Tate slid into the booth and said, ” Okay what’s up?”
“What kind of a greeting is that? Can’t a mother merely desire to have a late lunch with her only son?”
“Mother, you invited me using your Queen of Hearts command voice. Factoring in my love for Indian food which you don’t share, my suspicions are definitely activated that you have something up your designer dress sleeve which involves me and I’m not going to like it.”
” Tate Edward don’t be silly,” his mother said picking up her menu once again. “One never knows what to order in places like this. All I want is a simple salad.”
“Your cover is blown now,” said Tate. “You used my full name, which is reserved for situations I don’t normally relish.”
A waitress dressed in a turquoise and silver sari gracefully glided over to the booth with a pad in her hand. “What would you like to order?”
” I’ll have a Kalyani Black Label to drink, and an order of Saag Paneer and garlic naan,” said Tate.
“That is a very good choice sir, because we make our own paneer,” said the waitress. ” Ma.am?”
“I just want a simple salad. Is that possible in a place like this?”
The waitress raised one eyebrow before answering, “In a place like this we have a green salad of baby mustard greens, peas and asparagus with a light dressing of lemon, olive oil and garlic. Would that suit you?”
“That will do. Thank you.”
When the beer arrived Tate took a long sip and said, “Okay lay it on me whatever it is. So I can say no and get it over with before our food arrives.”
His mother fidgeted with her fork for a minute and then said, ” You know I’m the chair woman of the big annual fund raiser for the children’s hospital.”
“Yes,” said Tate. ” I dutifully purchased two tickets and gave them to my secretary. You know I dislike functions like that.”
“This year we are having a bachelor auction.”
“That underscores another reason why I wouldn’t go. I feel sorry for those poor suckers who got roped into doing a gig like that. What guy in his right mind would want to be paraded around and sold to some hoity toity half looped woman? Those guys are either desperate or suffered some unholy pressure.”
His mother said nothing, merely looked at him beseechingly.
“Oh no,” said Tate. “No, no, no and no again. Out of the question. Completely, utterly out of the question.”
“I’m desperate. Margaret Beechum’s son fell and broke his ankle.”
“Yeah on purpose, so he wouldn’t have to do it,” said Tate.
“The function starts in six hours. I’m at the end of the road to find a replacement. What is the problem with spending one evening on a date with someone for a good cause? Think of the children and not your fragile ego.”
“That’s a low blow, Mom. But he knew she was reminding him of what a important life saving role the hospital had played in regard to his nephew.”
“Okay,” Tate said dropping his head into his hands. “But don’t expect me to pay for lunch. I have to draw a line in the sand somewhere in our relationship.”
You definitely want to check out Amy’s post. She really did make the paneer—-can you believe it. The photos and the instructions are most excellent.