On Sunday evenings, we have Alan's mom, my mom, and Leonard (Mom's best friend at Raider Ranch) over for supper. The conversation is lively, convoluted, confusing, and humorous. By the time everyone heads home, my brain is tired.
My mother-in-law, Mary, usually arrives a few minutes before Alan gets back from picking up Meems and Leonard from the Ranch. We have a bit of quiet conversation before the party gets started. Once Meems and Leonard enter, the house starts to really rock.
The red lettering represents the things we've heard my mother say at least 7,346 times during Sunday Night Suppers.
Me: Hey, Leonard! Hey Mom! (Hugs all around.)
Leonard: We are so happy to see you, and don't you look beautiful! (I have on no makeup and I'm wearing gym shorts with an old t-shirt.) Just look how pretty your legs are! (Turns to Meems.) You certainly have a beautiful daughter!
Meems: Yes, I do. (then turns to me abruptly) Do you know what you get when you add 2 odd numbers together? (She and Leonard watch Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader just before Alan picks them up.)
Me (adding 7 + 7 in my head): An even number!
Meems (looking at me in awe): I didn't think you would know that because you're so bad in math! Did you add 2 numbers in your head to figure it out?!
Me: No...I'm just really smart like that. Dinner! What would everyone like to drink?!
Once seated at the table - Leonard with his root beer, Mary with her water, and Meems with the beer she split with Alan - Leonard says the blessing.
It usually begins like this: "Everyone grab hands, close your eyes, and bow your heads."
After all of the food has been passed, salted and peppered, the fun begins.
Meems: Do you know which president never married?
Me: James Buchanan!! I win!!
Meems (looking at me like I'd just shouted out the cure for all cancers): How did you know that?! (I resist telling her the real reason - see red lettering)
Me: I'm just really smart like that!
Alan and I begin to tell everyone about our fun visit to see Jonathan in Chicago.
Alan: We went to the Cubs game on Saturday afternoon.
Leonard: Who won?
Alan: The Pirates.
Leonard: Did you get to meet any of the players or the manager of the team?
Alan: Nope. We just ate peanuts and watched the game.
Leonard: I see. Did you get to meet the mayor of Chicago while you were there? (Wherever you go. Whatever you do. Leonard will quiz you about which muckety-mucks you met.)
Alan: Uh, no.
Mom: I dated three men named Bill in college, and two of them asked me to marry them!
Alan: We also took a really fun food tour around a couple of Chicago neighborhoods.
Me: It was great! We got to taste Chicago hot dogs...
Leonard: Did they have relish on them?
Me: No. They had tomato wedges, a pickle spear, little peppers, and...
Leonard: No relish?!
Me: Nope. No relish.
Mom: We had chicken cordon bleu bites at Happy Hour on Friday night. They are my favorite!
Me: That sounds good! We also got to taste some pizza and some falafel sandwiches...
Leonard: Was it pepperoni pizza?
Me: Nooooo. It was mostly just cheese.
Leonard: Pepperoni is my favorite.
Mom: I don't have another check up until February. Carolyn, when is your next check up?
Me: February. And, we got to taste this ice cream that was made while-you-wait with liquid nitrogen! It was really fun to watch!
Leonard: Was it vanilla?
Me (getting weary): I'm not sure what flavor it was, but it was really good.
Leonard: So you're sure it wasn't vanilla?
Alan: It wasn't vanilla.
Mom: Living at Raider Ranch is like living at a resort hotel! Even if I had a house here in Lubbock, I'd rather live there! Oh, Carolyn, do you know what you get when you add 2 odd numbers?
Me: An even number. Who wants ice cream? Alan, tell them about all the toppings we have... (I stand and begin to clear the dishes.)
Mom: I can't answer most of the questions on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, can you? (question thrown in my direction.)
Me: I taught 5th grade for 3 years, and I can't answer all of the questions! Do you want chocolate sauce or...hey!...we have root beer...do you want a root beer float?
Mom: That would be nice.
Leonard: Have you heard from the president of Baylor University lately?
Judge Starr came to Lubbock for the Baylor Women's Council Scholarship Dinner last April. I had the fine honor of introducing him before he spoke. Leonard thinks that Judge Starr and I are BFFs.
Me: No, Leonard. Judge Starr is a busy man. Do you want plain ice cream? (I already know the answer. No matter what we have for dessert - chocolate cake, banana pudding, strawberry shortcake - Leonard generally requests 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream.)
Leonard: Yes, I do. When is the last time you heard from Judge Starr?
Me: April. Mary, what about you?
Mary is very quiet by nature. At these Sunday Suppers, she says very little. OK. Truth be told, she can't get a word in edgewise.
Mom: Can you believe that they don't have any paid dancers on cruise ships any more? They used to have paid dancers who would dance with all the single ladies.
Alan and I exchange glances because we can't quit singing that song since my 10-21-12 post. "All the single ladies! All the single ladies!"
The conversation continues its dips and dives and jumps and leaps until I happily notice the time.
Me: Oh, Mom! It's almost 8:00!! It's almost time for you to head to bed!
Mom: Oh! I do need to head to bed! I sleep until 10:30 or 11:00 every morning! Sometimes I don't even get up 'til noon!
Leftovers are packaged and divided between our guests. Hugs are exchanged. Alan tucks Mom and Leonard into his car while Mary drives away in hers. I stand on the sidewalk listening to a flock of birds hidden in a tree just down the block. They are screeching and squawking. Probably they are those lovely black grackles. I turn and head back into the house. The quiet is indescribably delicious. I grab what's left of my supper iced tea and head to my favorite chair in the living room and turn the TV. Ahhhh. It's the Real Housewives of New Jersey at their rotten finest. All I have to do is sit, listen, and roll my eyes.