Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dinner with Madre

My parents seldom — nay, never — travel. In fact, it's a wonder I've made good on my wanderlust, when you consider how averse my family is to wandering too far from home (our longest trip was five hours from home by car... once, when I was four).

But I digress.

In honor of their 40th wedding anniversary, my sister and I scraped together what we could to help my parents take another road trip (they refused to fly) — this time three states and nine hours away "in the mountains."

We paid for their hotel, their gas, and I believe we even gave them more than enough money to eat decent meals two times a day (breakfast was provided at their hotel). We bought an atlas; road maps; printed directions (thanks, Mapquest); and also presented them with a Visitor's Guide, underscoring cool places to dine.

So imagine my chagrin when my mother revealed to me not only that she and my father had cooked "Healthy Choice" dinners in the microwave one night, but also other related disagreements they had in regards to food choices.

And, I swear to God, here's what she said next:

Your dad wanted to go to Arby's, but I told him I wanted something with more substance than that. I mean, we're on vacation. So we drove around town a little more and ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

When I asked if KFC was also at my father's discretion, she made it quite clear that she loved KFC and that it does, indeed, have more "substance" than Arby's.

But, anyway, if there's one lesson my sister and I learned, it's this:

If we ever do this again, we're making sure their hotel room does NOT have a microwave. And rather than cash or a prepaid Visa, we'll just give them gift cards to specific restaurants.

Maybe even something fancy, like Long John Silvers.


Michael K said...

I feel your pain. My parents have NEVER come to visit me because they are deathly afraid of the city. The last time my mother claims to have visited me, I had to meet her out in the burbs at Brookfield Zoo.

michele said...

Love the post!

Although I can't relate (my parents moved our family 5000 miles away from home during my youth), I loved the story!

Eli Edmundson said...

Funny story.

ds said...

must not have been a fazoli's around.


Pamela said...

send me next time. forget the parents. !!!

Anonymous said...

But did they enjoy their vacation, food aside?

Winter said...

Ha. I love that. My Dad often likes to ask my Mother "Didn't you eat yesterday?" Whenever she wants to go out.

Stacy said...

I would just tell people I was adopted if I was you, maybe.

Beth said...

Luckily, I have a madre who shuns fast food.

disgruntled world citizen said...

Hoosiers, God bless 'em

Supafly Turbo Cyborg said...

Love the wordplay. One question: Could you have your mom define "substance"? Don't get discouraged, I'm sure you'll eventually convince them that secret herbs and spices are no match for malted vinegar.

Unacademic Advisor said...

While I know exactly where you're coming from -my parents are very similar- I have to ask, "It was THEIR vacation, right? Not yours? Even if you did pay for it?"

I mean, I understand that you and your sister went to a lot of trouble and expense with the hope of expanding their horizons. I, too, am continually frustrated with my parents because they won't try new things. But at the same time I know that I feel that way because I enjoy trying new things and want them to enjoy the same experience. The truth is, though, that they aren't me. Wasn't the idea to give your parents a good time? I know it's hard to accept, but if a good time to them is a microwave and KFC, well...

Workman said...

I think you're really selling your parents short with that Long John Silver's comment.

If you send those two to finishing school, they'll be eating at Appleby's in no time.

Just you wait.

XOXO said...

I don't think they went for the sights or the food anyway. i thought they just needed some "alone time" in the hotels. hehe

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Michael - My parents have been here a couple times, at least. But I'm just as worried about them making the trip, as they are.

DS - What's wrong with Fazoli's?!

Pamela - I'll talk to my sister and get back with you.

BPP - For the most part, yep.

Winter - Our respective dads would get along swimmingly.

Stacy - Oh, it's not *that* bad. They're good folks who make poor choices when it comes to food.

Beth - Bet she's healthier for it, too.

DWC - Indeed.

STC - I tried getting her to clarify but couldn't seem to get a working definition.

UnAd - I agree completely; this was my parents anniversary, and they should get to eat/go wherever they want to. And since KFC is one of my mother's favorite places to eat — and there's no longer one in her town — she has everything right to go there. Just thought the whole "substance" comment was funny, not to mention the whole Health Choice microwave thing is an indication not so much that they went where they wanted to, but rather imposed unnecessary restrictions regarding spending.

Workman - I crave LJS about once a year, and Applebees even more so. But don't judge me: it's a wonder I eat anywhere/anything else when you consider my roots.

XOXO - I'm sorry, you must have confused my parents for yours. Bwah chicka bwah bwah.