Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And Now A Story About My Mom

I wrote a funny story about my dad yesterday so today I thought I'd share one about my mom.

Here's the thing--you don't mess with my mom. My mom is tough and my mom can be mean and you most definitely do not want to cross her. I have had plenty of run-ins with her in my life and it hasn't been pretty! I have had to endure months-long silent treatments for doing or saying things she hasn't agreed with and I have learned to tread carefully around her to avoid these situations at all cost.

It hasn't been all bad though--I went to an all-girls Catholic school and if I ever had a problem with one of the nuns being mean to me or whatever--I would report back to my mom and she would be all like "Oh no she di'n't" and would march to the school to defend me. To this day, if I have any kind of trouble with anything, I can count on my mom for help.

But my mom's attitude can be tricky in certain situations--especially when we are eating out in restaurants. My mom is one of those people who will not tolerate poor service or bad food and she will make her feelings known--much to the dismay of my sister and me who brush those kinds of things off. So when my sister and I are out eating with my mom, we always feel like we're on pins and needles--trying to will good service and no mix-ups with the food so we can just get out without an uncomfortable incident.

On this one particular morning, back when we were in high school, we were having breakfast with my mom in the dining room of a fancy hotel. We went there often because my sister and I loved their French toast. I can still taste it with its perfect dusting of powdered sugar and warm maple syrup...

Anyway, my sister and I knew right away that trouble was near when we saw our waitress. She was burly and mean-looking--she looked like she should be the warden of a high-security women's prison. Her name had to be something like Big Bertha or Warden Wilma. But she pretended to be nice--just the kind of person my mom hates!

So she took our orders in that fake-nice way and things were going okay. So far, so good! The food arrived without incident. I started to relax and pour the maple syrup while my mom prepared her wheat toast.

There was a "jelly caddy" on the table that had three or four glass jars of jams with little spoons in them. I could see my mom, toast in one hand, looking at the jellies and deciding which one to use. In the dimly-lit dining room it was hard to tell what kind of jelly each jar contained, so my mom had some a spoon and brought it closer to inspect. Strawberry? Grape?

Suddenly, Big Bertha appeared out of nowhere and grabbed my mom's wrist--the one that was holding the spoon. Let me just say that again--she grabbed my mom's wrist.

And then she snarled "Honey, we don't taste the jelly."

My sister and I stopped mid-French-toast-bite. We were frozen with fear--I don't even think we were breathing--as we waited for my mom's wrath.

There was a moment of stillness--my mom's hand and the jelly spoon still dangling in Bertha's meaty grasp. The calm before the storm.

Bertha released her and my mom, very calmly, said "First of all, don't call me honey."

Then she stood up and screamed, right into Bertha's face "NOW GET ME THE MANAGER!!!!!"

Bertha stumbled away and my sister and I sunk low in our chairs. The manager came over and there lots of phrases like "...never been so humiliated in my life." and "What kind of place is this?" and "How dare she...!"

I remember the panic-stricken manager pleading "Please, tell me how to rectify this!" and I remember Big Bertha skulking back to the table and apologizing. More phrases like "..looked like you were eating the jelly..." It was ugly.

But, in my mom's defense--Big Bertha had clearly crossed the line!

I know we got the breakfast for free and I don't remember seeing Big Bertha around there anymore--or maybe we just never went back after that? Even that incredible French toast wasn't worth chancing a run-in like that again!


Ronda's Rants said...

Oh My! My Dad was the person in my family...I learned from a early age how to read people by watching my Dad's moods.
It's a shame because he is a different person today than when I was a child! There were things in my Dad's life that made him the way he was...he was abandoned by his parents at 13...but I didn't know this until I was an adult. But, like your Mom my Dad would defend me if anyone even tried to hurt me! Good post!

Dee said...

Ah, definately a line crossed there! Too funny! I can just picture it!

Lori said...

Don't taste the jelly? She thought she was eating it? What the h3ll was she supposed to do with it?

Your mom scares me. But in a good way. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Of course I think I agree with your mom on that one!

Don't hate me...but I'm that person at a restaurant too. I cannot stand poor service. I don't always cause a big scene, but I have been vocal several times. Maybe I'll do a post sometime about the poor man who tried to explain the different ways to order steak to me once! Once! My mom and dad never say anything at a restaurant...they mumble to I don't know where I picked up the habit...

Oh, for the can use butter....I did the last time I made them....:)

Anonymous said...

OH...and Blogger is in a mood today...its double posting comments and then sends me about 10 emails on the same comment.

Susie said...

She definitely crossed a line. You don't touch me!! Talk about invasion of personally space! And, she picked the wrong person to do that to.

Jen B. said...

OMG! I can't believe the waitress grabbed your mom! At least your mom let her have it! LOL Too funny!

Jen B. said...

OMG! I can't believe the waitress grabbed your mom! At least your mom let her have it! LOL Too funny!

Jennifer said...

Jen, your mom sounds like one tough cookie.

I can tell you, a waitress grabbing my hand? oh, hell no. ;D

Becky said...

Too Funny!!!

noble pig said...

I love the fact that you remember that. Bertha deserved the wrath and I love the memory.

Jo-Jo said...

Wow! Now that is what I call scary! But hey, they deserved it!

Mama Dawg said...

Your mom rocks! Of course, I'm glad she's your mom!

Karen said...

Good on your Mum, I'd have done the same thing.

I just got a nice letter of apology and a $20 complimentary restaurant pass from a casino, here in town.

I'd filled in one of those 'how are we doing' cards they leave at the table, and pointed out how the quality of the buffet had gone down hill and how one of the line servers had poured hot soup into the serving container, instead of ladling it in. I was walking down the line at the time and got splashed.

Sometimes you just got to stand up and be counted !!!

CaraBee said...

That is priceless! My mom (and probably me now) would have done the same thing. Although Miss Bertha would have been lucky to have kept her hand. Yikes!

Great story!

Kori said...

I don't know, I am not as all out there like your mom is, but I will not just let things slide-in a restaurant, a store, whatever. My mom was more like yours, though, so what I have learned as an adult-and try to model for my kids-is that there are kind, gentle ways to be heard. If my food is bad, i will send it back, or whatever. But that said, I would have broken Big Bertha's arm has she reached out and grabbed me, for sure!

oº˚ Queen Bee ˚ºo said...

I guess I can say I'm kind of like your mom -- I don't put up with poor service when I pay good money to eat there. I think I would of had to smack that lady for grabbing me! LOL thanks for sharing

Much Love

Blarney said...

If you can't eat the jelly what's it for. I would have eaten every single spoonful just to piss her off.

Mamahut said...

I'm surprised Big Bertha appologized. It makes you wonder why some people choose to work in the service industry??

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

VERY funny!!
You poor dear!!
I never say anything at restaurants - I'm afraid I will have my food dug out of a trash bin or spit on!

oº˚ Queen Bee ˚ºo said...

I got a award for you -- Come pick it up!

Much Love

Jaime said...

You know, it's funny, and I'm not sure if it's what you were going for, but I found that story about your mom sort of endearing. :)

Shannon said...

Yikes! Your mom does sound a but intimidating!

But its cool that you can count on your mom to have your back!