My parents invited me to the farm to eat fish for lunch with them and my grandmother. True to form, it was great food. Also typical was my mother’s incessant chatter while we ate. I timed it perfectly and arrived as the fish was coming out of the fryer. I grabbed a beer and sat at the table.
Sadie: “Everything looks good. Don’t you think it looks good? I think it looks good. I haven’t tasted it yet. I’m still getting mine ready. How’s yours, Mother? Is your good? John? Yours o.k.? Corey?”
Me: “I haven’t tried it yet.”
Sadie: “Well, if it tastes as good as it looks; it’s going to be great. Do you need some catchup, Mother? These fries look great. We should do them like this more often. There are plenty of hush puppies over here. Do you want another hush puppy, Mother? John, there are plenty of hush puppies. They have corn in them. Corey, I know you don’t like corn.”
Me: “I like corn.”
Sadie: “You like corn? I thought you didn’t like corn. Are you sure you like corn?”
Me: I don’t like bananas.”
Sadie: “Bananas? You don’t like bananas? I thought it was corn. Well, these have corn in them. They were buy one get one free. I think they’re good with corn in them. Did you want another hush puppy, Mother? These English peas look good, too. I always thought English peas just went great with fish. Did you get enough peas? John? There are more peas over here. You didn’t want any, Corey? There’s plenty right here. Wow. There is a little much garlic in this dressing for my taste. This is new garlic ranch. There is a lot of garlic in this. Mother, did you get enough salad? There are more dressings over there.”
Dad: “So Coco, I have a question for you and I’m not sure how you’re going to answer so I’ve been sort of sitting on it.”
Dad: “I’ve had all these invitations to join Facebook. If I join, would you be my friend?”
Sadie: “I don’t think that’s a good idea, John. Facebook? You’re a little past that.”
Me: “Whatever, Mom. There are people older than him on Facebook. Dave Burgess is on there. Can’t let the other Presbyterian preacher get ahead of you…”
Dad: “That’s who is asking me to join, other preachers in the Presbytery. So, would you be my friend?”
Me: “I don’t care. It’s not like you don’t know everything I do anyway. The stuff I don’t tell you, people who read my Facebook tell you. You’d might as well read it for yourself. I wouldn’t be Mom’s friend, so if you leave yourself logged in and she can figure out how to get on there and read all my crap then no, but I don’t care if you’re on there.”
Sadie: “I’m not doing Facebook. You don’t have to worry about that. There’s plenty of fish over here. Oh, I didn’t see that big piece under there. Is that bass? That must be the bass. This bream is good. You need to get out there and catch some more fish, John. When are you going to start fishing again?”
Dad: “Is 2:30 this afternoon soon enough?”
Sadie: “Mother, do you want some more fish? There should be enough here for the boys to eat later. Do you want me to box this up and you can take it home for the boys to eat? I think they would eat this. They love fish. I don’t know if they would eat these hush puppies since they have corn in them. Do you want to take this home? Why don’t you just leave it here and they can have it for dinner this afternoon when they come over. If they don’t want it then you can take it home tonight. I think they’ll eat it. Don’t you?”
Me: “That’s fine. Leave it here. They’ll eat it. I don’t feel well. I’m going home to lie down. Thank you for lunch. Love you, Mamie. Bye, Dad. Bye Sadie.”
I drove home. After about two minutes the boys came home. The first thing they both said was “I’m hungry.” Sigh. Wish I had that fish. A text came in from my mother that read, “since pretty u can bring them earlier if u like don’t know when home from kips can text before they come.” I respond with a text that read, “They are home now.” She responded with a text that read, “Since pretty they can come whenever know u don’t feel good whatever u want and they want.” I reply with “they are eating lunch right now.” You guessed it. In came a text. It began, “sorry didn’t send fish thought they eating there…” At this point, I just closed my phone and set it on mute. The fish really was good, but I’m not sure they were worth all the talking.
***Chatter about Curves (whether it would stay open, who should buy it, how it should be run and whether or not old people could handle it) and why college photos are used in obituaries when someone dies in their 90s along with a few other choice items were omitted in the interest of time and my sanity.