Wednesday, March 09, 2011

On mushrooms, White Castle, and other dodges

In Monday's overlong post, I mentioned that Older Daughter and her husband and her husband Hank were scheduled to attend an engagement party during their Chicago visit.

The party was Saturday night. Older Daughter and her husband apparently returned to our house around 3:00am Sunday. Hank was apparently the designated driver.

Older Daughter was moving slowly Sunday morning and, in this context, "slowly" means virtually not at all. She'd gotten from the futon in the new addition to the living room couch. And there she sat. Carefully.

Long Suffering Spouse was sitting in her rocking chair, also carefully. (But for a different reason: She was suffering from the flu -- the actual disease, not the brown bottle variety.) Hank was seated on the couch, next to his wife, but attending mostly to his smart phone. Younger Daughter was in one chair, Youngest Son (who had not yet left for baseball practice) was sitting in another.

Having gotten the week's laundry underway, I came in to enjoy my morning coffee. I quickly diagnosed Older Daughter's condition. "So -- it got pretty drunk out last night?" I asked.

"No," said Older Daughter. I think she tried to shake her head, but found that she couldn't.

"I see," I said. "How was the party?"

Older Daughter sketched out a pleasant evening, though there was some sort of unhappy scene between the happy couple at one point. This was apparently papered over, however, and, in fact, it had been agreed that Older Daughter and Hank would join the newly engaged couple for brunch this morning. This accounted for at least some of Hank's smart phone activity: He was updating their departure to their brunch guests every so often based on Older Daughter's lack of movement.

"You came in rather late this morning," I noted.

"Well, yes." Older Daughter thought about denying that too, but realized that it would be impossible to hold such a position. Perhaps she realized, too, that she lacked the energy to try.

"But I thought everyone had to be out of the restaurant by 11:00?"

"We did," acknowledged Older Daughter. The group had adjourned to the bride-to-be's nearby condominium, she said.

"Oh," I said. "And how was the restaurant?"

"It was nice," said Older Daughter. "But every time I turned around, the wait staff refilled my wine glass. I didn't need that."

"I see," I said.

And, if she left it at that, it would have been fine. Older Daughter is young. She is entitled to imbibe to excess on occasion, especially happy ones. One learns from experience (hopefully) to imbibe just that much less the next time. It makes Sunday mornings so much more pleasant.

But Older Daughter was not willing to confirm the diagnosis I'd made upon entering the room. So she kept talking. "The food was good," she said, "but I think one of the hors d’oeuvres wasn't as mushroom-free as they said it was."

Older Daughter is famously intolerant of mushrooms. I have noted, on a previous occasion, that Older Daughter is downright allergic to the things (see, Dinner for 35 in a strange city), to the point of breaking out in hives.

But I didn't notice any hives on Sunday morning. I started laughing -- and so did Younger Daughter, Youngest Son, and Long Suffering Spouse. Even Hank looked up from his screen and over at his wife and smiled (quickly looking back lest he be spotted). "Mushrooms, eh?" said Youngest Son. "I'll have to remember that one."

"I won't believe it from you any more than I believe it from your sister, wise guy," I said.

I told this story yesterday to my friend Steve. "Mushrooms?" Steve asked. "I always used to say it was White Castle."

"White Castle?" I asked.

"Yeah. My dad would take one look at me and figure I was hung over, but I'd say, 'No, dad, we stopped for White Castles on the way home and I don't think the sliders agreed with me.' Then my dad would say, 'Oh, I see. The 200 beers you had before that have nothing to do with it, right?'"

We both laughed.

Of course, I was stubborn, too. In my day, when my parents figured I'd been out too late and served too long, they'd be sure to get me up early on some pretext or another. I would do my best to appear chipper and cheerful in their presence, my bones turning to mush as soon as I could escape. I was pretty sure -- then -- that my parents didn't see through my subterfuge. I'm pretty sure Older Daughter thinks she persuaded us, too, despite our horse laughs at her story. But I know -- now -- my parents saw through me as easily as we saw through Older Daughter on Sunday morning. Mushrooms, indeed.


Dave said...

Right after I got out of college I lived with my parents for a few months, bartending at night (and driving a garbage truck during the day though that's a different story). The bar closed at 2:00 a.m. so I got home about an hour later. Unless someone was having a party, then I might be delayed a bit.

My father never said a word; but, on those slow late mornings when he heard me moving around upstairs he would pour a cup of coffee and put it at my spot at the kitchen table, something he never did otherwise. Just letting me know he knew I suppose.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

awww. bless her heart.

smiles, bee