Saturday, August 27, 2011

My day at Chick-Fil-A. In which I lie, steal, cheat and lose.

For those of you unfamiliar with Chick-Fil-A, it is not pronounced Chick-fil-uh.  It is like, Chick-fillet.  It's a play on words because they are chicken fillets.  You know, clever. And if you don't know how to pronounce fillet you are on your own.

So anyway.  I decided to treat myself and my children to an afternoon of yummy fried chicken and sunless indoor play (it is crazy hot here.)  My husband warned me that Chick-Fil-A on a Saturday at noon would be a mad house (Lubbock loves fried chicken.) but I insisted it wouldn't be THAT bad.  I was so confident, in fact, that it wouldn't be so bad that I forwent a shower this morning and left the house in my pajama shirt.  I did put a bra on (achievement!).  So we drop Brett off at work and wander over to our local friendly Chick-Fil-Uh.

The second I pulled into the parking lot I knew I had made a terrible mistake.  The drive-through line was wrapped twice around the building.  There was a steady stream of people going in and out the doors.  If only I'd had a survival mode, I would have driven home right then and there.  But I had told my kids we were going to go play.  Turning around now to save my life would most definitely destroy my sanity.  There really was only one option.  Time to brave the chaos.

So the line is crazy long and my kids are already egging for the play pit.  I release the reins and let 'em go.  I get in line.  I am that annoying lady in front of you in the line who doesn't realize when it moves forward cause she is so distracted by something else.  I am trying to see my kids in the play place.  You keep asking me to move forward.  You are annoyed.

I finally order and move out of the way.  One can't wait for one's food, you have to move to the side and let 7 other people order until they finally frantically scream your name, begging you to come claim your stuff so they can start harassing other customers.  I wait about 5 minutes when someone small starts to tug on my pant leg.  It is Juliet.  "I have to go to the bathroom" she says, and then before I can grab her she darts away between the milling masses of people.  She's run the wrong direction from the bathroom, back to the play place, and now I have to hunt after her all the while worried that our food order is going to be given away to someone else if I don't hear them frantically shouting for me.

"Juliet!  Get your shoes on, the bathroom is this way!"
"I don't have to go"
"You just told me you did."
"Well I don't."

Now I am that mom who yells at her kids in public and, oh please tell me you didn't, but oh yes I did, I start counting to three.  I can feel "tacky" sticking to me like bad wall paper, but I don't have time to fool around.  I have to get this kid in and out of the bathroom before my number is up.

Where is Bensen in all this?  Oh who knows.  I'm sure he is still in the restaurant somewhere.

So I get Juliet in and out of the bathroom, and back to the play place in time for Vik-ee to hollah "KRISTIN? KRISTINE? KELLY?" It looks like what I ordered so I jump on it like a vulture onto carrion (whatevs, vultures totally do jump).  I peak in.  I forgot to order a fruitcup in lieu of waffle fries.


"I'm missing a milk," I tell Vik-ee.
"Oh I'm so sorry.  Here it is."
"Also I ordered a fruit cup with one of these kids meals."
"Oh, sorry about that."

Free fruit cup.  I am a terrible person.  I honestly in all honestness meant to say, "I forgot to order a fruitcup with one of these kids meals" but somehow the 'forgot' got lost and 'order' picked up a different suffix.  I walked away from the register in a daze, stolen fruitcup in hand.  What kind of person was I becoming?

There are no free tables in the whole restaurant.  I'm feeling a bit frantic, I need to put this food down somewhere and make sure my kids are ok.  I turn this way and that, and come face to face with a crying barefoot Bensen.  A very nice lady is holding his hand trying to figure out what to do with him.  "He's mine," I say, trying to balance my tray of food and cigarette in one hand while I grab for him.  "Sorry, and thank you."  The table next to me is miraculously emptying.


I see an old lady with a handful of napkins eyeing it though I pretend not to see her. Before she can make a move I plop my baby right in the middle of the table before it's been fully evacuated, and actually scoot the fleeing families tray off the table with my own.  Luckily the dad is a ninja and catches his tray before I make a real spectacle of myself.  I see tears well up in the old ladies' eyes and try to suppress a smug look.

I open the pilfered fruit cup and hand Bensen a fork.  Juliet, also barefoot, walks over to the table and we sit down to a nice meal together.  The youngsters pop in and out at will, heading off to play and then coming back for a few quick bites.  I flip through the current issue of "Guns and Ammo" idly twirling my mullet through my fingers, debating on letting it grow out or shaving it short again.

"Kristina, is that YOU?" I look up, it is one of my friends.  Not a Betty from the double wide trailer type of friend -- you know, a friend you are comfortable inviting over at any time cause you know she won't judge you cause her parenting style is as bad as yours if not slightly worse?  No, she is more of a June Cleaver type of friend.  One of those moms who has two kids but still looks 20.  Her hair is as long as mine used to be before I got frustrated and lopped it all off, but it is cute and styled in a way my hair could never even dream of being the cheap knock-off version of (wow did that sentence work?  I hope the sentiment did at least.)  She is cute, cool, poised and confident.  And to make it even worse, she is NICE, so you can't even hate her for being so obviously better at this than you.  And that is when I realized.

I AM THE BETTY FROM THE DOUBLE WIDE TRAILER FRIEND.  With my pajama shirt on, my unkempt hair, my barefoot kids, my stolen fruit-cup, and my old-lady's-dream crushing ways.


"I'm sorry," I reply to the lovely June Cleaver.  "You must have mistaken me for someone else."


"Kristina, you're so funny.  It's nice seeing you!" The angels practically whisk her away.  

*for those of you worried about the stolen fruit cup, I did actually pay for it.  What can I say, my parents raised me right.  I cannot steal, and I cannot tell a lie.  Well, I did totally steal that table from the old lady.  So I guess they just mostly raised me right.


Hannah said...

I love how you get trashier and trashier...balancing a cigarette, twirling your mullet?

You're too funny.

Audrey said...

you are hilarious. Glad you did the right thing (well, almost)!

Cox Family said...


Jenni said...

Oh man, oddly enough this makes me miss Texas. A lot. It makes me miss you and me in Texas. And it makes me miss Texas. They do love their Chic-fil-A. It is almost embarrassing. I am glad you made it out of their alive, even if you had to become a heathen to do so. I love you.

Dan said...

my little sister is finally coming into her own.
btw, i avoid tacky by counting down instead of up.

The Youngs said...

You are a gifted story teller, honestly :)

Kelli Foutz said...

Oh my, so funny. I seriously laughed and laughed. You are an amazing story teller, it was like I was right there seeing the whole thing myself. Which is frankly satisfying since we are so far away. I love you!

Kyle said...

This is Uncle Kyle, your mother-in-law said I had to read, so I did, and I am a better person for it.

However, you are in no danger of certified white trashosity. That honor goes to a family whose cars I tinted in CA. They paid cash to tint cars that had no interior door panels, they had car parts wrapped in rugs in the front yard, the couch sank to the floor, they had a satellite dish. But none of that put them over the top. It wasn't even the pool table in the living room. It was the Budweiser pool hall light hanging over the pool table that put them over the top. Mullets are the least of it. They were even fashionable on Kurt Russell a couple of times.

Thank you for making me laugh out loud.

Kat said...

You are way to good at telling stories! I just leave wanting more and more!