Oh, What a Lovely World

Self spent almost the entire day with son. Mid-morning, as she was tidying up the living room, her cell rang. It was her friendly State Farm agent, saying that if son did not come in immediately and watch a 10-minute safety video, he would no longer be eligible for his “Good Driver” discount.

“Why? He hasn’t been in any accidents since he got his license,” self said. “Is this a new policy? And, we’re really very busy; he’s leaving in two days for Europe. Can’t this wait until he gets back?”

What do you suppose happened, dear blog readers? You can probably guess.

An hour later, self and son were in downtown Palo Alto. State Farm agent’s office on University Avenue turned out to be next to a rather lively bar named Rudy’s. As self and son walked down University, son seemed to be in rather a reflective mood.

“It’s funny,” he said. “The smells. It reminds me of Manila.”

Downtown Palo Alto reminds son of Manila??? Self was quiet.

“Maybe it’s just that it’s so hot. And why is the sky such a funny color?”

And it was a funny color: grayish, hazy.

Self told son there had been a fire in San Bruno. Maybe it was ash, blowing around?

After son had watched the video (Really stupid: In a series of short scenes, different teen-agers were shown chatting to passengers while driving, and each scene ended in exactly the same way, with an “Oh no!” and then a grinding sound and then a KA-BOOM!), self asked son what he felt like eating, and he asked to eat at Kirk‘s.

Oh, Kirk’s, we had not eaten there in what seemed like years and years. In fact, self had not been to the Town & Country shopping center (at Embarcadero and El Camino) in years and years. And today self noticed that it had been spruced up with stone planter boxes and flowers. But Kirk’s was exactly the same. And self had a Steakburger with Jack, and son had an All-Beef Frankfurter with large garlic fries and a drink. And my, those fries were sooo yummy!

After lunch, self decided that, since son was in her company, an event that has only happened two other times this year, they would go to the bank and self would get him Traveler’s Checks for his trip. And for that she withdrew $500.

Then, upon hearing that son was intending to travel with only the pair of flip-flops he had on his feet at that moment, self persuaded him to have a look at Marshall’s. As they were walking in the store, self, preening with over-confidence (as she had been there with Dearest Mum at least three different times in the past week), said: “Over here they have the women’s stuff, and the men’s stuff is all the way on the other side, at the back of the store –”

And son said, without so much as missing a beat, “Or maybe the men’s stuff is right here?  Under this big sign saying MEN’S SHOES?”

And self was so abashed that she fell completeley silent.

And would you believe, dear blog reader, that Marshall’s had only flip-flops and sneakers? What is this world coming to?

But we then wended our way to Target’s, and there we found Mossimo’s (racks and racks of men’s sandals, all in the same shade of tan). There was only one style of sandal, and it was going for $19.99, and self was so relieved when son found the one and only remaining pair in his size.

And then son and self went home, and self proceeded to water some more. And then Dearest Mum called and inquired if self wanted to meet somewhere. And self said, “Why don’t you just come over for dinner?” And Dearest Mum, who was with aunt and uncle, said she thought that would be a good idea. And now self has decided to cook, courtesy of justoneplate.com, a dish with the stunning name of

Strozzapreti Ai Gamberi

Which translates, self thinks, to “shrimp with pasta.” Because it just so happens that she has, in the fridge: a) shrimp and b) linguini. What a stroke of luck!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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