"Oh no!" I laughed, and we all started cracking up hysterically, which drew Mom into the kitchen. Dammit, we needed more time to think this through! I should have quickly plated 5 and put them in my fridge! But Mom just stared at the extra work she and Baby Lauren slaved over and shook her head, laughing. Leftovers for everyone! I have pushed these leftovers on Breana for almost a week now and she finally put her foot down the other day and declared, "Mom, I didn't like Mexican dinner on Christmas and I don't like it now!" I was slightly appalled. I mean, who is this child? Doesn't like Mexican?! She's been moving in this direction for some time now though. I was hoping she'd snap out of her Mexican-hating phase but it's grown worse.
When Lauren lived with me for eight months this past year, we'd plan our dinner outings to the Mexican restaurant just up the street, almost weekly. I'd write it on the kitchen calendar with too many exclamation points, and the morning of, we'd exchange goofy texts like, "So excited for tonight!" or "Authentic Mexican Tacos on the horizon!" or "Holy hell, this has been a crap week, where's my queso dip and grande margarita!" If anyone else was joining us, like Breana and one of her friends, or Lauren's boyfriend, Corey, we'd get angry if they objected to our restaurant choice. "NO. We planned this on Monday. We are eating Mexican, dammit!" Last Summer, this was the case and Corey, Breana and her friend all ordered soft drinks and frozen chicken tenders from the kids menu, while Lauren & I were like, "More chips and salsa! Salt my margarita rim! This music is great!"
When Mom was living in Canton, we'd often meet up at the Mexican restaurant near her old house where our favorite server was Jesus. We'd purposely go on Sundays and get served by Jesus. I'd take pictures of the receipt and post it on social media, "You've been served by Jesus". I thought it was funny. I vowed to go on Christmas Eve in 2012 and make Jesus wear a birthday hat, but we didn't. Now, my favorite local Mexican restaurant has my favorite server, Gabriel, and anything you ask or say to Gabriel, he'll smile and say "Why not?"
I love this. I've been guilty of having lunch there on Mondays, feeling all blue on arrival but when I left, after being served by Gabriel, I felt uplifted.
"I'm thinking about having another margarita..." I'll say.
"Why not?" Gabriel responds.
I nod in agreement. Yes, Gabriel, bring me another one.
"I'm thinking about a life change..."
"I'm thinking about moving to the mountains and whittling wood as my new profession..."
I wonder if Gabriel would step in if what I wanted would potentially harm myself or others. I would hope he'd only ask, "Why?" and leave off the "not", and then he'd walk off and return with two shots of Patron. Gabriel would sit across from me in the booth with the ripped seating that scratches your legs when you wears shorts. He'd then slide the shot glass my way and with a stern expression, he'd ask, "Why? Why you want to sell your kidney on the black market?"
I don't want to whittle wood (hold up, maybe I do, maybe one day) nor do I want to sell my kidney. But I'm open to life changes. I've never been one for New Years Resolutions or announcing them on facebook for all to silently hold me accountable. Actually in years past I never gave much thought on what I could improve on or what I wanted to accomplish in the following 12 months. Maybe I just wanted to make it through the year, never mind what I'd be doing for myself while I was making it through. But this next year. This next year there is so, so much on my checklist with its empty boxes just waiting, hoping to be checked off.
Breana's school has a new saying at the beginning of each school year. Often these get overused and they're plastered on the walls, on emails, newsletters and school projects. They're everywhere in the yearbook come May, and at the year end awards ceremony last Spring, I wanted to stab my ear drums every time I heard, "Wildcats! You are not normal, but remarkable!" But I get it. It's good to have something to strive for and focus on during the year. So my personal 2016 phrase will be "Why not?"
"I'm thinking about doing the things I've always wanted to do, changing the things I haven't and silencing the self doubt in my creative but messed up little head. And many, many other things... "
Happy 2016, my friends.
But how cute are these vintage cartons I found at Junk Drunk Jones in Canton?