I’m So Glad We Went Out to Eat, Mom

“Hey, Ma? Wanna go out to eat tonight?” I ask my 79 year old mother.


“Do you want to go out to dinner tonight?”


“Do YOU…” I yell, pausing as my mom leans in closer.

“WANT TO…” She begins to nod her head slowly with each word I say.

“GO OUT…” I gesture to the door. She raises one eyebrow at me.

“TO DINNER….” I continue. She smirks.


“Do I…want to…go out…” she repeats mockingly.  I nod emphatically. She blinks. “With Yul Brynner? God no! He’s dead! Why would I want to go and do a thing like that? The man was bald! Like a cue ball! Bald as the day is long. And his days aren’t long anymore cuz the poor man is deader than a doornail! So sad, really.”

“I said DIN-NER,” I motion my hands to my mouth like I’m eating.

“Oh. Well, I’m hungry so why the hell not? I’d never go eat dinner with Yul Brynner though, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“I wasn’t ask–look, just forget it. Hey, what does that mean, anyway?” I wonder aloud. “Dead as a doornail? I mean, what the hell is a doornail? And why is it dead?”

“Darned if I know,” my mom shuffles over to get her coat. She stops and glares at me. “Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go before I’m deader than a doornail!”

[Later on, my mother and I are seated at a local Italian restaurant, looking at our menus]

“Can I start you off with some beverages?” a young waitress smiles as she sets down two glasses of ice water.

“Well, you just gave us water so what else ya got?” my mom asks. “Or does this cost us money? Is this water free?” she scowls and peers suspiciously over her eyeglasses at the waitress.

“It’s free, Mom,” I sigh.

She looks down at her glass. “Is this tap water?”


“Would you like me to bring you something else?” asks the waitress.

“Well, yes,” my mom glares.

Several seconds pass. My mom cringes as she looks around the room. “God! I can’t hear myself think in here. The music is too damned loud!”

Several more seconds pass.

“Uh…ma’am? Do you want some coffee, tea, soda?” the patient waitress asks.

“Heh? Oh! Sanka, please!” my mom yells and puts her napkin in her lap.

The waitress glances at me, then back to my mom. “Excuse me, ma’am?”

“Sanka. I want Sanka.”

“Sanka?” the waitress appears confused.

“Sanka. Sanka! SAN-KA. CAN YOU HEAR ME?” My mom dismisses the waitress with a wave of her hand, then leans toward me and yells, “Jeezum crow! I don’t think the poor girl can hear me!  The music is too dang loud in this place!”

“Mom, I don’t think she knows what Sanka is. I don’t think you know what it is. It’s decaf coffee. You don’t drink decaf coffee, Mom.”


“She’ll have black coffee, not decaf,” I say to the waitress. “Or Sanka,” I add a sheepish smile.

“You want me to thank her! Thank her!” my mom sits straight up. “I will. Just as soon as she brings me my damned coffee!”

I'll thank her when I get my Sanka!
I’ll thank her when I get my Sanka!

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion when my mom yells, “Well, I ain’t eatin THAT!” then insists a salad should not have lettuce because lettuce is a waste of perfectly good food.


Like this post? Here, have some more!

I’m So Sorry I Missed Your Call, Mom

I’m So Glad We Had This Talk Again, Mom

I’m So Glad We Had This Talk, Mom

109 thoughts on “I’m So Glad We Went Out to Eat, Mom

  1. Snoring Dog Studio

    Now that I’m living with my mom, there are more moments of hilarity than I thought was possible. She has agreed to wear her hearing aids when she goes places with me. The other day, we were leaving for our bridge class, she said that a man in her head said, “Darling, your battery is dead.” I wish I lived in her world.

    1. Oh, Jean, if we don’t laugh…well, you know the rest. My mom simultaneously makes me laugh and drives me up the freakin wall. Moms are great at that stuff. I would love to suggest she get a hearing aid, but I’m afraid of the long conversation we’ll have with her yelling “WHAT?”

      1. Snoring Dog Studio

        My Dad was worse than my Mom. My Mom doesn’t try to reinterpret what I’ve just said. My dad came up with a ton of very odd, very funny interpretations.

  2. I freaking love your mom. And I haven’t remembered Sanka in years. I think about Yul Brynner every day though- true story. There’s a moment in our play where the lead character is supposed to milk the applause. During tech he asked the director “But what if they don’t clap?” and the director goes. “Just stand there like Yul f-ing Brynner. They will.” And they do, every night. And every night I laugh while I’m waiting for them to stop and I think of Yul Brynner. . . and now, your mom.

    1. Hahaha! This is a priceless story! oh god, just love that. “just stand there like Yul F-ing Brynner.” Words to live by for everyone. The sanka thing is something my grandmother used to do (my mom’s mom) She lived to 100 years old. When she used to go to restaurants she’d yell “SANKA!” at every waitress/waiter within earshot. Hilarious.

    1. I actually had to google “dead as a doornail” this morning to find out the history behind it. Apparently “dead as a doornail” is when you’ve hammered the nail in so far, that sucker ain’t coming back out so it’s “dead”. Why the hell people chose a DOORnail is beyond me. I can’t quite figure it out. My mom is full of these lovely sayings from the days of yore.

  3. You are drawing a hilarious, endearing character in your mother, Darla. I see a book. Or a mini-series. Or at the least, an awesome video that will get 10,000,000,000 hits on YouTube. =)

    1. I think you’ve hit on some YouTube gold there, Stacie! I could just set up a hidden camera and video my conversations with my mom. I’d call it “Shit My Mom Says” but that’s already been done.

  4. ha ha ha ha ha You’re the bravest woman I know, DP. I would have stopped at Yul Brynner. “You’re right, Mom. My bad. I’m going to go make us some hamburgers on crackers.”

    I can’t wait for the conclusion.

      1. Ha – my grandma was like that – would start calling before breakfast for a 1:00 p.m. doctor’s appointment. She had hearing aids but always conveniently “forgot” to put them in.

    1. Oh dear god. I just took her to lunch and well, it didn’t end well. She left her credit card behind. I’ll have to craft up the conclusion this weekend and let you know how ticked off she was…

  5. winsomebella

    I think I sat next to you and your mother at the restaurant last night. It was hard hearing the music with the loud voices coming from your booth :-).

  6. I love the way you combine dialogue with commentary:

    “WANT TO…” She begins to nod her head slowly with each word I say.

    “GO OUT…” I gesture to the door. She raises one eyebrow at me.

    By the way, I always think the music is too loud. What could that mean?

      1. My step-grandmother used to like to comment negatively on the appearance of others in the restaurant. That was always fun, especially since she had no idea how loudly she talked.

        1. Yes! This is what my mom does. Just today a teen walked by her in public wearing her pajama pants. I had to cringe because I knew what was coming. My mom yelling “DOES THAT GIRL KNOW SHE FORGOT TO GET DRESSED THIS MORNING?”

    1. Oh, Susie. The stuff she said just this morning when I took her shopping and out to lunch at Applebee’s! It boggles the mind! I mentally have to file everything she says so I can use it for great blog fodder later on. She’s full of ’em.

  7. Love it! My mom drank Sanka for years. And I’m surprised your mom doesn’t say, “dead as a haddock” or, “dead as a hake” (being a Mainer and all). Good luck getting her to ever wear a hearing aid. It took us years before my dad got them.

    1. Dead as a haddock? What’s strange is I actually just had baked haddock at Applebee’s and it was so dead, I think it could have passed for shoe leather. My mom’s hearing and eyesight is going quick and no, she won’t listen to me and go to the doctor.

  8. I can’t blame your mom for wanting Sanka. Of course, I’m partial to the last four letters of this word! If I were that waitress, I would’ve found your mom so fascinating that I’d just pull up a chair and start having a conversation with her. She’s kind of like a rock star in her own right!

    1. Ha! “Why thank ya, Anka, I would love some Sanka!” The waitress usually does laugh at my mom a lot. I’m also pretty sure then she runs back to the kitchen and downs a shot of whiskey. But yeah, my mom is great in very small doses.

      1. The funny thing about my name is that it’s spelled with an “A” but phonetically it should be pronounced with an “O” like “On-ka.” You have no idea what it was like trying to explain this to my teachers and peers in elementary school. Ugh!

      2. I bet. I do say your name in my head as “On-ka” You’d think Darla would be a super easy name to pronounce or spell, but no. People say, “Darly? Dahlia? Dana?….” How hard is it, really?

  9. Your mom sounds a lot like my grandfather, who only ever wanted to eat dessert and coffee when we went out. Or a filet o’ fish sandwich and a small coffee at McDonald’s.

    Excited to see what happens next!

  10. Jeezum crow, I love your mom. You are a brave, darling daughter to go through this. Just remember – what goes around, comes around. In another 40 years YOU’LL be the one yelling at the waitress like your mother, and her mother before her, and YOUR daughter will be hiding her face in her hands.

    It’s Sanka karma.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised. You might also have heard her at lunch a feww hours ago yell, “Do you have a better knife? Cuz I can’t cut this steak for the life of me! And my coffee’s COLD!”

  11. So funny! Your mother is younger than mine, but my mother is fast approaching your mother’s hearing abilities. And then she gets mad at ME for not listening. And don’t get me started on her newfound forgetfulness. Thanks for the laugh. Looking forward to part two. 🙂

    1. oh, so you know what it’s like! Ugh. Yeah, my mom is great at yelling at me all the time. She yells because she can’t hear me. She yells on her good days, her bad days. She basically just says everything about 100 decibels higher than anyone else.

  12. Oh Jeezum Crow, the “your mom” posts. I just luvs ’em. I do NOT however, love Sanka. Blech!! Can’t imagine WHY that stuff was ever discontinued. It was, right? Do they even make that crap any more? God, I hope not.

    Can’t wait for the thrilling conclusion to this tale . . .

  13. Is our generation the first to make fun of our aging parents (to save our own sanity) or has it been going on forever? You sure have a way with telling the stories. I can hardly wait for the next installment!

    1. I can’t wait for my son to have his own blog and make fun of me. I think it’s a huge compliment. That being said, I only write about my mom because she doesn’t even know what a computer is and would never know I post about her.

  14. This reminds me of my father-in-law. He has state of the art hearing aids but NEVER wears them. Having a phone conversation is always a shouting episode. He also makes snide comments about people around us but doesn’t realize how LOUD he is and that they can hear him. It’s especially fun in church! (Cringe….)

    1. I can imagine church is loads of fun for you. My late grandfather had this god-awful hearing aid that would squeak so loud, but of course, he never knew it. He’d sit at the table for dinner and all of us would have our hands over our ears.

  15. Oh, what a lovely time! At least you’ll go out for dinner with your mother… I wouldn’t go out to eat with my mother, because one of us would kill the other, and then I’d be in jail.

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