Though not written in stone or permanent marker, it is a long-held tradition – an unwritten rule, if you will – that no celebration of birth or marriage or fatherhood or motherhood or whatever in our family is complete without dining at a nice restaurant of Lynnette’s choosing. Like last year, Lynnette chose MW for our wedding anniversary dinner. It appears as though this was also about the time I started combing my hair to the right, so happy one-year anniversary to that, too. High-fives all around.
First thing’s first: Lynnette and Madison iced me out in the wardrobe department again. I finally picked up my Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center gift card, the spoils of placing in a Father’s Day look-alike contest on Instagram. Well, I gave it right back to the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center when Lynnette and Madison picked up a matching shirt (Editor’s Note: “Phil, I would just like to correct you – it’s not a shirt, it’s a top.” -Just overheard in the Higa house) and dress, respectively. I joked earlier that I will have to wait until they open Fighting Eel Men’s or Cinnamon Guy, but I think I’ll just wait until my male child is born. It would probably be easier and less emasculating that way; we’ll just go all-in with Cowboys and Mets gear. I actually had a shirt that probably would have gone well with their tops, but I think it also would have fallen into the category of “Trying Too Hard”. On the bright side, since our anniversary is in the middle of summer, it’s always a great way to see if my dress pants still fit. I am happy to report that I didn’t have to do that thing where I zip my pants up as high as it can, then put the belt on without buttoning the pants. Fist-bumps all around.
Second thing’s second: thank you to the staff of MW for making a fancy mac and cheese for my daughter, the picky eater. She may dress like her mother, she may be stubborn and high-maintenance like her mother, she may even be borderline insane like her mother, but Madison’s not the adventurous eater Lynnette is. Give it time.
The only controversy was a predictable one. Lynnette looked over the menu and couldn’t decide which of the five things she wanted to eat to order. It’s an extremely underrated aspect of her multiple pregnancy – her appetite is the same, maybe even greater, but her storage space is dramatically diminished. She wants to eat all the food, but the twins are taking up all the room in her torso. I wish you all could hear her whimpering as she has to make hard choices like picking just one entree from a menu instead of picking two, plus picking off bites of mine, then having leftovers for the following day. She’s had a difficult time adjusting to her new lower capacity. Oddly, it hasn’t affected her ability to purchase food. Hmm. She went with the dish that made her want to return to MW in the first place. She moaned and complimented the entree so frequently that I felt a pang of jealous in my heart. She never looks at me like that anymore. “I can’t believe you thought about ordering anything else,” I said. “I know!” she kind-of said through a bite of food. Her eyes rolled back into her head and I was about to scrap “Beef and Stew” in the middle of this nice restaurant until Lynnette let me have a bite and I had to agree. My toes curled too.
It was a great meal, even if the only things Madison wanted to talk about were Pokemon and American Ninja Warrior. I haven’t talked to Lynnette about it, but maybe next year we’ll leave the Goob with family so that we could just spend time with each other. Tonight’s dinner felt like all the other dinners the three of us have together, whether at Taco Bell or Genki Sushi Bay. Oh, that’s right. Lynnette just reminded me that we’ll have to leave three kids home next year. Wow. In an all-time upset, Lynnette was too full for bubble drinks on the way home. “We’re going straight home, right?” she asked. “Yeah, why?” I asked. “I want to take my bra off. Is that OK?” she said. “Do what you gotta do,” I said. “Ewww!” Madison said, shaming Lynnette into staying bra’d. Madison then went on to perform a bit that I do once in a while, impersonating a police officer arresting Lynnette for a seemingly minor infraction. “We’ve got a bra-breaker over here,” Madison said. I AM DOING MY JOB AS A FATHER JUST FINE. And just when I thought our night couldn’t get any better, Soul for Real’s “Candy Rain” came on over the radio (97.1) and Lynnette and I started belting it out together. “What is going on?” Madison said from the back seat. I don’t have video of this, and it is my lone regret of the night.