Tim, the J-pop and I were in D.C. last week to enjoy some time together when it happened.
Much to my dismay, it didn’t happen in a convenient location (i.e. in the privacy of our hotel room) but in public.
No, I didn’t pee my pants while laughing hysterically at one of Tim’s jokes. And I didn’t haphazardly make a nasty pongu (korean for fart) while sneezing—both of which I would have happily endured a million times over what actually did happen.
I cried. (I never cry)
In public. (Especially in public)
In the middle of a very nice restaurant.
In front of our very good friend who took time out of his very busy schedule to stop by and imbibe with us (he’s deploying to Afghanistan this week).
In front of our very attentive waitress, who, by the way, did not know what a White Russian was and ended up bringing me a Black Russian that I had to send back because I was in the mood for a white one—I like my Russians like I like my Greek yogurt: white & creamy. Bad analogy.
It had been a very long day. The three of us and Karla (a former student of mine who traveled along with us as J’s nanny) ventured out into the day at 8AM. We toured the Capitol, compliments of Ileana Ross-Lehtinen who has this amazing view from her office:
We had lunch with another good friend, who left one bad-ass job (USAF Special Ops pilot) to go do another bad-ass job on Capitol Hill. We walked westward down the mall, toured the National Museum of Natural History, detoured to walk around the White House, randomly met, on the street, one of Tim’s friends from medical school… but I digress...
We continued walking all the way down the mall from one monument/memorial to the next until we reached the Potomac. By that time it was 7PM, the sun was setting, the temperature dropping. My feet were sore and I was famished. Famished!
We finally made it back to the hotel when Tim had the idea of having dinner in Georgetown. (Did I mention that June is only 16 months old and her bed time is at 7 PM?) After some slight hesitation, I agreed--Tim has a way of convincing you with that toothy grin of his and JP is amazingly flexible and chillax.
Although my mommy intuitiveness knew that this was going to be messy, I remained optimistic.
Dinner was a bomb. Everything that could go wrong did. Due to circumstances that I won’t bother getting into, we didn’t order immediately (as all you mommies already know, you simply must, must, order immediately, if not sooner, when dining out with a ticking time bomb). And to make matters worse, June decided she wasn’t going to be chillax after all. She’d had enough of being flexible. It was her fourth night away from the comforts and routine of home and, damn-it! she wanted to be held by mommy. Right now! Not Karla. Not daddy. But mommy! Mommy! Mommy!
Through my eyes, Tim, Karla & Mike were all enjoying their nice, warm, delicious meals (the thought of them not being nice, warm or delicious was beyond me), engaging in delightfully witty, adult conversation while I wrestled a very tired little maguai, sipping on my White Russian and nibbling on my fries (the only thing on my plate that I could manage to eat with my hands full).
I kept trying to make eye contact with Tim, desperately putting on my “please save me” face. But no go. He didn’t get it. I tried something a little more assertive.
“Hey, Teej… guess who’s eating fries now (indicating the J-pop)”
“What! Why? …don’t feed her fries…”
“Well, then… you hold her!”
What. He didn’t get that hint either? That was crystal!
Then, some 10 minutes later as they were all finishing up their nice, warm, delicious meals (while I had only nibbled on a few of my, now cold, fries), I hear Tim say to the waitress,
“Can we get another one of these (indicating his empty pint) and another one of those (indicating Mike’s empty pint).”
That’s when it happened.
If you know me at all, you know that I’m the “keep all the emotions inside” type. The kind that likes to bottle things up in nice little, neatly P-Touch labeled beakers, topped with a synthetic cork--not natural cork because I’m trying to be green (those trees are endangered, or are in danger of becoming endangered) even though natural cork is more romantic than synthetic. But nowadays being green trumps being romantic—and they pop just the same.