austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Smorgasborg in Swedish is the winner

The final order of business for the day was driving home; my father went in my mother's car, while I went with my other brother with my mother in the Something. Shortly after we started driving home, he asked if we might go out to a vegetarian restaurant after we arrived. My mother was too tired to do that and suggested letting my brother go on his own; he wanted the social event of eating with Mom, since he lives off in another state now and doesn't get home much what with the airlines unreasonably insisting he pay them for transport. But my mother was hungry, because she didn't actually get to eat anything at the dinner. She got plates, yes, and she'd set them down, but she felt that as a good hostess she did have to go about and make sure that everyone was enjoying themselves, and by the time she got back from near any task, one of the wait staff would have cleared her plate away.

In fact, we needed extraordinary efforts to make sure that she'd get a piece of wedding cake. We had noticed that her dinner was getting stolen out from under her, and when we realized she was shaking hands instead of eating her slice of cake, we the male children took care to guard her piece until she got back. And we were brilliantly successful in that: we were able to keep anyone from clearing away her cake. What we were not successful in doing was protecting her silverware. It's always one little oversight.

That's about where I leapt into action: as they were finally clearing plates away, coming up on the final cleanup, I asked one of the staff if they would please bring a fresh fork for my mother. I started to explain the cake problem, although in a moment of dim awareness I realized that perhaps some of my many bizarre problems come from over-explaining simple things. I just left the request at that, and ... she asked me to repeat it because she couldn't make it out. So I tried again. Happily, things came together: they brought out for my mother a fork and a new piece of cake. But those two pieces were all of dinner that my mother had gotten.

Trivia: When Louis XIV proclaimed the moving of the seat of government of France to Versailles in May 1682, there were still about 36,000 people and six thousand horses constructing the palace. Source: The Essence of Style, Joan DeJean.

Currently Reading: Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide To The Elements, John Emsley.


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