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Eat the Parents

roy watkins, linda watkins, andra watkins, mount pleasant memorial waterfront park

Do you know a picky eater? I mean, besides your children, because part of being a child is hating whatever our parents want us to eat, right?

I guess my father is a child. Or, he’s showing me what a pain I was as a child. Or something.

“I don’t know why we had to drive halfway to Myrtle Beach to eat.”

“IT’S ONLY FIVE MILES, AND IT’S NICE, DAD!”

“I’m being nice as I can, huh……..you mean they don’t got no popcorn shrimp at this place? Like they have at Captain D’s? Now, that’s some good eating.”

“Hush, Roy. The server is standing right there. Tell him what you want.”

“I don’t want nothing but this water right here. This place is too expensive.”

“DAD!!!!!!!!!!”

(Server backs away from table.) “I’ll bring some bread.”

“I can’t EAT bread. I’ve got to lose 40 pounds.”

“Roy. Look right here. They have spaghetti on the menu. SPAGHETTI.”

“Is that what that is? I can’t read that I-talian. What does ‘taggletale” mean?”

“SPAGHETTI!!! IT ALL MEANS SPAGHETTI, DAD!!!”

“Okay. I’ll have the spaghetti.” (Stuffs mouth full of bread.) “And, maybe this salad right here with some ranch dressing.”

“It comes with the chef’s special creamy blue cheese dressing, Sir.”

“You mean, you ain’t got no ranch?” (Kicks Dad under table.) “Okay. That’ll be fine. You don’t have to spend the rest of the night with me after I eat blue cheese, do you, huh?” (Cackling laughter at fleeing back of server.) “I gotta go to the latrine.”

“I always forget how bad he is, Mom. Why do I do this to myself, trying to give you a nice meal when you visit?”

“The bug man called and asked me to model in my underwear.”

“What???????”

“And, he’s only your husband’s age. Don’t tell Roy. Here he comes. Your spaghetti, Roy.”

“Can we get some more of that bread?”

“YOU’VE EATEN TWO WHOLE BASKETS OF BREAD, DAD!!!”

“Huh? This is the best spaghetti I’ve ever had. I’m so glad I was smart enough to pick this place.”

Sigh.

86 Comments Post a comment
  1. So comically sweet. Loved this post.

    June 22, 2013
    • It would be an adventure to try to get Dad to eat anything in France. At least, there’s always good bread and butter. 🙂

      June 22, 2013
  2. Ain’t that a man! Thanks for the giggle!

    June 22, 2013
  3. This is absolutely like my Dad. Two continents apart, the two men are so similar. My Dad, too, remembers his diet only when we go out for dinner and will obstinately eat only dahi-vada even when we go somewhere that offers this sumptuous thali that features 28 dishes. A thali is a huge plate, Indian style, with little bowls containing all the different dishes and accompaniments, and this restaurant offers unlimited refills. Enjoyed learning that other daughters, too, have such problems with their otherwise gorgeous Dads. Lovely, Andra!

    June 22, 2013
    • Dads are the same the world over, aren’t they? Ours would probably get along famously, should they ever meet. Thanks for this story. It made me smile.

      June 22, 2013
  4. So great! I just talked to my Dad on the phone and he reminds me every time we talk that I’m his little pusscat and he loves me and did I lose that extra weight and have I talked to my Mom today, boy she was the one that got away (?! after 17 years and 6 kids?! What?) I remind him I have cancer so that picture he got ahold of somewhere isn’t going to do me justice and he says, and i quote ‘CANCER!?’ That doesn’t run in MY side of the family!” Did I mention my Dad is a bit of a hypochondriac? This whole thing is really hard on him. Poor Pop. Love him.

    June 22, 2013
  5. Believer #

    Funny!

    June 22, 2013
  6. Your stories about your dad always make me smile.

    June 22, 2013
    • I always worry that they’re hard for you to read, Lisa. I know how much you miss your Dad. I’m glad they make you smile.

      June 22, 2013
      • Well, I have moments of sadness and envy, I admit . . . but it’s good to read about Dad’s who make us laugh and support us even when they are crazy.

        June 22, 2013
      • By the way, did you read Sarah’s response to your comment on my post yesterday?

        June 22, 2013
  7. The sad thing is, we know it is all true. I get it from both directions, above and below. My kids are like that and so is are my dad and his wife.

    But what is this about modeling lingerie for the bug man? Did your mother do it?

    And who the heck goes to Myrtle Beach looking for fine food?

    June 22, 2013
    • No. My mother did NOT do it, but she LOVES the fact that any man flirts with her. She even had an old man follow her out of Wal Mart once and try to get her phone number!! (And, she tells that story with a mixture of dreamy-look-on-her-face and horror.)

      June 22, 2013
  8. You’re a very patient and loving daughter….you really are 🙂

    June 22, 2013
    • Roger, the word ‘patient’ has almost never been applied to me. I will smile all day at the thought that someone thinks me patient. Thank you.

      June 22, 2013
  9. The bug man? In her underwear? Hmmmm. 🙂 Your dad is hilarious. This would have made for a great sitcom, Andra.

    June 22, 2013
    • See reply to Carnell above. My mother is a beautiful woman. I think she loves it that any man would flirt with her at her age, because I know how much it bothers her to look older. And, the thing is, she doesn’t look anywhere close to her age, and she’s had nothing done. (I hope that bodes well for moi.) 🙂

      There’s a running joke behind that comment. She was getting ready for work one morning, expecting a friend to come by to pick something up. The doorbell rang, and she halfway dragged on her robe over her underwear and opened the door……….and it wasn’t her friend. It was the bug man, come to spray the house. She was mortified, but they’ve made a joke out of it now.

      June 22, 2013
      • She is a very lovely woman! Seeing that you get marriage proposals from men across the globe – I’d say you’re following in her footsteps! You are beautiful, Andra! 🙂

        June 22, 2013
    • Aw. Thank you.

      June 22, 2013
  10. A-N-D-R-A (we’re still doing that, right?)

    It’s annoying to work with a difficult parent, isn’t it? I believe that’s why cocktails were invented. By the way, I knew I’d get hungry looking at the menu. I made a conscious decision to click it though. I’ll have to pretend my sub is “Duck Breast with Seasonal Succotash and Tart Cherry-Pomegranate Glaze.” I haven’t had duck in so long. 😦

    You have some mity fine eatin’ establishments thar, Andra.

    June 22, 2013
    • Nate, you never did it wrong. My hormones are properly aligned today. 🙂

      Here’s another fun fact about dinner with my parents: they don’t drink, and they frown upon our drinking in their presence. (!!!!!!!!!) Out of respect for them, there are no cocktails, at a time when cocktails are VERY MUCH NEEDED.

      Charleston has an embarrassment of riches in the dining category. If you ever decide to visit, let me know. We always enjoy showing people its hidden gems.

      June 22, 2013
    • Most welcome.

      June 22, 2013
  11. I love Roy and want to be like him but my wife won’t let me.

    June 22, 2013
    • Several of my friends feel the same way, John. Carnell and my friend Eugene once rode up to a BBQ place in the middle of nowhere just to meet Dad. It was very sweet.

      June 22, 2013
  12. A good laugh for the morning. Hope today is just as much fun!

    June 22, 2013
    • We’re headed to the Farmers Market now. LOTS of strangers for Dad to accost with conversation without being able to hear them…………..

      June 22, 2013
  13. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    Yum, Langdon’s! This tale is a great way to start my day. Thanks, A

    June 22, 2013
    • I’ll bring you take-out from there, Jill, if you let me know when you’re ready to eat after your procedure. xo

      June 22, 2013
  14. Bwahaha! ~ dining out with dear old dad. 😀

    June 22, 2013
  15. That was so funny! I love the restaurants in Charleston- I don’t think you can find a bad one- hope you enjoyed your dinner at least.

    June 22, 2013
    • Oh, you can find a bad one, but we try to avoid those. 🙂

      June 22, 2013
  16. Are you sure we’re not twins separated at birth??? This brings back so many memories of conversations we’ve had in restaurants (to the point where my older brother sometimes refuses to go).

    June 22, 2013
    • It is very stressful, isn’t it? I’m sure the servers are used to some of it, but it is so embarrassing……….

      And, it wouldn’t be bad to be your twin. 🙂

      June 22, 2013
  17. Redneck Garage #

    We experienced the “perfect storm dinner” once in Newport Oregon (11 hour drive north from where we live). We were on a trip with my wife’s parents to their timeshare. My parents were passing through with their travel trailer at the same time. Of course we all had to get together for dinner? Being on the coast, seafood was chosen (I dislike…no make that hate fish…a bad experience from childhood) and all was good until the waiter presented the check. Three grown men sitting at the table. He placed the tab in the center of the table. Knowing what was about to happen I offered to take our two children outside to enjoy the view. The two dads then started a long discussion on who was going to pay for dinner. In the end I believe they split the check…and I did not gag on my fish & chips.

    June 22, 2013
    • Great story, Patrick. You were the smartest of them all, weren’t you? 🙂

      June 22, 2013
      • Redneck Garage #

        I have learned that it is nearly impossible to buy a meal for my parents or in-laws. With both dads there I knew retreat was the best option.

        June 22, 2013
  18. What a beautiful picture, darling! Your hair looks wonderful down. Your dad sounds like a real card. And you mom is the archetype in my mind’s eye of a Southern Belle. I can practically picture her on a front porch swing sipping lemonade and remarking on how delightfully warm it is, and don’t the magnolias just smell wonderful, deah. (Of course, this is all in my head, but it’s what that picture of the three of you invokes. For all I know, your mother loathes lemonade and would be mortified to be thought of as a Southern Belle, and if that’s the case, I will go into hiding now… just give me three days head start.

    June 22, 2013
  19. Too funny. My mother is a pickier eater than my kids, it drives me nuts. Black pepper is too spicy for her. If I cook anything with tomatoes, she picks them out and makes a little pile the side of her plate. Same with peppers. Or sometimes onion. But I want to hear more about your mom and the bug guy!

    June 22, 2013
    • See reply above to brickhousechick/Maria.

      Black pepper? Seriously? I couldn’t eat without black pepper.

      June 22, 2013
  20. I really chuckled over your Dad and his off the wall comments! Are you sure he isn’t kinda pulling your leg a little? He looks like he is smart and jolly, too. I would be appalled if my Dad would have said those things as the waiter arrived, but he often complained about prices and said things I would have hid my head, if not that he would have been upset with me. I have to tell you, he dressed like the absent minded professor, so his attire was more of my embarrassment! He often would wear bolos if ties were requested, he wore plaid jackets or entire safari outfits. At my last wedding, although informal, he wore a plaid suit with Mom who wore a bright floral dress. The two of them looked like country bumpkins but I did so love my Dad, miss him! And never did fuss about the clothes…

    June 22, 2013
    • He absolutely loves to yank my chain. I think he says half the things he does just to set me off.

      Your Dad sounds like he was quite a character. 🙂

      June 22, 2013
  21. God, that sounds familiar… but, I will not be that way!

    June 22, 2013
    • p.s. or shoot me.

      June 22, 2013
    • Ted, I tell myself the same thing……don’t be that way don’t be that way don’t be that way. I just hope I have mind enough to remember not to be that way when the time comes.

      June 22, 2013
  22. And this is why I invite my parents to very different places. Bowman’s Island for my dad and McCrady’s for my mom

    June 22, 2013
    • Oh, that would never do for these two, unless MTM went to Ye Old Fashioned with Dad, and I took Mom to Fish or similar…..(and then they’d bring us a complimentary cocktail, and all hell would break loose.)

      June 22, 2013
      • I remember going to Ye Olde with my pops back in the day!

        June 22, 2013
  23. Made my Saturday morning, thanks!

    June 22, 2013
    • Thanks for reading, Mike. I hope you’re having a great Saturday.

      June 22, 2013
  24. Very true. I made my dad a filet mignon once and he asked for ketchup to put on it (after he microwaved it to the correct doneness).

    June 22, 2013
  25. Your Dad is hilarious Andra. You are SO patient 🙂

    June 22, 2013
    • It’s kind of you to say, but really, I am not patient. I’m too busy laughing at Dad to be mortified by anything he does.

      June 22, 2013
  26. My dad always perused the entire menu with deep thought, mused aloud about the various selections… and ended up ordering the least expensive thing you could still call an entree, generally a sandwich. Also took forever to check over the bill, make sure it was right to the penny–and if it wasn’t, he’d pour on the courtly charm while explaining the problem to the server. Sweetest pain the butt ever. Miss him.

    June 22, 2013
  27. James Moffitt #

    Your dad sounds like a hoot ANDRA…. (no E) 🙂 I would love to meet him one day.

    June 22, 2013
  28. They broke the mould when they made your Dad, Andra.

    June 22, 2013
    • He agrees with you, Kate. If you could have been a fly on the wall today…………

      June 22, 2013
  29. Oh, my favourite post I’ve read today! Who can resist bread?
    Thank you for making me smile!
    🙂

    June 22, 2013
  30. This reminds me so much of my Grandfather. He is now on a diet though, and will bring his own food in an old (And I mean OLD) tupperware container to dinner.

    Because he is 86 and he can.

    PS. He jogs a mile a day. My 86 year old Pop could out run me. *Sigh*

    June 22, 2013
  31. My dad hates squash and yams. For his own good, I have cooked carrots and yams together. Since he’s legally blind, he can’t tell the difference on the plate. He ate it all. “Mmm. Good carrots! Why are you laughing at me?” I pureed all the things my kids didn’t like into the foods they did like. Mwha ha ha. THAT’s how to deal with picky eaters. 😉

    June 22, 2013
  32. HA! HA! HA!!!!!
    I LOVE YOUR DAD

    June 22, 2013
  33. I’m the picky eater in ther house, though I’ve got nothing on Ray. And how about your mom and her sexy self. Parents, you’ve got to love them. 🙂

    June 22, 2013
  34. That was a good giggle – thank you! You’re dad sounds awfully cheeky! I love it! 🙂

    None of us were allowed to be picky eaters and luckily, I have a child who will eat raw sushi, jalapenos and liver. Maybe together, if you dared him (but please don’t; I don’t want to clean up afterwards!)

    June 22, 2013
    • Your son sounds awesome, Katie. I really love adventurous kids.

      June 22, 2013
  35. Sound a lot like my Uncle Joe, who once said, much too loudly, in a restaurant in the when we were teenagers, “who the *^&^#^(*&^ is Mary Juana anyways?

    June 22, 2013
    • Should be “in the sixties”. At least I didn’t say Andre.

      June 22, 2013
    • I wish I could’ve met your Uncle Joe, Penny. Or hooked him and my dad up. Sounds like they might’ve hit it off. 🙂

      June 22, 2013
      • Joe, aka the pickle man, and Roy! Oh the stories we could have written from that hook up, Andra.

        June 23, 2013
  36. I’m so far away from this sort of experience, I’m amused and bemused at your ability to both, to describe and handle the events of the ‘civil’ family and world … and cringe at the very idea of thoughts would cross my mind (I impolitely think out loud in polite company) were I in similar circumstance.

    You’re funny and a talented observer of the human experience, kudos Andra

    June 23, 2013
    • Thank you, Ronald. It was tough to compress a two hour meal into a few sound bytes. 🙂

      June 23, 2013
      • Condensing material into cogent thoughts with preserved storyline in short form is a gift. Actually you are quite good at it in my estimation

        June 24, 2013
  37. Reading this just made my day 🙂

    June 23, 2013
  38. angela #

    Is your pops sporting a pocket protector? Frankly, any guy who can pull off suspenders is a keeper, picky or not! Now, what does surprise me, he goes to Starbucks with their prices….

    June 24, 2013
  39. tarakianwarrior #

    Hilarious! Aren’t parents just so wonderful? Your Mom is definitely a southern woman. 🙂

    June 24, 2013

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