The Dipped Cone

I am sitting at my tiny little, very adorable, writing desk wearing a t-shirt that says, “Writer’s Block: When your imaginary friends refuse to talk to you.” Basically, I’m sitting here pretending to be a writer when I haven’t written in ages and don’t feel like there is an original thought in my head. But I took a webinar about this very thing about 2 weeks ago and received some pretty good prodding. Michael Hyatt told me I needed to schedule my next 4 writing blocks so they wouldn’t get skipped. Schedule it in. Keep it like a doctor’s appointment. Sit down and write.

I didn’t do that.
This is unscheduled time.
That means it’s going to stink.

Another writer dude on Twitter told me that I needed to schedule in 20 minutes a day in some type of writing exercise. Blogging. Emailing. Writing prompts. Whatever. Sit down like it’s boot camp and do it. It doesn’t have to flow well. It just needs to be done.

I haven’t done that either.
I don’t think I like being ordered around, even when I know the other person is right.

But I am going to make an effort at regularity (of schedule, not of content). I guess the future will be its own testimony. I make no promises.

This is the time of year a person shouldn’t be recording their own life events anyway. There are too many concerts, sports banquets, end-of-year picnics, yearbook signings, etc. Events are packed in like bad leftovers and there is plenty of room for error. Plenty.

For instance.

The other night we had a friend who was in a lead role in a local children’s production of Wizard of Oz. This was an interesting presentation for so many reasons, not the least of which was the inappropriate pawing that was happening 3 feet from my head on the row behind me. I’d describe it for you in sordid detail, believe me, if only I’d seen it first hand. WHY OH WHY did no one poke me and point so that I could watch, too? Of course, I know why I wasn’t notified. I am not to be trusted with such things. They knew I would blow the lid off that one in a terribly memorable way. So I missed it, dangadoodle. But I hear it was something else. We are looking for a birth announcement in February or so.

The play itself was a balanced mix of kids whose parents paid for them to be in the play when they probably need to cut their losses and put that money elsewhere. Our friend was the brightest light on the stage, equaled only by that one tiny little flying monkey. That was a cute flying monkey.

When the play ended, and all the weekend busyness was successfully completed, we pulled out of our parking space and complimented the kids on behaving respectfully and normally while in public. It was at this moment that there was a shift in the universe. One of those critical crossroads that you come to and stand there and you know—though it might seem insignificant—this moment is going to be life altering.

That’s when the question came.

“Can we go to Dairy Queen?”

Todd immediately said no, followed by some sadly understated protests, followed by me waffling, which was the final piece in the puzzle.

You want to go there?” He asked, a tad incredulously.

“Well…” I waffled. It’s almost a song when it comes out of my mouth. I waffle a lot. It’s what I’m known for. It’s a deplorable quality in a parent, in case you wonder how it’s working for me. Kids can pick up on even a nano-second of self-doubt and before you know it you are applying pressure from a dirty car napkin to your jugular because the kids WENT FOR IT. Now you have granola in your jugular.

“It’s right there,” I finished.

Because that’s a good reason to go to Dairy Queen. If you can see it, you should visit. It immediately felt like the wrong choice. I felt caught in public wearing tight yoga pants or a stained shirt from the 80s. I was uncomfortable with the choice. But it was one of those irreversible things. We were going. To Dairy Queen. At 8something on a Saturday night.

And we were driving through.

After sitting through the Drive Thru line for an unimpressively long time, we got to the speaker/microphone which is the same one they’ve had since 1967. No I mean it. Not one thing has updated in our Dairy Queen. Ever. Todd ordered a Banana Split BLIZZARD, an M&M blizzard, a medium chocolate shake, a chocolate cone dipped in chocolate, and a scoop of chocolate ice cream in a bowl with hot fudge. I mean, it’s not the easiest order. There are a lot of us. But it wasn’t open heart surgery either.

When we pulled around to the window, we had no reasonable hope that the order would be perfect. It never is. We are somewhat patient about these things. While we waited for the order to be filled, Todd and I bored the children by singing an entirely new rendition of “Ding, dong the witch is dead.” We set the key much too low, which makes for a whole lot of car fun, and changed the words to things like “Ding, dong the witch is dead. Just how dead? She’s really dead. That witch is super, duper dead.” Really dumb. We knew it. It was passing the time.

And then the fulfillment of the order began to round out as we watched.  As we sang our death tune, the DQ employee dropped the first dipped cone upside down into the chocolate sauce. I think the ice cream disintegrated, but she threw the cone away and started over. With vanilla ice cream. We couldn’t get her attention until she opened the window with the wrong flavor of ice cream. She apologized and threw that one away too. In the meantime, a child in the car began to worry about the nature of the m&ms in his or her blizzard. Would they be peanut? Would there be traces of peanut? We were fielding this barrage of questions when the window slid open again and we were handed a banana split.

We ordered a banana split BLIZZARD. She was sorry. She threw that one away. Started over.

That’s 3 desserts in the trash now because we just had to go to Dairy Queen.

The third chocolate-on-chocolate dipped cone came through the DQ window and into ours. It looked good. Beautifully done…but those things are top heavy in the tiny wispy cones they pile them in. So you can imagine what happened next. The cone landed upside-down on Todd’s work shirt. Bam. That cone was smashed. Hey, but it was chocolate on chocolate. They nailed it. She reached in and took the smashed cone off of Todd and started over with Attempt #4 at the dipped cone.

The end of the story had us pulled forward waiting for the rest of the order, no longer singing about dead witches, and all wishing we had turned left out of the play’s driveway instead of right. We could have already been in our jammies, celebrating youth theater while drinking clean water from Dixie cups. Instead we were disgruntled, stained, and holding our desserts with a shell-shocked look in our eyes.

It was a nasty fight over the bottle of Shout when we got home. But there was a mysterious Butterfinger blizzard to make up for it ( I bet the guy in the car behind us has a story to tell now, too) and my shake was pretty good.

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