Another Easter Sunday, come and gone. This year, 1 out of 4 children scattered around the country was able to come home. And the one, Young Son, was bringing a Special Guest. The sheer force of all the attention would be focused on them. After this, I'm pretty sure he'll be bribing sisters to come home and take some of the heat off of him.
The meal planning did not get off to a good start. Aunt W, matriarch of the family was given the opportunity to choose where we would eat. "LUBY'S!" was her immediate and unhesitant reply.
"NOT Luby's!" cried brother-in-law.
"NOT Luby's!" cried my husband.
"NOT Luby's!" cried Young Son.
(Of course, none of them would say this to Aunt W's face. Best not to mess with her. She has always gotten her way since she was born the youngest of five sisters over eight decades ago. Oh, no: the males in the family would leave breaking the "Sorry, Aunt W:No Luby's this Easter" news to the females in the family. Chickens.)
Luby's, if you do not know, is a local chain of cafeterias that passed its prime years ago. Yea, even decades ago.
(A place where I formerly ordered what I thought was a healthy dish called "Baked Haddock Almondine". All those times I took it for the team (and my heart) when what I really wanted was the fried chicken. And then I found out the fish was baked in mayonnaise and had 929 calories and 51 grams of fat. That is not a typo or exaggeration. You are dead to me, Luby's.)
Time for Plan B: Everyone come to my house and I'll make a turkey dinner. Because Young Son's Special Guest is his New Girlfriend and it is getting Serious. He has never brought a girlfriend home before and now it is near the end of his senior year in college. He's trusting us to behave. We are all anxious to meet her in the comfort of a home, and not pushing trays in a line. With a chorus of "Help yew?" from the servers behind the cafeteria counters.
So, preparation for the meal began on Wednesday: HEB has a sale on turkeys! What luck. Except my store only had one turkey. One. Frozen so solid I think it may have been a Christmas turkey. (Not to worry, any family member who may be reading this. I'm sure it was an incredibly fresh Christmas turkey. In December.) The meat market manager even gave me a discount for my trouble and lack of choice. (And probably snickered all the way back to his deep freeze. High fives all around for unloading that Christmas turkey for Easter.)
Thought I'd have to defrost it with a blowtorch, but it finally came out of the ice age and cooked quite nicely. To be served to seven people at the Easter table. Including Young Son's Girlfriend.
My sister and I tried to behave, but we really wanted to get to know her. We tried to keep a lid on the enthusiasm. (Have I mentioned we are affectionately referred to as "screeching monkeys" by the rest of the family when we are together?) But we LOVED this girl. She was cute. She was funny. She was smart. (And have I mentioned we LOVED this girl?)
Young Son? Sweating bullets. Quieter than I have ever seen him. Probably worried my sister and I would break out in a chorus of cute stories from his past. But, to our credit, we did not.
We'll save that for next visit.
Because we are pretty sure we are going to be seeing a LOT of her.