My son, Silas, and I differ in many different ways.
My son, Silas, and I differ in many different ways. I'm blonde, he's brunette. I think polenta is the best food in the world, and Silas writes essays in school (complete with pictures) about how much he hates polenta. I think bedtime is the best time of the day, and Silas treats it like a daily funeral, always being held at 8 p.m. One of the differences which holds the greatest risk of pulling us apart is our ice cream choices. I love soft serve frozen yogurt, Silas likes traditional ice cream, served in a cone.
After months of begging, I was able to drag my reluctant little child to Yogurt Hut in downtown Ashland. I was super excited, I picked my flavors of frozen yogurt, I was topping it with delicious little things like strawberries and whipped cream and little crunchy bits of crushed sugar cones. Meanwhile Silas was creating a concoction only a child could love, frozen yogurt covered in gummy sharks, Reese's Pieces, little frosted animal cookies, hot fudge sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. I was pretty much letting Silas have a free hand with his creation, since I wanted to increase the chances of him allowing us to return to the Yogurt Hut one day.
The awkward thing about Yogurt Hut is that you get charged by the ounce. This means that at the counter you have to put your ice cream on a little scale and be judged. Now, I'm sure the teenagers and young adults employed at the Yogurt Hut are professionals, but I just can't help but think in the back of my mind that these people are judging me and my 8-ounce cup of yogurt.
Then it happened, that horror of horrors that strikes each of us at least once in a lifetime, I opened up my purse, and no wallet! I frantically searched through each pocket and zipper of my purse hoping to find a credit card, check book, a couple dollars cash — nothing. There Silas and I stood, with our individually created tubs of deliciousness, with no money to pay for them. I started blushing and told the cashier that I was so sorry, that I didn't have any money and then I had to break the news to Silas. "Silas, I'm so, so sorry, but we have to leave without our ice cream. I forgot the checkbook. I don't have any money to pay for the frozen yogurt."
I was totally humiliated and we quickly left the shop. Silas was handling it like a champ. He was definitely being the more mature one between the two of us, and I probably should have let him drive the car. I, on the other hand, was still blushing a lava-hot red and started to tear up. I was crying while walking down the sidewalk, probably looking like a crazy lady. Before you misjudge my attachment level to frozen yogurt, let me say I was mostly crying because I was so embarrassed, and not because I was missing my poor abandoned tub of chocolate soft-serve covered in strawberries.
We hadn't gotten as far as the car when one of the employees ran out and shoved Silas' cup of ice cream into his hand. "Thank you" I mumbled out, my eyes now so full of tears I was barely able to see the gummy sharks swimming around in Silas' sea of frozen yogurt. Instead of eating in the park, or on a bench in the plaza, we drove to my parents' house where I could cry in private and Silas could sit at the table finishing his treat. Silas was very sweet. He ate out the cookies, the gummy sharks, and hot chocolate sauce, and then let me share the rest.
After everything, the employees at Yogurt Hut made sure that Silas had a good day. Silas didn't have to leave disappointed, and if someone's going to leave an ice cream shop in tears I'd rather it be me than him. Now we'll see if I can dig up the courage to ever go back there.
Zoe Abel owes the Yogurt Hut a big tip, if she could ever be brave enough to set foot in there again and face the witnesses to her humiliation. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org