Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Not Popcorn Chicken

So we went to Fort Collins over the weekend.

Fort Collins has Toys R Us and an assortment of restaurants that poor old Cheyenne does have.

Oh, and they have Auntie Anne’s pretzels in their mall. And I’m sorry, but Auntie Anne’s cinnamon sugar pretzels are the best things in the world. Our mall just has a Pretzelmaker and their cinnamon sugar pretzels don’t taste the same. I’ll sometimes buy one to try and sate off the Auntie Anne craving but it doesn’t work. I always wish that Pretzelmaker will shut down and be replaced by Auntie Anne’s. I sometimes stare wistfully at the Pretzelmaker store and be all, “Go away. Be replaced with Auntie Anne’s.” And plus, the people working at Pretzelmakers aren’t that bright. They had printed signs all over the store that said: “Smile. Your on camera!” Um, that would be y-o-u APOSTROPHE r-e. I always want to say something when I go in there but then I’m worried they’ll spit on my pretzel.

Anyhow, we stopped off at Toys R Us. I’m nearly as excited as the kids to go there. It means I get to push an assortment of buttons even though it embarrasses Tom. He always asks me if I have to touch everything and I’ll say, “Of course,” before pushing another toy. It’s just they didn’t have toys like that when I was growing up.

Natalie spotted a creepy Yo Gabba Gabba plate right away. She nearly leaped out of her cart to get to the thing. I handed it to her and she hugged it to her chest and sighed out, “Brobee!” Brobee, in case you didn’t know is the creepy green character in the show that likes to have parties in his tummy. I’m not joking.

After Toys R Us we went to the mall and of course I got my Auntie Anne’s cinnamon sugar pretzel. I even had a coupon for a buy one get one free pretzel so that excited me even more. It meant I didn’t have to share with the kids.

I split the pretzel with Tom and he wolfed his down in less than thirty seconds it seemed. Then he stared at me and said, “Are you done?” Which drives me insane because I clearly am NOT done. Sometimes I think he’s going blind. Because I’ll have a huge chunk of food in front of me and he’ll always ask if I’m done and I want to shout, “Fool! Do you not SEE the food in front of me?” But I don’t. I just calmly say, “Nope,” and take a bite and pretend I don’t see Tom sighing impatiently.

Well, sorry Tom. I wasn’t trained to gobble my food down. In basic training Tom says that they’d sometimes have five minutes to eat so everyone learned to inhale their meals.

When we finished eating we walked around the mall. I stopped into Gymboree and I’m proud to say that I didn’t buy a thing. Then we got some caramel and chocolate apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I love those things. I pretend that they’re still healthy since they’re apples. The apples cancel out the caramel and chocolate in my mind.

After the mall we went to Golden Corral. Which is this all you can eat buffet that is awesome. They have rolls with honey butter and you can have as many as you want. The waiter must think we’re total pigs because we usually ask for three baskets.

I load my plate with food and Tom will always say, “Uh, you do know you can go back for seconds. You don’t have to put everything on one plate.”

True but…sometimes I can’t decide if I want to start off with the pot roast, the fried chicken or the spaghetti. So I get all three.

I still go back for seconds.

When I went back the second time on that day I decided to pick up these little fried ball things. I assumed it was popcorn chicken. Usually everything is labeled but I guess the workers didn’t get to it yet. Maybe because they were too busy texting. I saw a few messing around with their phones at the drink center. They tried to be secretive about it but it’s sort of hard to hide a finger flying around on a phone.

So I came back with what I thought was popcorn chicken and took my seat. I took a sip of sweet tea and then I took a bite of the popcorn chicken.

But see, it wasn’t popcorn chicken.

It turned out to be SHRIMP.

And I hate shrimp.

I didn’t want to be rude and spit it out in my napkin. I’m always paranoid that a security camera will catch me doing something like that and I’ll end up on YouTube or something. Then my video will be called, “Gross woman spits out food!” and it’ll show me yakking in my napkin.

Then when I’m out in public people will be all, “You’re the woman who spit out her food! Ew!”

And Martha Stewart will have me on her show and berate me for doing such a thing and I’ll a hang my head and be all, “I’m sorry, Martha.”

So I sat there chewing and trying not to vomit from the oceany taste that was filling my mouth.

Tom noticed my expression and asked what was wrong.

“I accidentally ate shrimp,” I muttered out. I had tucked the shrimp in the corner of my mouth so that I could speak. I probably looked like a broken chipmunk.

“Spit it out!” Tom said.

Of course he’d say something like that. The man scratches his balls and emits loud burps and then tries to convince me that I should LIKE his burps. “Because the louder I burp the more it means that I enjoyed what you cooked!” For the record, he burps the loudest when I make lasagna.

“I can’t,” I replied. “What if….someone sees?” My eyes darted around the room as though I expected to see someone with their cell phone lifted up in my direction, prepared to tape me the second I spit my shrimp in the napkin.

“Just spit it out!” Tom practically shouted and finished eating his roll. “Are you almost done?”

I ignored him and excused myself to the bathroom.

And that’s where I spit out the shrimp. In a stall, in a wad of toilet paper.

I imagine Martha Stewart would praise me for doing the right thing.

Then I came back to the table and gulped down the rest of my tea to get rid of the shrimp taste in my mouth.

Yuck, yuck, yuck.

I went back for dessert next. I sample each cake or pie that’s out. Sometimes an elderly person will sidle up beside me and gasp out, “Is that all for you, dear?” while gaping at my plate.

“Yup,” I’ll say proudly.

“Goodness! Bless your heart!” one old lady told me and pressed a palm to her heart.

What? I’m going to get my money’s worth.

Tom always shakes his head at me when I sit down with all my treasures.

“You think you have enough there?” he usually always ask.

“No. I’m going back to get some ice cream,” I’ll respond.

I just eat the frosting part of the carrot cake.

“That’s disgusting,” Tom always says.

”No it’s not. It’s the best part,” I’ll answer. Mmm, cream cheese frosting.

Then I’ll take a few bites of the chocolate cake, a few bites of the berry pie and a few bites of the strawberry cake.


Then it’s off to get some ice cream. With sprinkles of course.

At this point Tom is impatient. Because he’d have been done eating for at least fifteen minutes by then. So he’ll lean back in his chair and give a few sighs here and there and I’ll totally zone him out.

I don’t allow anyone to ruin Dessert Time.

When I finish my ice cream I’ll proclaim that I’m done and Tom will sometimes say in a sarcastic tone, “Are you sure you don’t want anything else?”

Actually, sometimes I do but I don’t want to come across as a TOTAL pig.

We drove home after that. When we passed the border to Wyoming I noticed there was a sign for Trail Rides.

“Tom!” I exclaimed. “Trail rides!” I gestured to the sign and Tom quickly glanced over.

“No thanks,” he said.

Sometimes Tom is so boring.

“Oh come on!” I begged. “It would be so much fun. We could pretend that we’re on an episode of Little House on the Prairie. I’d be Ma, you could be Pa, Natalie could be Laura and Tommy...well, I guess he’d have to be Albert, the little boy they adopted. Poor Pa really wanted a boy and Ma so wanted to give him one but she never did. Actually, Pa reminds me a little of Henry the Eighth because he desperately wanted a son just like Henry the Eighth. Only Pa didn’t behead Ma when she didn’t give him one.”

“Are you talking to me?” Tom spoke up.

“YES!” I shrieked. “Who did you think I was talking to?”

I mean honestly. Sometimes I wonder why I bother speaking to Tom at all.

It can definitely be a drag when you’re married to a man with no imagination.


  1. Oh, I hate shrimp too! I would have spit it out and yes my luck it would have ended up all over the internet lol!

  2. Dessert time is sacred...a girl after my own heart! Ft. Collins is a nice town. I miss Colorado. *sniff* We dont hit Toys R Us unless we're on a mission. I cant handle the stress (most of the time) of my kids going totally nuts. My son practically expects something if we enter the building. It's an evil place but they love it.

  3. I feel like I must be the last person alive that hasn't seen this Yo Gabba Gabba crap. I feel like I must be holding my children back from a proper upbringing, or something.

    Auntie Anne's, on the other hand, I know all about her...

  4. i can't decide if i love yo gabba gabba for it's kitschy-ness, or if i am totally freaked out by it's weirdness. i have definitely decided that i totally get your thought process with the whole "pa as henry the eighth" thing. maybe it's a "tom" thing. i am married to one and i'm pretty sure he would have totally tuned me out during that conversation, too.

  5. Ooooh. I love a good buffet!

    And I totally would have spit out the shrimp! Icky Icky!

  6. Great, now "so yummy, so yummy" is stuck in my head. As for Golden Corral, I've become a fan due to the fact that kids 3 and under eat FREE and there is absolutely NO waiting around for your food to arrive. Waiting at a restraunt with a three and two year old can be hazzardous to the health of everyone sitting nearby.

    I loved reading your post. It had me cracking up and agreeing to almost everything you said.

  7. I love Antie Anne's Pretzels. I used to book all my work travel through the Cincinnatti Airport because there was one in the terminal!

  8. That buffet sounds so scrumptious : ). I would love to go there for supper tonight so I didn't have to cook!

  9. *raises hand* Yes, my daughter has a Brobee doll..and when you push it's tummy..it sing, "There's a party in my tummy..so yummy..so yummy" Until you want to shove it down teh garbage disposal!

  10. Hi, I am a fan from OD (sophia~) I want to support you here bcuz I believe you should be published in mags and whatever else you get from being in a more public place. Gymboree are ya listening?


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