Mama-Gladys, my mother-in-law, is up here from Florida this week. This is a great good thing because I had only ever met her in person one other time, before my Paul and I were even really “official,” and sadly she was ill in March 2012 and missed our wedding. She’s doing pretty well now, but she still says,
You sure don’t have a boring life. You have some incident happen to you EVERY DAY!
And that, Mama-Gladys, is what we call a Jenn Story.
My Paul and I are on vacation this week, so we picked his mother up from the airport. I went in to get her while Paul drove around so as not to get arrested for “standing” too long, but also not to have to pay for parking. It didn’t take too long to see him coming back around the bend again as we stood on the curb with Mama-Gladys’ luggage. He pulled the car over. He got out and hefted the luggage into the trunk. Mama-Gladys got into the front passenger seat. My Paul got into the driver’s seat. I opened the back door on the passenger’s side and stooped in to move over all the things that were in the seat.
Suddenly, to my surprise, the car began to move. I thought maybe my Paul was being hurried along, or maybe he was afraid of being hurried along, and that, confident of my ability to jump into a moving vehicle, he was trying to show the authorities that we were on our way. Only . . .
I couldn’t jump into the moving vehicle, because suddenly that vehicle was moving . . . right over all five of my left toes.
“Ack!” I shrieked, except I’ve had laryngitis all week so it was more that kind of back-of-the-throat hissing sound geese make when they’re mad I guess. “You’re running over my foot!”
I’m still kind of wondering what that looked like to all the people still standing and waiting for their rides on the curb there. Anyway, fortunately the tyre that had rolled onto my toes rolled off of them before Paul slammed on the brakes and I was able to jump into the nonmoving vehicle. Clearly he had seen my intial stoop into the car and thought I had actually gotten into it, and he felt terrible about it. He offered to take me to the hospital, but has anyone ever heard of a hospital really being able to fix a toe injury? And anyway, they weren’t injured. They stopped hurting after about fifteen minutes–but not before I was able to recount two other, much more painful stories of injuries to the same foot. In hindsight, probably not the best way to make Paul feel better about having flattened his wife’s toes (possibly this post isn’t either), but the stories seemed relevant at the time.
By yesterday, though, I had completely forgotten about the foot when Mama-Gladys made her observation about my not-boring life. At that moment, we were sitting in an adorable British-inspired little tea room in Connecticut, trying to have tea and scones. We had been having tea for ages, but for some reasons the scones had not been very quickly forthcoming, and then they did come, and then we had to send them back.
The reason for the back-sending was the Devonshire cream. And maybe the waitress. You know when you can’t tell if someone is a well-intentioned space-shot, or they just don’t care? I feel like I’m better qualified to figure this out, because I am a well-intentioned space-shot, but some are trickier than others. Anyway, along with her forgetting to bring us our respective milk (mine) and honey (Mama-Gladys’) for our tea after she asked us if we wanted it, the scones, as I said, came out later than the tea–about half an hour later.
When they did come out, though, all seemed well. They were fresh, warm, and accompanied by little side dishes of homemade jam and Devonshire cream. Mama-Gladys was not familiar with Devonshire cream (something I’ve always known as clotted cream, but I guess I can see why American establishments–for the curious and not necessarily the Anglo-savvy–would choose a word that reminds one a little less of what happens to your arteries after you eat it), so I explained it to her and might have raved about it a little bit.
She tasted a bit of it, but I just slathered it on the two halves of my scone and drizzled the jam on top and started chowing down. Which, in any case, is probably not how one should behave in a British tea room on either side of the Pond. (By which I don’t mean the Pond on which I live, but that one called the Atlantic Ocean.) I kept thinking I was getting a bitter-ish taste, and then I kept thinking I was imagining it, so I plowed through 3/4 of the scone and then stuck my finger in the remains of the cream in the side dish. I stuck my finger in my mouth. It was the cream. The cream was bitter.
We’re still trying to figure that one out–since in both of our experiences, gone-off milk turns sour, not bitter. Does anyone have any insight into this? In the meantime, I complained to the other waitress, who seemed a little more competent, and we each got a new scone, new jam–and new clotted cream, which tasted much better. It still took a while, though.
But don’t worry. My toes are fine.