Thursday, March 11, 2010

While Waiting...

I’ve been sleeping in Miya’s room on a mattress next to her bed. She announced that she heard me snoring when she was having trouble falling asleep the first night we had this arrangement. On the way to drop her off at her ballet class as I was changing my temporary address from Scott’s to Elaine’s, I asked Miya if she was going to be glad or sad that I’ll no longer be snoring in her room. She says she’ll be sad because hearing me snore actually helped her go to sleep. There’s a reason they’re called grand children.

For those of you who don’t know this: Elaine is married to Bub. Bub’s the father of my children, otherwise known as my ex-husband. I’ve temporarily moved into the apartment above Elaine and Bub’s kitchen, otherwise known as the “caterer’s suite.” I’m often the cook for Elaine, but this time Bub was cooking for us.

Here’s a major difference between me and my ex: I went down to the kitchen where he was stirring a pan of oil, onions, bell peppers, and Rotel tomatoes. I asked what he was making. “Corn,”he said. I took this to mean that the ingredients in the pan were going to be part of the corn dish known as maque choux. “You mean maque choux, don’t you?” I suggested. “I don’t know what that is. I’m making corn,” Bub insisted.

Bub has always been the master of the mundane; I’ve always fancied myself the mistress of magical reframing. I told him he’d never make a living as a caterer. You can charge five dollars for a side dish of maque choux, but try getting that for “corn.”

Bub also made a delicious variation on pasta primavera, which I’m sure he’d have called “spaghetti” – and fried a fish he’d caught off of his back yard dock. I’m going to ask him for his recipes. That should be an interesting conversation.

I’m staying with Elaine while a friend has surgery at a near-by hospital. Sitting in the surgical waiting room provided an interesting opportunity for perusing people.

An older couple came in, the man smiling, his partner impatient to get her surgery over with. As several of us commented on how bad the free coffee was, the older gentleman proudly displayed his too-cool travel cup. Not only did it keep his coffee hot, it’s actually a French press pot. He demonstrated how he can put in two scoops of his favorite grinds, add hot water, press, and presto! – a good ,fresh brew of his choice.

His wife bemoaned the fact that she was fasting, so all she could share of her husband’s beverage was the smell. Then she took his hand and gently smiled as they sat in companionable silence.

Another woman sat across from me, copiously crying into a daintily embroidered handkerchief. When was the last time you saw anyone weep into anything fancier than a Kleenex? She was waiting for her ex-husband to keep her company while their forty-something-year-old son had a kidney stone removed. I love my son, but somehow I think I’d be a tad less upset than this maudlin mom if he was having surgery for something as simple as a kidney stone. Not that Scott ever had to have surgery for anything -- broken bones and stitches, but nothing more serious than that.

The entertainment award goes to the extremely old lady in red pajamas and matching red robe accompanied by her red-haired, also red-robed niece. They apparently came in so the niece could hold court. She regaled the waiting room audience with a detailed description of how uncomfortable the sleeping arrangements are for anyone staying with a hospitalized relative.

She let us all know that there was no way she’d let her aunt stay without her, so whenever her aunt is hospitalized, she dons her pajamas, packs her pillow and blanket, and heads to the hospital with her. She also announced that neither she nor her aunt drank the bad waiting room coffee because they brewed good old Luzianne in her aunt’s room. Then, they shuffled away – presumably to refill their coffee cups.

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