My sister and I returned to California one summer to visit Mother and Husband Number Three Tom. Since summertime also coincided with both of their birthdays, we agreed to treat them to dinner. We asked where they might like to go to celebrate and they hemmed and hawed around until Abby and I suggested one of our favorites at the beach.
Tom acted like he knew where it was and for some reason we agreed to get in the car with him. His sense of direction was as bad as Mother’s, and his taste in food wasn’t that great either. We noticed we were going up and down the same streets over and over. We were growing more concerned by the moment.
Up Sepulveda Boulevard and down Aviation Boulevard. Then again up Sepulveda Boulevard and down Aviation Boulevard.
Around a corner, then back up Aviation Boulevard and…wait for it…down Sepulveda Boulevard.
Up the 101, and then down the 107. Then back onto the 101.
He had no idea where he was going. To add to our plight, their car had problems with a leaky radiator.
As the smoke began billowing out of the hood, Abby and I were beside ourselves.
Maybe this isn’t a good idea.
At that exact moment, Tom pulled the car into the lot of a business and said the car needed to cool down. Mother looked around the lot and said
Perfect! We’ve landed right where I’ve always wanted to eat, The Mermaid.
Yes, it was “perfect” – we had “landed” at a restaurant in Hermosa Beach called The Mermaid. None of us had ever been there, and Mary’s definition of “perfect” once again surprised us. She behaved as though this landing was all part of the plan for the evening.
We went into the restaurant, ate dinner and reluctantly got back into the car. Luckily the car had cooled down and we made it back to their habitat without further incident.
We agreed to never allow ourselves to be at the mercy of Tom’s driving ability in a car that overheats.