The Honyocks Go Out to Eat

Friday marked a big day in our house—Daddy’s birthday! (He’s a whopping 10 days younger than me—11 during Leap Year.) If we were not in debt up to our eyeballs and I was independently wealthy, I would’ve loved to buy him an assortment of gifts—an iPhone, a MacBook, or just a new outfit that didn’t come from Goodwill or the clearance racks at Target. But alas, all I could afford was one small belated gift that has yet to arrive in the mail (Did you expect me to actually order something in time for it to arrive on his actual birthday? Hello; it’s ME!)—and to go out to eat.

Now, we usually get a sitter when we want to go someplace besides McDonald’s or Applebee’s, but since Jake, the favorite baby-sitter, had a hockey tournament, I decided that it would be okay for us all to go out to eat somewhere kind of “nice” together. We’d go early since it was a Friday night, and I’d bring things for the kids to do. What could possibly go wrong?

Yeah, well…I suggested that we try The Waterfront in Ankeny because we’d never eaten there and I knew Husband loved seafood. Being a Friday during Lent, we’d go around 5:00 to avoid the crowds. And when we arrived, we were lucky: they had a booth in back just for us. I like to refer to this as “the honyock booth.” You know the one: the big, curved booth where the parents can sit on the ends and “trap” the kids in the middle. Located at the back of the dining area, the honyock booth sometimes even includes a high back on the benches so as to protect the rest of the diners from the emanating “honyockiness” even more. This one, unfortunately, did not have the high backs, but it was in the back corner, so I THOUGHT we couldn’t possibly disturb TOO many people. Oh, ye of little faith…

First there was Boy #1’s sulkiness. Horrified because he was given a “kids’ cup.” (Couldn’t the waitress see that he is 11?! ELEVEN, for crying out loud. I mean, he’s practically eligible for the senior citizens’ discount!) Then pouting because he wanted, of course, lobster. (“What kind of a seafood place doesn’t have lobster?”) I went on to explain that they do have lobster, but it’s listed at the bottom of the menu without a price, which is code for: really expensive. To which, I was met with his patent reply: “How do you know?” I forgot—I’m an idiot. He GUESSED he’d settle for the shrimp—if he had to. Preteen angst is going to be the death of me yet.

Then there was Boy #2’s squirming. Honestly, the boy cannot sit still. He was squatting on the bench, sliding all of the place, and at one point, actually sitting on top of the back of the booth, in the corner, against the wall. Sucking his thumb.

And finally there was Boy #3—the grumpiest child in the tri-state area. The screaming (and I mean SCREAMING) began when Boy #2 accidentally colored on his fish coloring page/children’s menu. The kind of scream that propels you out of your seat. Fabulous. The screaming then continued to resurface sporadically throughout the dinner because: he wanted pepperoni pizza and, being a seafood place, there was no pizza; he couldn’t find the blue crayon; he had to go to the bathroom; there was ice in his water; Boy #1 said he was stupid; Boy #2 touched his paper; he had to go to the bathroom again (and then wouldn’t go when he got to the bathroom); and he wanted the ketchup.

Poor Husband. Fortunately, the restaurant had a drink menu as well, and the beer was able to calm his nerves just a bit. Finally we were done eating, and the waitress brought our bill. Somehow, paying $50 for a meal you had to snarf down in between bursts of threatening whispers to your children doesn’t quite seem worth it.

But the waitress was sweet and told us that our boys were really good. I laughed, thinking she was a very nice woman who probably also wanted a very nice tip. We talked and realized that our children go to the same school. Then she pulled a business card out of the back of her waitress notebook, told me she owned a fitness center, and said, “Call me if you want to tone up.”

Apparently, the concealer I had put on in the morning didn’t conceal my double chins or belly flab.

And that’s what it’s like when a honyock family tries to blend in with the normal folk on a Friday night.

11 thoughts on “The Honyocks Go Out to Eat”

  1. Oh wow… you’ve changed your blog… how’d I miss this? lol

    This post made me giggle, I’m sorry. Especially the end. She wouldn’t have gotten a tip from me, that’s for sure! It will be a birthday dinner your husband will not forget for a while, lol.

  2. Yeah, about that tip, honey… what a way to sell your business, up the river! And, although these situations make us cringe, we are not alone. Some day, your three lovely boys will be taking you out for dinner, and if you are lucky, they will bring their kids that are JUST LIKE THEM! (Bwa-ha-ha, evil manical laughter!)

  3. I would have tipped her, but low. I can’t not tip…even when people do stupid things.

    At least you will remember this birthday as an interesting one…

    On top of the booth…wow

  4. That’s what we used to be like when we went out to dinner. It was a lot of work. Most days it would have been easier to cook myself.

    The problem is, my husband doesn’t remember! He now asks (loudly!) to be seated away from families at restaurants.

    When I remind him that we used to be that family, he says, “I know, and I didn’t want to sit with us, either.”

    Anybody know of a charm or a hex to prevent your husband from turning into a crotchety old man?

  5. Amy, no worries. I’m sure I’ll be able to giggle about it…someday!

    Chrissy, yes, I’m just waiting until the day I can look my boys straight in the eye and say, “HA! Your turn!”

    gmawheezy, we will definitely take you up on that next time. Thought it wouldn’t be too bad, but obviously I had amnesia from the LAST time we went out to eat with the crew!

  6. Actually, that sounds kind of familiar to me. 😉 Tonight the family will be going to the wrestling banquet sans me. I am sure it will be interesting but I will not be there to witness my own public humiliation.

    FYI…the expensive electronic gadgets are overrated. I got an Itouch for my hubby in January as a Christmas/Bday gift. Guess what? He lost it. Yep, $250 Itouch, had it a 6 weeks, lost it.

  7. So darn funny. Just when you think optimistically about being normal, it comes crashing down! Love the waitress comments. Love them. I am still laughing.

  8. I appreciate all the support! And I truly do think the waitress WAS trying to be nice; it just didn’t quite come out right…

    Melody–I think our husbands must be related! He loses EVERYTHING! I’m so sorry about the iTouch. So, so sorry. I can feel your pain.

  9. Like the new header, and page loads a lot faster. Sounds like you and your husband need to do a do-over! P.S. I did NOT see any double chins on you, so don’t worry!!!

  10. Love your new look.

    Seriously, look at the way I do … we bring our children out in the real world simply as a public service.

    The couples in the restaurant? Yeah, we are helping them realize that it is worth 30 bucks to pay a babysitter for the night and to be thankful their children are NOT THERE WITH THEM.

    And to the younger couples … simply allowing them to realize that sex might not be such a great idea. One glance over at our table and BAM instant birth control.

    Quite frankly, I’m glad I can help these people. You should be too!

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