Monday, March 14, 2016

Ice cream and french fries.

I had a conversation with my daughter in Louisiana this afternoon. She recounted her Saturday, where the storms were raging and floods were rising--literal floods, this is not a metaphor--and at her place of business, the Saturday was unexpectedly and uncharacteristically busy. And even though she has been working out and eating mindfully, it had been a hard enough day that she decided she would get some ice cream. So she did, and she had had one spoonful before she got out of her car and, in so doing, the ice fell on the pavement. Like, splat. The kind of splat that makes you contemplate the meaning of things.

'So I guess that was the universe saying to me, don't eat that crap,' she concluded.

I think we had a brief moment there, out of respect for the fallen ice cream. And also for the lesson she drew.

Well, America: today the historian and I took one of our grandsons out for a birthday snack. He turned thirteen yesterday, which I think we can all agree is a momentous and historic birthday, one that deserves celebrating with whatever celebratory food the birthday boy designates. 

'Did you have cake last night?' I asked, as we sped toward our destination, the Iceberg Drive Inn, which specializes in burgers and shakes.

'No,' he said, 'I'm kind of taking a break from cake. We had ice cream sundaes. I've gotten tired of cake.'

TIRED OF CAKE? Oh jaded youth. Still, we were headed to the Iceberg for even more ice cream.

He got a cheeseburger and a butterscotch shake. The historian ordered a grilled cheese and some onion rings. I ordered a strawberry shake and fries.

Let me pause to note that one can get a regular size shake, or a mini. The difference in price is approximately sixty cents for your regular flavors--special flavors are extra. I thought to myself, mini? Will a mini be adequate? And also, Carter just got a regular. Do I want to go small? And if the difference in cost is so minuscule, maybe the difference in size is also minuscule. Regular isn't big. Regular is regular.  

And thus, I ordered the regular.

And also, so it came to pass that I ate ice cream and french fries at approximately four in the afternoon. The regular shake, it will not surprise you, was enormous. I shared my fries with great freedom and generosity. The historian had several bites of my shake. But I ate a good portion of it, because it tasted good, and also because there it was, being imposing and simultaneously frozen and potentially melt-y. 

'What would you think if I didn't take the rest of this with me?' I asked the brethren. 'I don't want to keep eating it, but if I take it with me I will.'

'My brothers would love to finish that for you,' said Carter. So we took it with us.

I admit it, I ate a few more bites whilst driving back home. But when we got there, I walked into the kitchen, and there was David, eating his after school snack.

'Do you like strawberry shakes?' I asked.

'I LOVE strawberry shakes,' he replied, fervently. And thus, the burden of the giant ('regular') ice cream was removed from me, and I just had to deal with digesting ice cream and french fries that I had eaten, in effect, as my dinner. 

I think what I am currently feeling is the universe's way of telling me: don't eat that crap. But also: happy birthday to Carter!

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