“Bless the food before us, the family beside us,
and the love between us. Amen.”
Beyoncé isn’t the only one who likes Red Lobster, as DooDaddy will readily attest. We hit the happening seafood spot Saturday night for some geezer-pleasing cuisine. First off we headed to the bar with our buzzer in hand and bellied up for cocktails. Now that my son is legal, it makes the whole grandfather/grandson bonding over booze thing a lot easier. The server promptly carded DooDaddy, which surprised and delighted him.
“Goodness, I haven’t been carded in 60 years,” he exclaimed, as he sipped his vodka with a splash and a twist (of lime, we clarified for the bartender).
DooDaddy was equally astonished when his grandson ordered a strawberry margarita. Being strictly old school, my father doesn’t approve of “silly” drinks. No banana daiquiris or piña coladas for this geezer. If it’s made in a blender or comes with an umbrella, it just ain’t fittin’.
We geezer-shuffled back to our table, feeling no pain now, spry and ready to tackle some seafood. The menu at “The” Red Lobster, as DooDaddy calls it, is rather overwhelming – pages and pages of who knows what all. Luckily, our server brought a basket of cheddar biscuits right away so we had time to peruse the plethora of choices at our leisure.
“Are your crab cakes as good as Cheseapeake’s crab cakes?” DooDaddy wanted to know. “I live in a retirement home and we have crab cakes all the time, but they’re fake crab cakes,” he explained to Cameron, our amiable server (who also happened to be left-handed, so we chatted about that too). Cameron demurred, admitting he hadn’t dined on Chesapeake’s crab cakes, so he couldn’t say for sure.
DooDaddy ended up going with a trio of things plus a cup of clam chowder and lots of cheddar biscuits and then a brownie sundae combo thing (Brownie Overboard). “There’s enough food there for a platoon of hungry infantrymen,” DooDaddy observed. And he wasn’t wrong.
Our dinner conversation had the three of us in stitches, especially after DooDaddy’s second drink. The only thing missing was Gmamma’s trademark eye roll at DooDaddy’s remarks. We toasted her in memoriam.
DooDaddy: “I can’t get my bib over my glasses, which need cleaning by the way.”
DooDaddy: “Ron asked me the other day if I wanted to sit at the ‘Bad Boys Table,’ and I said I don’t believe I do, thank you very much.” Apparently there’s a group of rowdy geezers who have way more energy at breakfast than DooDaddy does, but he gets a kick out of them. His cronies, his partners in crime, making the best of their circumstances and finding humor in the little things.
DooDaddy: “I sat with [redacted] at [redacted] the other day, and this chunky guy came over and spilled coffee on us.”
DooDaddy, explaining his busy social schedule: “I’m easily talked into things.”
Mac and I watched with fascination as DooDaddy tried to open a pack of saltine crackers. Picture grimaces and groans, every facial muscle engaged – it was like Sampson pushing the pillars apart in the temple of the Philistines.
Then brring ring ring and DooDaddy answers his flip phone, because old people have to answer the phone whenever it rings, no matter what. “Oh hey, Ron. We’re out at The Red Lobster having dinner. That’s my story. I totally forgot about that other thing. Good to hear from you. Bye bye.”
And in the end, it’s not the cheddar biscuits or the fish tacos or the funny stories that matter. It’s being together, fully present, in the moment and savoring it.