Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Night Out With The Siblings

I have an older brother and two older sisters. That makes me the youngest. They are all wonderful people. But last night I did something with them that I can't ever remember doing...ever. No, we didn't all read Shakespeare together..we went out to dinner complete with spouses and everything. There were no kids or grand kids. Our parents weren't there either. There were menus and waitresses...the whole nine yards. We weren't celebrating anyone's birthday, no three day weekend was involved. We simply picked a Ruby Tuesday's in Fredericksburg so Donnie wouldn't have to drive so far, and met for dinner.

It's not that we never eat a meal together. We probably are all together for meals a dozen times a year or more, but it's always at Mom's, or Linda's and it usually involves birthdays and is almost always on a Sunday after church. This time we were seated in the bar. It was really quite shocking. I half expected my Mother to suddenly appear to scold us for eating a meal in such close proximity to alcohol.

Donnie was late, having driven all the way from Maryland still in his postal service uniform since he worked all day. As he walked in we all yelled.."NORM!!" We had decided to meet to discuss some family business, but soon it was just a typical Dunnevant get together. After ordering appetizers, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. When I returned I asked, "What did I miss?" Linda answered, "Nothing. Paula just got in an altercation with a drunk over there for using foul language." There would be no more bathroom breaks for me. This was going to be a fun night!

Although no adult beverages were consumed, our fellow patrons would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. We Dunnevants talk at a rather high decibel level about even the most benign subject. So, as the discussions proceeded into politics we were in full-throat-ed shout-mode. We talked about Obama, a Chinese postal worker who brings his lunch to work everyday in a midsized suitcase, the miracle that is the Washington Nationals' 14-6 record, and someone Donnie works with named "Avis Davis, NOT Mavis".

The seating arrangement was strategic. The four siblings were in the middle with out-law spouses on the perimeter. As we began to talk business, Ron and Pam would lean in towards the center so as to better hear the conversation. Bill refused to be distracted from the giant rack of ribs he had ordered and showed no interest in joining in the conversation except when he abruptly asked me, " You gonna eat that pickle?"

After an hour or so of discussion and in response to my blogpost about Martin's having ruined Ukrops, Donnie pointed out that the same thing had happened in Maryland to his favorite grocery store. It had been bought out by a Norwegian company with the  phonetically challenged name of Ahold....with the "d" being notoriously silent. Hilarity quickly ensued as all of us took turns using the company name in creative sentences like..."Where do you work?..Oh I work for the "ahol" down the street!" And so on... This went on for another 30 minutes since we all had to wait for Bill to eat the three desserts he had ordered. By the time he downed the last bite of Apple Brown Betty, our ribs were sore from laughter, and we all were wondering how come it had taken us so long to plan a night like this.

I tipped our long-suffering waitress generously.