Last week, The Dad was working late, so The Daughters and I stopped at Subway to grab a healthy, fresh dinner… as opposed to the tired, limp quesadilla I was bound to fix if we had gone home.
Daughter 1 ordered first because she always knows exactly what she wants. She orders exactly the same thing every single time. Toasted. The end. Nothing more. Nothing less. And – heaven forbid! – don’t even pretend to put anything “fresh” on it!!
The little teenage boy behind the counter – looking like a before picture for ProActiv – finally, wrapped it up for her and returned to take Daughter 2’s order.
Daughter 2 orders next. She a little more fickle than Daughter 1. Ham? Turkey? Ham and Turkey? Lettuce? Pickles? Lettuce & Pickles? Toasted? Mustard? Mayo? She questions every possibility and orders the exact same thing anyway.
Eventually he got her sandwich wrapped and returned yet again to the beginning of the sandwich line to take my order.
“Chicken breast on wheat, please.” As he’s heating the chicken breast, I glance down at The Daughters waiting patiently at the register. Daughter 2’s face is distorted as her mouth is wide open and snarled, her eyes are bugged and her nose is wrinkled.
“Momma? Did you just say ‘breast’ to that boy?”
“Yes, honey. I said ‘chicken breast’.”
“My gosh, Momma. That’s embarrassing. Why did you say breast to him?”
Now, my mouth is wide open and snarled, my eyes bugged, my nose wrinkled. What in the world was she talking about?
“Sissy, did you hear Momma? She said ‘breast’ to that boy. How embarrassing! Aren’t you embarrassed that momma said breast?”
Daughter 1, she’s always been my favorite, came to my rescue: “It’s OK. Chicken breast is a kind of food. Chickens have boobs and we can eat them. We eat them in those lame, flimsy quesadillas Momma makes.”
“BOOBS? You mean to tell me that I eat chicken boobs? I didn’t even know. Are you lying?”
Daughter 1, who prides herself on being right even when she’s wrong, became defensive, “Momma! Don’t we eat chicken boobs?”
I tried my best to redeem myself as momma of the year in front of the entire Subway store and the little 16 year old who just wants to pay for unlimited texting with his little part-time job, “Actually, it’s called chicken breast. And it’s like a chicken’s chest.” Then, to give them a visual, I actually grab my boobs, I mean, breasts… no, my chest!
I glanced at the sandwich artist and he’s shoving one of those long, skinny sandwich bags over his head. “Toasted,” I said.
Daughter 1, who still prides herself on being ALL THE WAY right even when she’s wrong, corrected me. “Momma: Boys have chests. Girls have breasts. You ordered chicken breast. Chickens are girls. Roosters are boys. You are eating chicken boobs.” Then she glanced at Daughter 2, “Boobs.”
Daughter 2 resumed her distorted face. “Oh my gosh, momma! I can’t believe you said ‘boobs’ to that boy!”
“I didn’t,” I argued.
“Are you going to tell Daddy that you said ‘boobs’ or is this a secret?” she taunted.
I resume my distorted face look, “I didn’t say ‘boobs’! I said ‘breast’!” At this point, I’m so exhausted and embarrassed by the boobs or breast argument that I dragged the sandwich artist into the discussion. “Didn’t I say ‘breast’?”
He stammers, “Uhhhh—” and then began digging around for what I’m assuming is a pen so he can scribble his resignation on one of the bajillion napkins they have stashed everywhere.
Eventually, the worker is able to finish my sandwich, we paid and took our seats. Daughter 2 was quiet and still, but finally spoke as I shoved a huge bite of breast into my mouth.
“Momma?” she asked. “Can I see the boob?”
“Honey,” I sighed through my tears. “It’s breast!”
“Whatever — Can I?”
Oh mercy!. I opened my sandwich, feeling slightly weird at exposing … a pasty, white chicken breast!
“Momma.” Daughter 2 looked at me as if she’s completely humored at something I’ve done wrong. “That’s not a breast OR a boob. It’s CHICKEN. Next time, just order CHICKEN. You don’t need to say boob!”
Sighing, “Honey. I did NOT say boob. But don’t worry. There will NOT be a next time. I’m a little bit embarrassed and we probably won’t be back…”
Finally, the bright-red, sweat-soaked sandwich artist spoke: “Thank You!”