Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pizza Hut was her Nineveh

We didn't make the forty-five minute trek north very often.  My family seemed quite content to stay at home on the weekend.  I had my butt-grove claim on my favorite chair and squandered many a Saturday on a good book and little else.  In retrospect I understand my mother's frustration.  She tried so hard to impart her wisdom.  Tips in the kitchen.  Tips in the garden.  And I would just nod and turn another page - not hearing a word - not caring because I wouldn't need any of that in the "real world".  Like algebra.  Or gym class.  Turns out you do need it.  I am forever calling my mother with tedious questions like, "do I cook the turkey with the lid on?" which I have to ask her every time I stick a bird in the oven.  (What a fowl mess I'd be in without her.) And I used algebra last week - sorry Mr. Smith...you were right, I was wrong.

When my mother proposed a rare trip to Owen Sound I was all over it.  I don't remember the purpose of our journey.  We only went that way for shopping - either back to school or Christmas - so it was one of the two.  And I must have been young because Owen Sound still held some spark of magic (birthed in the A&W with the sunken dining room and the 360º fireplace and the kids meals in wicker baskets and the suckers that tasted like root beer).  

So we had our day of shopping at the mall and the little bread shop hidden down an ally, in a basement,  that mom always stopped at on any trip to the big O.S.  Good bread, apparently.  I only remember the stacks of red plastic skids piled beside the door and the flour on the floor.  We always left our footprints behind.

My sister's and I voted for pizza.  Mom consented.  We went to the Hut.  We ordered.  And we waited.  And we waited.

And we waited.

They had lost our order.  I don't know why it took them so long to figure that out but it was FOREVER. I can remember giggling with my sisters, thinking it was a great joke, while mom steadily grew more and more frustrated.  When they finally re-took our orders there was nothing offered in the way of apology.  Not so much as a free Coke.  Mom was disgusted.  We kept giggling, our snickers a little more greasy now that we had the long awaited pizza in our mouths.

Mom was gracious as she paid the bill.  I wrote a witty little note on the receipt and left it for the waiter.  Something about forgiving them their trespasses.  As we got in the car with our left-overs mom declared firmly, "I am NEVER coming here again!"

>> Fast forward about sixteen years >>

We're in Owen Sound again - no longer the sparkly experience it once was but it had a Home Depot and we needed a bathtub.  My parents came with us since it was going to be my dad installing it and he knew what we needed to look for.

Bathtub purchased.  Dinner time.  The kids want pizza.  Mom didn't say a word beyond, "lead the way." 
We order.  Our drinks and salad arrive quickly, immediately followed by our pizza's.  And mom's amazed.  "That's an improvement!"  And we have a laugh remembering that night so long ago when she swore, never again.

Pizza Hut was her Nineveh.  Pizza loving grandchildren were the whale that spit her up and got her in the door.  Picking up the check for all of us was her letting go of a silly bitterness she had harbored for so many years.  And she may not admit it but I think she even enjoyed it a little bit.

1 comment :

  1. Cherie Wardell ReitzelMay 05, 2010

    Man Oh Man!!!! Alannah!! You're So gifted! I loved this.....I never get your notes on my home page......I'm looking forward to reading more.........fellow writer!!!!!

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