My mother is a gentle rebel. She is also a quiet adventurer. I never tire of talking about my mother and her seemingly conflicting and cheerfully chaotic characteristics. Sometimes it feels like she is 18 different women, all at once, who all want to know if you are hungry and would you like a sandwich. She is, quite simply, as amazing as she is awkward. I know that I have told you about her gentle ability to get along with every crazy, crooked, and even falling-off-the-tree branch of her family, and that she very often moderates conversations between them, with contentious issues like abortion, gay rights, and who is the best Beatle in the forefront. Awkward folk do not hold with the theory that polite conversation doesn't include religion, politics, or musical taste. No, we just go for it, while serving a lot of food to make people sluggish and less likely to be able to get up and hit each other. Awkward Grandma reigns supreme in this environment; food, festival, and fights. No, not the fights. She is amazing; just kinda floats over all of it with a smile and a "hmmm...that's an interesting point." She told me once that there is nothing to fear from words, only what behaviors they can lead to if one has an unquestioning and unimaginative mind.
But I am here to tell you about her adventurer side. My mother has travelled the world. Not all of it, and certainly not while she was saddled with 3 children to raise and a nursing degree to get, but she greatly enjoys globe-trotting when she gets the chance. However, she also enjoys doing it on a smaller scale; ask me sometime about the great Lincoln scavenger hunt that found us, on the same day, nearly joining a demolition derby, eating ice cream in a parking lot with a car shaped like a chicken, and prowling around a graveyard, looking for open crypts. That might have also been the trip we went looking for "Hitler's bicycle" but someone had stolen it and nailed a note to the tree, gleefully explaining that "no one will ever find Adolf's bike again!" Awkward Grandma likes the weird. She likes the unusual. She likes anything that is gonna make a good story the next time we are altogether eating and laughing and eating some more.
Hence, our trip to Chili's. Now, our trip to Chili's is made with the best intentions. No one is seeking Hitler's bicycle, just some tasty burgers and fajitas. Plus, 10% of every bill is going to the Special Olympics and as much as my mother is rebellious and adventurous, she is even more generous. So, off we troop to Chili's. We time it just right, so despite the crowd that comes in after us, we are seated right away. We settle in. Figure out what we might want to eat. Admire the decor. Fashion a hat out of the centerpiece:
You know, normal restaurant behavior, really.
Then, Awkward Grandma decides to live a little; she wants a fancy drink! She pulls the drink specials off of Super Toddler's head for a minute (she gives it right back) and decides that the Blue Raspberry Margarita looks delish. She has a weakness for all things raspberry, you see. Anyway, the waiter comes over and this happens:
Awkward Grandma: I would like a Blue Raspberry Margarita, please.
Waiter: Nice choice! Would you like it with the coronarita?
Awkward Grandma: (clearly having no idea what a coronarita is) Sure!
Waiter: Great, I'll go get it.
It turns out to be this:
We now all know what a coronarita is.
And you do too!
So, naturally, we do what anyone else would do. We take about 800 pictures of this thing, including one which truly captures what the man at the next table thinks of us:
Sorry, Buddy! Awkward people tend to be loud and joyful at all times;
I can see why that might bother you.
Here they are after it first arrives. Confusion and shock seem to the overriding emotions.
Trying to figure out how it works.
Super Preschooler offers to help Awkward Grandma drink it.
She politely declines his offer.
She does, however, accept some help from Awkward Dad and myself, and thus, does not end up attending the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony completely blitzed. And get this! The coronarita-laden margarita isn't the only crazy thing we experience at Chili's. Guess who we spy circling the building? This fellow:
Yes, that is a giant chili pepper.
They don't seem to want to let this poor guy in the building, although he seems to try on several occasions. I can only imagine that is because he is weaving erratically all over the place. Kinda like he has had a few too many Blue Raspberry Margaritas with Coronaritas.
Who needs Hitler's bicycle when you have got this to look at, eh?
Tune in soon for more special Special Olympic tales! Some of them might actually take place at the real Special Olympics and not the surrounding restaurants, but no promises.