My mom has the best of intentions, and she is the most kind, hardworking individual you’ll ever meet. But in assuming her rightful role as mom, she can be…oh man, how can I say this…embarassing at times. But it’s never the bad kind of embarrassing, just the oh-my-god-mom-please-don’t-say-that-type-of-embarrassing. Just the other day we had lunch at Mariposa inside Neiman Marcus. We don’t really go there expecting spectacular entrees or desserts, we go for the billowing bounty of warm popovers with pineapple-papaya butter.
But I’ve said enough about those popovers here.
We also come for the little cups of chicken consommé my mom is in love with, she never fails to marvel over “how the make it so clear, so sweet, so gooood.” But mostly we come to talk, mother-daughter bond, chit chat, if you will. All was going well that particular lunch, we had eaten two popovers each (which inevitably means we’ll be too full for our entrees, but will probably eat it all anyways) and were awaiting our entrees.
Mom broke the casual silence with, “well Kathy, now is a good time…”
I was thinking, good time for what? another popover? a martini?
And she continued, “you just graduated college, your just about to start work, now would be good…”
Good for what?
She wasn’t done yet, “yes, now would be a good time to get a good boyfriend.”
OMG MOM. I swore the husband and wife at the next table over were trying to eavesdrop on our conversation.
Well, that was that, I thought.
But she wasn’t done!
A sip of water.
She continued thoughtfully, “you’re young now, you see. And young is good. Cause when you’re young, you have time.”
I wanted to shrivel up and die.
But oh no, there was more to come, “…and you have more options…”
I put my hand over my face. I have no idea who or what I was trying to hide from.
I’m only 21!
I think she was worried I’d be single forever.
And then our entrees arrived!
“Okay, mom!” I said brightly. Maybe a little too brightly, stabbing my fork into my salmon salad. “MMMMM YUMMMM!!!!!” I said, stuffing slices of roasted salmon, curried pecans, and bitty mounds of goat cheese in my mouth. Truth be told, it was a good salad, especially the champagne papaya vinaigrette, but erm, it was somewhat hard to enjoy the salad with the suggestion that I get a “good boyfriend” hanging in the air. My face was most likely bright red with embarrassment. I had time? Would I somehow wake up tomorrow morning, 40 years old with no relationship to speak of? Is that what she was worried about? Mom on the other hand, had no discernable inking that I was incredibly mortified, bringing up the names of a few guys that were, yes, cute, yes, nice, yes, definitely datable. But still. I just wanted to eat lunch, not worry about my future!
While all these crazy ideas were spinning circles in my mind, mom was enjoying Mariposa’s take on laksa, with shrimp, clams, overcooked ahi and a side dish of steamed rice, spooning some on a separate dish for me to sample.
It was decent, nothing memorable…but now I was in panic mode. OMG. I must be in really bad shape for mom to worry about me. I swore just yesterday she was telling me not to “do bad stuff with bad boys!” I changed the subject, and I changed it quick, bringing up other topics unrelated to boys or food. And she didn’t bring up the matter again. We ordered dessert. A really pretty dessert in fact, a warm lilikoi pudding cake.
A fruity version of molten chocolate cake meets soufflé. It was far too sweet, but this was expected, based on past experience with other desserts at the Mariposa. My favorite part was the butterfly tuile, which I broke in half and used as a spoon, scooping down the warm innards of the warm lilikoi cake/pudding, and up to catch wisps of cool crème anglaise and cuts of papaya and kiwis. We hung around for a while, over cups of coffee (for her) and tea (for me). We dabbled over how I should be nicer to my younger sister, what to eat for dinner, and who moved the mini cactus from the dining table and where did it go. But we didn’t talk about boys. At least not for the rest of that lunch anyways.
Moms can be quite embarrassing. Sometimes really embarrassing. But it’s all with good intentions. And for that reason alone, you could never get mad at her. She’s just watching out for me. But sometimes I just can’t help but think, oh mom.
Neiman Marcus, Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana
Honolulu, HI 96814
For me, leafing through a recently-released compendium of teas with many first-flush single-origin varieties is akin to salivating over those luscious photos of vegetables in a seed-seller’s catalogue: Each entry promising something new, summoning a hopeful if guarded belief in Nature and the growing conditions of my garden. What will the … Continue reading