There are very few “convertible days” in Texas, meaning days when one can drive around in a convertible comfortably. It is usually too, as in too hot, too cold, too windy – too something. But the other day was one of those rare convertible days making it not unpleasant to run errands, getting in and out of the car or even eating in the car.
Eating in the car is a staple of motherhood. It just has to be done and I even enjoy it. Antique Daddy does not understand this. To him, dining “a la car” is some level of sin, menial, venial, social. To him, just as you would not eat in church, you do not eat in your car. Like all humans, I go to great lengths to hide my sins, so anytime Sean and I eat in the car, I make sure to remove all evidence.
So, the other day after dropping Sean off at school, I did some shopping and ran some errands. I had a lot to get done that day, so I went through the McDonald’s drive through and picked up an Asian salad. I am no fan of McDonalds, but their new Asian salad is really pretty good.
I was looking forward to parking my car under a nice shade tree, opening the sunroof and eating my salad all alone in the peace and quiet of my car. I was looking forward to reading an uninterrupted chapter in whatever book I happen to have in the car, this time “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” by David Sedaris -a great book for the car or airport or doctor’s office or anywhere you find yourself with a few minutes to read.
I drove a half or mile or so and found a nice shady spot. I parked my car and popped the dome lid off the salad. I sprinkled it with the sliced almonds and Paul Newman’s very own sesame dressing. My mouth was watering. I was hungry and could not wait to dig in. I looked in the bag for the plasticware and found only a knife and one flimsy napkin. I looked again. I looked in the seat of the car. I looked under the seat of the car. No fork. I looked in the side pockets of the car hoping that just maybe a spork from the ghost of drive-through past would magically appear. I cursed myself for several reasons: 1) for not checking the bag before driving off and 2) for throwing away spare sporks 3) for the fact that I am amused by the phrase “spare sporks.”
Well, that was just great. I had a salad and no way to eat it. I reviewed my options. A) Drive back to McDonalds and go through the drive through again for a fork – or – park, go inside and stand in line for a fork. That would take at least another 30 minutes. B) Run into Bed Bath and Beyond and buy that set of Gorham flatware for eight that I’ve been wanting. C) Save the salad and have it for dinner. So what if it would be several hours before I got home. What are the odds, really, of getting food poisoning? D) Throw out a perfectly good salad and spend 20 minutes in the Taco Bueno drive through for a party burrito. E) Eat the salad with my hands.
I was hungry, tired, frustrated and three days into PMS. The man running the weed eater right outside my car window as I was trying to enjoy a salad and book in peace and quiet acted like he’d never seen a woman eat a salad with her hands before.
If they’re going to make you eat a salad with your hands, they ought to at least give you extra napkins.