I’m nervous. We have one of those busy-ish evenings. Prescription glasses are ready to be picked up before the office closes for the day, but they need to be picked up today for tonight’s orchestra concert. The concert doesn’t begin until 8:00 tonight. Between the glasses, dinner, travel time, getting ready, and arriving on time, it’s takeout night.
Usually it’s a treat. Lately, it’s been a disaster. It happens when I’m hangry. There are days when I skip breakfast, pack a sad little lunch, stay late for a staff meeting, and I’m ravenous when I get home. Takeout sounds like a great idea. I place my order. Everyone else makes their requests and off they go to retrieve the goods. I’m guzzling water to fill me up because if I start snacking to hold me over, I’ll eat too much.
Staying home to get started on household duties that pile up during my day’s absence, my husband volunteers to pick up our order. One night, I order a fancy salad and add a chicken breast for a more filling, yet light dinner. We unpack our food. The chicken is missing. I check the receipt. Sure enough, not ordered. I calm myself down using the strategies we use with kindergartners because I’m about to flat out wail. I find a chunk of chicken in the fridge, add it to my fancy salad, and devour my meal.
On another occasion, I order a burger from one of our favorite burger joint. We have ingredients for burgers, but we have to thaw meat. We’re not feeling the cooking tonight. The restaurant is less than ten minutes from our home. Picky eaters beget odd orders, especially for burgers. I order mine with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, no onions, add cheese and go ahead and add fries. I’m splurging today. We order with time to get it home in less than half an hour. No need for extra water or snacks.
However, it’s already 6:30. We ordered at 6:00. We should be eating by now. 7:00. Nothing. Hmmm…I message my husband. No response. 7:30. No food, voicemail kicks on. I could’ve already defrosted the meat, made the patties, cooked them, peeled the potatoes and made home-fries. I start snacking, just a little. He’ll be here any minute. 8:00. Another call, still no answer. I’m getting a little worried. 8:20. The delivery arrives, finally. There was a wreck. Okay, I get it, but it was that bad? I didn’t even hear sirens.
We unpack our food. Order number one: burger, plain, with fries. Check. Order number two: chicken sandwich, no pickles, no mayo, fries on the side. Check. Order number three: burger, everything on it, add jalapeños and an order of chilli cheese fries. Check. I’m salivating by now. My stomach rumbles. I can eat through the wrappers. Order number four: burger, dry, lettuce. Fries are missing. That’s it. Forget calming strategies, I implode.
Here I am an adult mom modeling behavior about how to handle not getting her way. “You will go back and get the right order, I’m so tired of this!” I put the brakes on though. Positive energy in (inhale), negative energy out (exhale). Check the receipt. All of the orders were correct. Of course. I went to the fridge, retrieved a block of cheese, found the mustard, and reassembled my burger after I reheating it. My kids share their fries. Two fries from each of them. After I chomped down my dinner, I asked why it took so long.
The burgers were ordered at the location 30 miles away. The wreck was in that direction, nowhere close to where we live. During rush hour.
Let’s order a family pack of tacos and add on the flautas. It’s Chuy’s night this week. Last time we had plenty of food plus extra for decent leftovers. Six taco shells, meat, rice, beans, queso, chips, plenty of jalapeño ranch, salsa, a dozen flautas…I’ll make my own margaritas. This is a great deal and we don’t have to special order anything other than adding the flautas.
Once again, hangry. We order. We unpack our food. Five taco shells instead of six. No flautas. Check the receipt. It’s correct, but we didn’t get our flautas. My husband calls, sorts out the order and goes back for them. I’m on my second margarita. I start with the chips and jalapeño ranch. I stuff myself until the flautas arrive. We serve ourselves cold tacos and warm flautas.
It’s takeout tonight. Again. Check everything before you leave. Unpack all of the food in the car. Check the receipt.
I’m waiting. We had a staff meeting today. Two more hours until the concert starts. I had a sad little lunch. My stomach rumbles.
I’ll get some water.