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Big families draw attention in public outings

Posted: May 28, 2014 - 12:05am  |  Updated: May 28, 2014 - 1:59am

Paul and I recently decided to take the family for ice cream. We had gone to a wake and afterwards I was feeling like I needed to celebrate the life of our friend Mr. Tom, who died that weekend.

We arrived at the DQ looking very dapper, I must admit. Husband in crisp oxford, boys in a hue of polos. Isa sported the biggest hairbow legal for her head size – and I actually didn’t look like something the cat dragged in. Hairbrush and lipstick, you complete me.

We settled around a table outside and I quickly got over the shock of my blizzard not making the order. The cashier didn’t realize we wanted two Buster Bar Blizzards (in addition to the other six blizzards) and she only charged us for one. And when it was time to re-order I took it as a sign that maybe I didn’t need one since every time I eat ice cream treats the sugar high and then plummeting low isn’t really good for anyone in my immediate one-hundred acre radius. I usually always make Paul swear he won’t let me eat sweets ever again, and then a few days later I suggest we get sweets and get mad when Paul tries to suggest we don’t.

There we sat, enjoying our lactose libations when one of the boys noticed a group inside staring at us with fervor. Because the boys often feel this way and are only sometimes correct, I turned my head to assess the situation. Sure enough, seated just on the other side of the glass were two not-so-elderly women waiting for their men to bring them some cones.

I looked at them looking right back at me.

“They’re probably not used to seeing such a big family,” I said to my boys, as I snatched a bite of Henry’s cone when he wasn’t looking. It was so great not to have my own Blizzard to make me feel sick, I exulted, as I asked Paul to share a bite or four of his.

A few minutes later, Elliott noted once again that the ladies were still watching. “Maybe they want to take a picture,” he said (and sort of meant it sincerely).

By this point, the men had come back to their table with treats and I snuck a peek in time to notice that one of the women was in fact holding a phone up to her face.

“She’s actually taking our picture,” I mused. They’re either intrigued by all the boys, or mesmerized by the girl on the end.

Last week at our Mother’s Day brunch, a young couple seated behind us stared so intensely I could feel their eyeballs on the back of my head as I enjoyed my grits. And I could not for the life of me figure out their take. Were they annoyed? Were they inspired?

When I stood to leave after our meal, I turned to them and said good-bye.

“Enjoy your meal,” I said. To which they replied, “Thanks.”

 

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