We had dinner at the bar of the very fabulous Tavern at Lark Creek, formerly the Lark Creek Inn which still resides across the street from my grammar school. The whole vibe in there is different, and yet the ladies room is in the same place. Win-win.
To my shock, Chris looked at the menu and said, "Go nuts! This is on me, mom."
"Chris, you've never bought me a coke."
"Yeah." He said as he smiled at the bartender. "But it's your special day."
On and on, this Mother's Day farce went, prompting me to occasionally offer, "I'm not his mom."
Chris is older than me and Filipino, but I still felt the need to make it clear. I would never raise this.
"Are you gonna finish whatever the hell that is?"
"No, I'm done."
He motioned for me to pass my plate, then asked if I would cut it and feed it to him.
"Dessert mom?" He was really enjoying himself.
"But I know how you like your coffee after dinner." He looked across the bar. "My mother here would love a coffee."
He helped me up from my chair, he parked valet, he really took what should have been a 10-second joke and turned it into a 3 hour comedy routine for the benefit of himself and an array of waitstaff, all of whom appeared nervously confused. Obviously, I wasn't his mother. But this is the 90's! There could have been some complicated family structure that would allow a 33 year old Pacific Islander to treat a 32-year old WASP to Mother's Day.
I had no idea how to play this one. My constant, "He's kidding" only made everyone more nervous, except for Chris who just ignored me. And his, "You moms always order appetizers as entrees!" were met with knowing nods from everyone around us.
When Chris excused himself to "the little sons room" I leaned towards our friendly bartender.
"He's not my son, you know. He's my idiot friend."
"Okay." The bartender slowly said. "Should I take his plate away?"
I looked down to find certain ingredients from Chris' meal picked out and piled at the far end of his otherwise empty plate.
"Yeah. He's done. He's just...he's a picky eater."