I've been bamboozled! Hornswoggled! I am still pulling the wool off my eyes. And to think, this schadenfreude was perpetrated by my dear sweet mother!
Last week, on one of our numerous daily phone calls, Mom announced that she had gotten some Subway coupons in the mail for six-inch sandwiches for $3.50. I told her we didn't go there too often, and that when we did, we got the footlongs on some sort of after-hours deal for five dollars. Mom said, "Oh, I never go there. But that commercial for the pulled pork made it look SO good." I agreed. Who could possibly resist barbecue from a sandwich shop? Not the people who get fried chicken from a gas station, that's for sure!
Last night, Mom mentioned that she had seen the pulled pork commercial again. "Oh, me too. You know, I had one on Sunday. It was fantastic!" You see, I had obviously not picked up Mom's subliminal message. She was dying for a Subway pulled pork sandwich. "The Pony and I are going to school to pick up his schedule on Thursday. If it's not raining too much, maybe you can meet us in town and we'll get one."
"Oh! We'll talk about it in the morning. That would be good."
Here's the deal. We have a Subway in town, across the road from the Voice of the Village where I get my 44 oz. Diet Cokes. Mom also has one in her town five miles away, but nobody likes that one. And Mom never goes there. It's complicated. I told The Pony the plans. "Well, I know Grandma can order from Subway. Hasn't she picked up a sandwich and brought it to school for #1?" Hmm...I think she has. But that would have been with a list of his demands, which she probably handed to the unfriendly people in her store. I know she never gets Subways for herself. The plan was for Mom to walk in with me, where she would see the proper way to order, so she could get one for herself in the future. I had no problem doing this for my loving mother.
Plans in Hillmomba are more accurately called "chaos." Although a D-Day invasion level of detail is related over ten or twelve phone calls spanning a fortnight or more, Even Steven usually flings a monkey wrench into the pristine, fail-safe schedule. I think our problem this time lay in the scant 12-hour turnaround between blueprint and mission.
I tried to call Mom when we left Newmentia. From the parking lot. Because my phone won't work in the building, and there are two giant dead zones on the way out of town and into civilization. Her phone was busy. Come on. She has a call-waiting thingy that tells her another call is coming in. She never hesitates to cut me off like a tipsy bar patron just before closing time. I tried to call the #1 son, who had offhandedly mentioned that he might go visit Grandma in between his morning and afternoon carousing. No answer. Mom again. "The party you are calling cannot take your call at this time." Remember when you got a good old-fashioned busy signal? I could not sit another ten minutes on the school parking lot. Teacher vacation time was a-wastin'. I headed off to the bank.
Mom called back in the dead zone. Twice. Left a voice mail transcribed to text. Those things are hilarious, you know. I put The Pony on the case. Mom offered to do it another day. "I don't HAVE another day! I go back to work Monday." She agreed to meet us at Subway. She really wanted that pulled pork. It would not have been feasible for us to pick her up, take her to Subway, take her back home, then go back past Subway to the Mansion. That would have been a 20-mile detour. A three-hour tour. And you know how those work out.
Sigh. We got there. The Pony said he wasn't hungry for any Subway, and that Grandma was bringing him some Chex mix that she just took out of the oven. Mom hopped out of her small SUV. In SHORTS! And an old T-shirt. With her hair not done. Sweet Gummi Mary! I sensed that my little good deed was not coming off as planned. "I told #1 I would get him a sandwich. Here's his list. And here's money. Is this enough? Is it enough to get one for you, too?" Yeah. Her plan was to sit in the car while I went in and ordered three sandwiches. I hate that. Don't you hate to get behind somebody at Subway ordering more than one thing? It's the never-ending sandwich parade. So tedious.
I did it. Because I love my mom. I had not even planned on getting one for myself today. But I did. Not because she was paying, but because it would have hurt her feelings if I didn't. That poor server. She was all alone at the counter. And it was 12:20. Lunch time.
Fool me once, shame on you. I'll eat a sandwich on your dime. Fool me again, and I'll still love you. You're my MOM, for cryin' out loud!