Lame entry title? Presumably. Lame evening out with the family? Most definitely not.
This pleasantly summery late Monday afternoon found the four of us – Kath, her mom and grandma, and myself – headed out a tinge further than our typical Athens whereabouts, because the family had to tend to a few articles of business in the nearby semi-metropolis of Huntsville. It’s home to a Space and Rocket Center, several interesting museums, and of course, the beloved Parkway Place Mall housing the local Build-A-Bear Workshop (and much of my clothes fund).
The first order of business was to the quaint strip known as Providence, to arrange a discussion between Kath and a certain professional she’d been meaning to meet for a while. On the drive over, Kath seemed particularly excited and was glad I could be along, but couldn’t help but think she had forgotten something of significance to the trip. After a while, she realized she’d left the Barnes & Noble canvas tote (acquired on a recent trip) that she had ruled a sufficient carrier for me when we went out. With only slight regret for not having double-checked before leaving the house, the matter was soon dismissed, but her mom ultimately convinced her that I’d be all right staying in the car for an hour.
Sit it out I did, but fortunately in the company of my notebook and the novel I’m working on finishing. Within what seemed like minutes, my biped was bounding out to the car, spouting all manner of positivity and half-urging me to keep up the good work blogging, because the lady seemed extremely interested in me when mentioned. She had apparently even ruled that it wouldn’t be a proper second meeting unless I came with! I couldn’t believe it – another prospective supporter!
When the question of a celebratory dinner arose, we unanimously chimed from the backseat, “Steak ‘n Shake!” Despite that we were right by a regional pizza joint Kath had been wanting to try, nothing at the time seemed to say “here’s to us” like a mouthwatering grilled chicken melt washed down with a thick peach milkshake and a bite of all-American apple pie. Now over her regret of having left my tote at home, Kath took a bit of a stand and insisted that I join everyone inside the restaurant – and bunny forbid, I am nothing short of glad she did!
Marvelous food! As evidenced by our battle-scarred napkins after the main course, none of us had the slightest complaint or felt at all picky. Marvelous company! I had forgotten how much fun Kath’s mom and grandma were to be around, and they kept cracking us all up over the most seemingly trifling things.
About when we decided we definitely couldn’t go without dessert (the place has “Shake” in its name; who couldn’t?!), Kath started picking up on how some of the kids in the restaurant were wearing their trademark paper S-‘n-S hats – and realized that she’d help me put mine on completely sideways! We both only assumed the slogan was intended to be in front until Kath lifted the hat and saw where the front and back were labeled. It was pretty embarrassing, considering that the correct positioning was apparently so commonly known, but I can see how it might be easy to overlook.
Much better! It was about this time that I was in for the biggest surprise of the evening: the restaurant manager walked all the way across from where he was to talk to the family about me! He asked my name, complimented me on sitting up and wearing the hat so proudly (thank goodness we noticed when we did!), then explained that his five-year-old daughter’s most beloved stuffie just happened to be another BABW Tan Swirl Bunny by the name of Fluffy! What a small world, I thought! He was extremely cordial all throughout, no denying, and I felt so accomplished that I had been able to impress two complete strangers in an evening!
When he was on his way back, I told Kath that perhaps his daughter (or even Fluffy) would be interested in reading up on the whereabouts of a certain little tan hare in the area, and jotting the blog’s name and web address on her one remaining clean napkin, she was able to be my messenger once again. The gentleman told us the little girl would be home from her grandparents’ in the morning and would most likely visit as soon as possible! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I just might be getting better with kids after all!
So if any of you stuffies are within reasonable proximity of a Steak ‘n Shake, I’ve become highly convinced that you should at least stop by and see who you might meet. It’s definitely worth a shot, and the menu doesn’t hurt matters either. And I’ll close on the rule-of-thumb that if the paper hat fits, by all means, wear it!