Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

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The Passion of the Limeade

Okay, I'm pretty sure I narrowly escaped death yesterday. We were going to watch the Batman Begins dvd. Wouldn't it be nice to get lunch first? Yes. Yes it would.

So Mom and I go to Sonic to order food for the two of us and for Sister Girl. The parking lot is almost entirely empty, and it's after one o'clock. She puts in our order over the speaker: a grilled chicken salad with ranch dressing and a cherry slush; another grilled chicken salad with Italian dressing and a limeade slush; an order of popcorn chicken, onion rings, and a limeade slush; and a hot fudge sundae and a banana split. Keep in mind that my mother is Big Business Supermom and has excellent diction. The speaker chick has her repeat her order three times. I should have known we were going to have trouble, but it was a large order, so okay.

We wait.

We wait some more.

A girl comes out with our food. She brings only two drinks: cherry and limeade. My mother tries to explain to her that we ordered two limeades. I don't think the girl spoke English very well, based on the way she replied and the way she stared at my mother, like she was doing advanced long division, because that's totally how I look when I'm trying to understand French. So we finally convinced the girl that we had paid for a third drink. After she left, it occurred to my mother to check the bag of food. She had a little sack of popcorn chicken; I had the big bag. In the bag: two salads, no onion rings. She tries to flag the girl back down so she doesn't have to make two trips, but no dice. She gets the woman back on the speaker thing and tells her that we need onion rings. The girl comes out with the drink. The ordeal is getting so protracted at this point that I don't even remember what happened next, except that it involved us getting the woman on the speaker a third time and my mother getting increasingly angry. Oh, I remember! She took a sip of the third drink while we were waiting for the onion rings and discovered that it wasn't limeade slush at all--it was Sprite.  So now she's back on the speaker (aside, to me: "I hate Sprite. I DETEST SPRITE"), and we finally get a different girl out there with the limeade slush, and the girl says, "I tried to tell them..." Now, I don't know what this means, unless she's saying that someone inside was bound and determined to bring us a Sprite, but... it didn't help, is what I'm saying.

My mother takes a sip of the limeade.

It's not a slush.

I seriously thought we were not going to make it home alive. My mother starts throwing a royal tantrum, and let me tell you, this is unusual. I think what pissed her off so bad is that Sonic isn't a restaurant you can really go inside--it's just an old-fashioned parking-lot service kind of thing. If she could have gone inside, she would have given them her This Is Not Acceptable speech, and she could have watched them do whatever, and it wouldn't have taken forty-five minutes to fuck three different things up. But she couldn't, so now she's actually throwing a vehicular kindergarten hissy as she's gunning it down the highway. (She's also cussing a blue streak, but everything my mother knows about effective cursing I taught her when I came home from college.) She is just going to throw all her food AWAY. She wouldn't eat it now if you PAID HER. And her banana split is MELTED NOW! IT IS WORTHLESS, DO YOU HEAR HER??

And then.

We're almost home. This teenage girl in a white VW is in front of us going two miles an hour. We can't shake her--she seems to be going exactly the same way we are. Moreover, she won't let us pass. My mother gets so angry that she starts riding her bumper to make a point. The girl then starts braking randomly, for spite. We're both stopped at a neighborhood turn, waiting for two other cars to go, and my mother picks up her limeade and rolls down the window. I seriously started trying to remember my stepfather's cell number so I could call him to bail Mom out of jail. At the last minute, she seems to realize the futility of hurling a beverage at a teenager's car and just dumps it out on the road.

And the girl continues to brake the rest of the way home and not let Mom pass. She finally turns right exactly at the intersection where we turn left into our cul-de-sac.

"I'll go tell [Sister Girl] we're back," I say, and race upstairs to tell her the story ("And so if anything is wrong with the order, DO NOT TELL HER").

We sit down. They gave me ranch dressing instead of Italian. "I like the dressing we have better!" I chirp, which is true. Except that the salad turns out to be awful. Sister Girl tries to warn me of this, but I'm already biting down on a piece of grilled chicken, and it squeaks. So I had a cold fudge sundae for lunch, and I LIKED IT, and that is my story, and I am sticking to it.

(Sister Girl does try to point out to Mom that this was probably a novice driver, and if some crazy middle-aged woman had been riding Sister Girl's bumper and harassing her, Mom would have been livid. Mom smiles, sort of crazily, and says, "Do not try to use logic with me today."

"Why didn't you throw the drink at the girl?" asks Sister Girl, after a moment. "Because that would have made my life."

"Because I realized I wouldn't be able to throw it very far," says Mom. "I don't have a very good arm.")


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Tags: appropriate responses to bad situations, bad days, best of, family, my mother

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