Elise decided that Buffalo wings would suffice for a wholesome dinner tonight. She professed as much when I pulled into the driveway this evening after getting home from work as she was swinging Maly in the swing.
So we went to Pluckers on South Lamar for dinner. What used to be a Black Eyed Pea is now a local, hip eating spot, chock-full of beer guzzling college kids and plasma TVs airing the NBA Playoffs.
What would have otherwise been a fun Tuesday night out became Elise and I facing each other from across the patio table, and facing the fact that we’re getting old. Knowing that there wasn’t much we could do about it, we had to sit there and watch our daughter eat nothing for dinner other than two ounces of ranch dressing while using a waffle fry as her spoon.
Tears trickled down our cheeks and we sniffled as we desperately tried to scarf down 20 wings doused with napalm. What would have once garnered laughter and countless beers back in our college days left us tonight in fearful anticipation of both of our next bowel movements.
And then there were the patrons who shared the patio with us on our family outing. I found myself saying, “Oh, awesome! And here come TWO MORE!” We seemed to have happened upon the South Austin Smokers Night Out. I remember a couple years ago when it was passed into law where smokers are not supposed to be 20 feet of a doorway. We were sitting outside, and I think the smokers were playing by the rules as they were at least 20 feet away from the main entrance, but only a few feet from the rest of us sitting out on the patio. Every hot, sniffling bite of Fire in the Hole Buffalo wing was full of a someone else’s wet Winston exhale.
Elise and I sat there, sitting across from one another and recalled the time, ten years ago, when we were the smokers. It went without saying that one day, these smoking patrons will one day, in ten years, find themselves with a hankering for Buffalo wings, a two-year-old child with ranch dressing dribbling from her chin and be subjected to cigarette exhaust while trying to eat dinner.
Although I was keeping one eye on the Dallas vs. New Orleans game, Elise finally said, “I WISH THEY’D TURN THE VOLUME DOWN ON THESE DAMN TV’s DOWN!!!”
I quickly and calmly rebuttaled with, “Don’t say DAMN in front of the B-A-B-Y!”