On the way home from Buffalo last Sunday, I was in such a rush to get home to my kid (who, coincidentally, was the one I was in such a hurry to get AWAY from when I planned this short vaca; oh, nerves) that I forbade Christina to even THINK about stopping for lunch. I ended up lunching on string cheese and mixed nuts from the passenger seat and I’m not sure Christina ate anything at all, out of fear. It’s like she’s Amish, and I’m God.
Needless to say, I was rearin’ to go come dinner time. Since she wasn’t leaving for home until Monday morning, I decided it would be fun, nay — A CIRCUS-HAVIN’ GOOD TIME –to round up Henry and Chooch and hit up Mad Mex. Blake ended up coming over so we hit up Janna and made an impromptu dinner party of it.
I don’t think I have ever had a bad time at Mad Mex. If I’m not getting ridiculously blitzed off of margaritas and chucking lemons at Janna’s eye, then I’m busy having not-so-subtle crushes on the waitstaff. Only once did I have to send my food back, and not even that ruined my good time.
But I can hands down say that Sunday night was the best time I have ever had at Mad Mex. Maybe even ANY restaurant. I succeeded in getting half-past buzzed on a pumpkin margarita, had ample opportunities to make fun of Janna, failed at setting a good example for Blake and Chooch, and sailed a couple of winning smiles over to our waitress Nicole who was too busy crushing on Chooch to notice.
We brought back a mini bottle of ketchup for Chooch from Buffalo. It came with the eggs Christina ordered for breakfast and my immediate thought was, “Aw, it should be on Blue’s Clues!” Fucking motherhood, man. The old Erin’s initial inclination would have probably been, “Aw, this should be on condiment porn for midgets!” But I digress.
So Chooch of course loved the mini Ketchup and took it under his semi-abusive wing. He insisted on bringing it to Mad Mex with us, and we, Henry and I, as his fearful parents, know better than to defy our master. The ketchup was resting on the table in front of him when our waitress Nicole came over to take our orders. Noticing it, she said, “Oh. I can get you a bigger bottle if you want…?” We explained that it was essentially his pet, that he brought it from home. “Oh, I got it. BYOK.” Maybe I was just high off of human contact but I nearly pumped my fist with enthusiasm for her response. BYOK. My future funeral parlour’s name.
Honestly though, Nicole spent more time conversing with Chooch than the rest of us. She even brought him a veggie platter with ranch and ate one of his carrots. Chooch looked at me, like, “Can you believe she just ate one of my fucking carrots? This broad’s got bigger balls than Dad.” It was awesome.
At some point, I looked around and maybe it was the liquor and guac talking, but goddamn if I didn’t get all teary eyed and think to myself, “Aside from Chooch, I don’t have blood-ties with a single person at this table, but they’re more family to me than my actual family.” (Barring my brother Corey! He’s the only one I still talk to.)
And Chooch was a little fucking angel. It was unbelievable. I don’t think he swore once, and he only tossed a few items at the very beginning, but that ceased once he met Nicole and she massaged his aching need for the spotlight. She liked him so much that she picked him up as we were leaving and gave him a big hug. Hello, please come babysit for me, Nicole. PLEASE COME BABYSIT.
Overhearing Blake whining over not getting enough ice cream (setting a good example for his brother), she brought him another serving. THAT IS GOOD WAITRESSING. Nicole is the waitress of the year. And she was wearing leg warmers. You can’t go wrong with leg warmers. Unless you’re Christina, then I’m sure you could find numerous ways to go wrong with leg warmers.
I demand a monthly Mad Mex dinner party. (KARA???)