Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Meat Loaf Bandits

The Boy and The Girlfriend have been gone about four months now. My mother and I have been to the grocery story maybe twice in that time. Quite a change from before when we went more than once a week.

It isn't that "The Kids" demanded food. It's that we're southern women. If there is someone here, we must feed them. It's our culture, despite what Whoopi thinks southern culture is. Those of us who really ARE southern know that it's food. Particularly fried.

The Kids have night jobs, so they were rarely home when we ate our supper, but we always knew whether they'd enjoyed what we fixed by how much of it was left the next morning. Usually none of it.

Also, any time we brought something home from a restaurant in a white box, it was gone the next day as well. They truly enjoyed our leftovers. I was beginning to wonder whether they had a styrofoam box business going on the side by the way they devoured those carry-out containers.

Maybe it was divine providence that we just happened to have a fresh meat loaf in the kitchen when The Boy called about picking up last week's football tickets. I didn't want to go to the game (and neither did anyone in the eBay community), so I offered them to him. And just happened to mention that if he came by to get them, "There's meat loaf."

Around midnight he called to tell me he was coming by to get the tickets after work. That would be around one AM. "You said there's meat loaf?"

It was the same hopeful little voice I used to hear when he was five. "We can go to McDonald's?" Maybe it was because I was half-asleep, but I thought for a moment I was having a flashback.

I struggled to stay awake for thirty seconds' worth of his smile I might get if I saw him. Motherhood is a subject for another day. Depsite my best efforts, I fell asleep. Around three-thirty, I woke up. All was quiet. But there was the lingering scent of meat loaf wafting toward me from the direction of the kitchen.

They had been here!

I went to the kitchen. It was spotless. No dirty dishes in the sink. No ketchup spills on the island. No half-empty Coke cans on the counter. Had they been here?
I opened the refrigerator and peered inside. No meatloaf dish. They had definitely been here.

I found the empty meat loaf pan in the dishwasher, and a thank you note scrawled on the dry erase message board on the fridge.

They came, they ate, they left. And we never heard a sound. Good thing they weren't after the jewelery.

Have a great day.

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