No Spaghetti

spaghettiI don’t think I’ve ever made reference to this before, but my children may not be perfect in all ways.  And I sometimes worry that I’m not the Best Mother Ever.

I KNOW.  I’ll give you a second to regroup.  Put your head between your knees if you start to see sparkles.  

So I was blowing off to my friend Nicole yesterday about my worries regarding my kids and she said, “Hey, this is no spaghetti.”  

There’s nothing like having your own advice quoted back to you.  Here’s the story behind “no spaghetti.”  

Back in 2004 when Richard was sick, I spent 10 months traveling back and forth every other week between home and work in Athens and Baltimore where he was getting his treatments.  On a typical week, I would leave at lunch on Wednesday, take the dogs to Griffin, drive to the airport and fly to Baltimore that night.  Stay for a few days with him, marking hours in the hospital, running errands, waiting.  Then back home on the Sunday 7 p.m. flight.  Drive from the airport to Griffin where Daddy and Big Gay would have my puppies and a big Diet Coke waiting on me.  Then a two hour drive to Athens.  Hit the bed about 2 a.m. and get up for work Monday morning.  

One Monday morning was particularly hard.  That weekend, Richard had gotten bad news about his response to the latest treatment.  It was getting really hard to believe that he was ever going to get better.  He had been readmitted to the Oncology unit with pneumonia on Saturday.  After all that and the long journey home, I was used up by the time I got to work on Monday.  

At lunchtime, I dragged down to the cafeteria.  The line snaked all the way to the entrance because it was Spaghetti Day.  Our cafeteria makes some kickass spaghetti–tasty, cheap, and healthyish with turkey.  I got in line to wait my turn.  I was so tired I leaned up against the counter by the dessert case.  The line crept along.  

After a while, only one woman remained in front of me.  She automatically said, “Spaghetti for here.”  The steam tray that had been filled with spaghetti was scraped clean.  The woman behind the counter answered, “I’m sorry, we’re out of spaghetti.  Can I get you something else?”  

WHAM!  The disgruntled employee slammed her plastic tray down on the serving counter so hard that her silverware bounced into the air and scattered.  She snarled, “I’ve been waiting half my 30 minute lunch and y’all are out?  This is UNBELIEVABLE!!”  She turned to me like it was time to rise up in rebellion and asked, “Is this not unbelievable???”

The sudden noise and her ridiculously infantile behavior sent me over the edge.  I burst out in maniacal laughter.  “My fiance is 38 years old and DYING.  THAT is unbelievable.  THIS?  THIS IS NO SPAGHETTI!  NO SPAGHETTI!  GET OVER IT!”

She scooted over to the sandwich line without another peep.  

No spaghetti.  It’s good to have friends remind you of your own advice sometimes.  Pump the brakes, Ash, this is no spaghetti.  Thanks, Nicole!


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