Started with mishigas, I'm afraid.
My parents met my train from Philly (more on that trip shortly) and, after I'd unloaded various sweetrolls and loaves of cinnamon-swirled, Mennonite-made baked goods upon them, we determined that we'd head for far Brooklyn, where they're (vaguely) considering living since my mother fancies being "near the water."
Having established that they do not, in fact, want to live in Far Rockaway (even though I thought all the bungalows were pretty neat) and after several hours of bickering and back-seat driving and sniping that made my shoulders tense, I suggested by way of distraction that we try a famous, venerable red-sauce seafood restaurant in Coney
Having gotten lost a few times, bickering a lot, deciding that they may, in fact, wish to live in Brighton Beach and being told to "just follow" some Italian motorist who then sped up and lost us, we arrived at the early-bird hour of 5:30 and settled in for baked clams, linguine with clam sauce and a glass of Chianti. There were tables of oldsters celebrating birthdays nearby, a tuxedoed waiter with a Russian accent, and comforting food, and we all relaxed and had a very nice time. And then.
It seems it's the custom of this restaurant to let every table try its luck with Pachango. With the check, the waiter produced a black bag and instructed us to choose a number between 1 and 90. If the number he drew from the bag matched our pick, the meal would be on the house.
"42," said my decisive father instantly.
"56," I said.
"Choose one," said the waiter.
"Your choice, Priscilla," said my dad, turning to my mother.
"Okay...42," she said.
The waiter shook the bag and produced tile.
A gasp went up.
"PRISCILLA!" shouted my father accusingly. "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?"
"HOW IS THIS MY FAULT?" she screamed back. "I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN I'D BE BLAMED."
"I'll pay," I said nervously, just as the waiter interjected that "it often happens that way."
"DAMMIT," said my dad, as my mother's defensive screams rose to hysteric proportions.
"Please don't make a scene," I hissed as their escalating shouts began to attract the notice of the elderly diners. "It wasn't meant to be!"
"But it was," said my father grimly. "That's the point, it was." He waved off my offer of payment and, still grimly, proffered his card.
"Well, I think we're losing sight of the main point," I said brightly as they stared at each other with smoldering rage. "My miraculous psychic ability and the fact that I'm never wrong."
We filed out to the car, where someone had left a folded piece of notebook paper under the windshield. "Sorry I lost you," it read. "Glad you found it. - The Guy You Were Following to the Restaurant."
My father maintained a morose silence all the way to my house. The rain began to pound. My mother thought we'd gotten lost about ten times and became angry and hysterical. I was very glad to get home, put on PJs and watch Criminal Minds with some knitting.
This morning, I called them with some trepidation.
"Hi, darling!" said my mother gaily. "We're at a tag sale!"
"Wait, I thought you were 'divesting' before the move," I said, momentarily diverted.
"Oh, well, yes, but we need to be on the lookout for treasures."
"Well," I began, "I just wanted to make sure everything was okay...you seemed really upset about...the Pachango game."
She laughed happily. "Oh, we forgot all about that," she said.
Anyway. This morning donned gray and chilly and British. I donned the brightly-colored skirt I like for this weather and went to the Essex Street Market for groceries. Then I walked over to Granddaisy Bakery on Sullivan and had a delicious sandwich of goat's cheese, marinated beets and arugula. Next door to that is the Yoghurt Place, so I bought some of their homemade Greek yogurt and a small container of compote. Then, over to the far West Side for a little cider donut at Locanda Verde, and another mile or so back to the subway. Just my kind of Saturday: a morning of aggressive walking and exploring and treats and an evening of friends - in this case to see a lecture at the Center for Fiction in the late afternoon and later a drink with an out-of-town friend at Milk and Honey.