreo? I can still smell it on me. The “foei”sting sounded like a great idea on paper, but once I got to the end of the meal, the idea of eating foei-anything with donuts had my stomach doing flips. Everything seemed too salty or too sweet — except for the salad, which I definitely would not have eaten as a child.
Damn if I didn’t feel reprimanded more than once at the dinner table too. At the end of the meal, I picked up the small glass that came with our ueber sweet hot chocolate and tried to guess what it was. Our server — who hadn’t finished serving our table and hadn’t had a chance to give his spiel yet — looked over at me and announced, “That’s my job.” I guess you could tell from the look on my face that I wasn’t too thrilled with not being allowed to just smell my drink before the spiel, because the whole episode got us the shortest description of the hot chocolate and side drink ever before our handsome server fled. Maybe you had to be there. Maybe I was just cranky.
Another moment early on, I was accidentally delivered a glass of wine, when I had gone for the non-alcoholic pairings. (Yes. That’s not a lie.) The wine had already been poured, It was in front of me. I told the server that I had ordered the non-alcoholic pairings, but that I did sort of want one glass, and maybe he could just leave that one as long as it was already poured? He swooped back down to the table, announced “No” quite loudly, grabbed the glass of wine, and fled. I know; I didn’t order the wine in the first place. But the vehemence of his response and the quickness with which the wine disappeared was just so odd.
Ah, and at one point, we sat there for no joke 20+ minutes between courses, with no food. (Before the mac & cheese.) An odd phenomenon for a room and a staff that has been so well-tuned on my three previous visits. (There also was more than one moment where the staff would arrive with our dishes, hover behind our table, and then return to the kitchen for some reason or another. There was one pickle episode in particular.)
And all I wanted to know was how much our food tickets cost so I could tell my friend David how much he owed, but just like Thailand, this seemed to take a Ph.D. in calculus to figure out. (When you buy your Next tickets, your receipt only states the total. If, like me, you have been clicking on time slots unsuccessfully for 20+ minutes, you quickly forget how much your tickets were. If my tickets were $814.70 in total, how much did my friend David owe, who had the wine pairings? I purchased two wine pairings and two non-alcoholic pairings.)
I know I know…whine whine whine. Who am I? NOBODY. You’ll do well to remember that. For me, Childhood was a bit too deconstructed. Maybe I prefer to remember it intact. Maybe I want a real Oreo and not a truffled one. Maybe I never ate beef jerky as a child. (I didn’t. Only people who shopped at gas stations ate jerky.) And maybe I’ve ALWAYS hated fruit roll-ups. (I have.) Everyone’s childhood is different, I think.
I am writing this from bed right now where I really do want to yell, “Mom, I don’t feel good!” and have her bring me some ginger ale and my Richie Rich comic books. As a child, I wasn’t really allowed to eat sweet things. And now my stomach is churning. Maybe I’m some point, I’ll camp out on the couch to watch an all day Little House on the Prairie marathon. I always wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder.
P.S. Lest you think I am a terrible person, I did like the fish-n-chips and the mac & cheese.