Matt was on call at the hospital last night, and hurried home this morning to rally us out for a Mothers Day breakfast. We didn't have reservations anywhere fancy, so we tried to hit our favorite breakfast spots. Our first stop was at Empire- a local eatery that makes a fierce omelette and mean bloody marys. It was packed. Filled to the gill with table vultures hovering around the outside patio- waiting to scoop up an empty seat. I didn't have the heart to battle with the vultures, and stood off to the side while I contemplated telling the family to try elsewhere. Standing next to me were two gay guys, feeling indignant that their morning spot had been invaded by suburbia. Listening to them kvetch- it reminded me of a funny story that happened at my cousin Martha's wedding.
Martha was getting married for the second time, but it was her soon-to-be husband's first marriage- so they did it to the umpteenth degree. White dress, formal ceremony, huge reception. It was at Shutters On the Beach in Santa Monica- a very la-di-da hotel frequented by celebrities, and famous for their patio cocktails at sunset. Martha's cocktail hour was on the terrace- overlooking the ocean. The bars were covered in fish nets, with little wooden fish smattered about as decoration. One of the fish was a perfect replica of the Hawaiian state fish- a Humuhumunukunukuapuaa.
Funny tidbit- we used to live in Hawaii, and would visit our east coast relatives. My Grandma used to ask me to say grace, and I would bow my head and tell everyone that this was an ancient Hawaiian prayer, and in my best minister voice would slowly say "Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Amen." When my brother got a salt water aquarium, he got himself a couple of these fish, and we would call them Humus for short. The Humu became the unofficial mascot of my family.
Anywhoo- back at the wedding, I was standing on line at the bar, waiting for a drink. I struck up a conversation with the guy in front of me. He was in his mid-twenties, good looking- and was at the wedding with his parents. He quickly told me how this was his first social event with his parents since he came out of the closet. He looked jubiliant, and slightly relieved. I had just started to congratulate him when my Dad came dancing up. Already a few cocktails to the ocean wind, my red faced Dad suddenly shouts and gestures to the wooden fish on the bar, "Hey Kristen! Did you know they had Humus at the wedding?" I sputtered my drink as the guy in front of me shoots my Dad the dirtiest look and slunks off to the corner. My Dad Rock Lobsters away to the buffet, completely unaware of the inadvertent social gaffe now infecting the wedding as I try and recover and hold up a wooden fish shouting "Humus! Humuhumunukunukuapuaa! Would you look at that!"
It's a good thing Martha's second wedding is still going strong. I don't think we'd be invited back for a third one.