2 Waffle Houses, 1 mile span of US 90

Since moving to Chicago (and actually when I was in Kansas and Atlanta), I have tried to visit my parents in Florida a minimum of 1 trip per year.  It’s time to get away from the hustle and bustle of work, city-living, public transit…During this time, I get my fill of Gujarati and Mom/Dad’s cooking (Papdi Lotte, Dad’s famous chicken & gravy, and way more fruit than is natural).  I also get a solid amount of marriage…banter?  Pressure seems overkill, since clearly it hasn’t been effective.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the recent trip (that I am currently still on b/c of the epic snow sitch in Chiberia).

  • Dad:  Within 10 minutes of getting into car from airport–so remember that boy from Wisconsin with the broken English?  He’s engaged.  (please note the tone of voice was filled with disappointment and perhaps a smattering of resentment towards his ‘hard-headed’ daughter)
  • Dad:  What about that boy from Philadelphia?  He’s very handsome, mature (and 25).  He doesn’t live with his parents, his parents live with him.
  • Mom:  What’s his name?  Kiran, who are you texting?  Tell meeeeeeeeeee.  You find somebody, right?  (basically any time I was holding my phone)
  • Mom:  You have to get married in 2014.  That’s it.
  • Mom:  There are lot of boys in Chicago, you no get no luck?
  • Mom:  I don’t know why they’re legalizing marijuana (unrelated, still funny).
And then I tried to explain what I did for a living to my mom (she asked).  She expects me to follow in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie and/or Chelsea Clinton.  This seems reasonable to me.  I have put in a call to Ban-ki Moon and Bill Clinton.
I gotta say, I love coming home (despite the constant grilling) because I love seeing the city I grew up in…how it’s changed, how it’s stayed the same.  The Dairy Queen which will ultimately be the reason I get diabetes, the beautiful historic courthouse, my childhood home that my parents painted baby yellow before finally selling, the public library where I spent hours pretending to study for the SAT while most likely reading Sweet Valley High, and of course, my beloved Publix.  My parents have moved to a slightly larger city, so I don’t get to see the old hood as often these days.  But it’s special every time.  Most special part of this visit?  Getting to finally meet my childhood (and let’s be honest lifelong) bestie’s newest addition!  Adorably pleasant would be an understatement.  I love that her children refer to me as Aunt Kiki.  And I love that I was able to get a picture with a goat just by visiting their beautiful sprawly, land.  I think I’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth repeating.  I loved that I grew up in a small town. I loved that my parents were the 2nd Indian family in said town.  And I love that I rarely describe it as a city…town seems more appropriate.  Though I do recall saying I lived “in the city” and my friends lived “in the country.”  There’s something about that hometown connection, the old buildings, the complexity of life in a less crowded region that just fills me with nostalgia.  I like to think a lot of who I am today is a direct result of my smalltown upbringing.  There was never anything small about my friends.  They’re world-changers, they’re optimists, they’re inspiring.  I always thought (and still firmly believe) my friends from a variety of years were the best products of Suwannee County in the past 15 years.  Well, them and the Beverage Barn if it’s still around.
My diet must start when I get back to Chicago as I’ve essentially become a cookie in my week home…yummy Guju food, pizza, Dad’s chicken, Publix subs.  Rolly polly Kiks.  My mom even convinced me eating chocolate chips just plain is good for me (I can’t recall how, but I believe her).
Did I mention I got to see 3 of my cousin-sisters (that’s sounds very Utah, sorry) and my beautiful princess Lara on this trip?!?  She is growing up way, way too fast.  She says Please and Thank you like it’s her job.  She calls me her Kiki Masi.  And she eats like a miniature, adorable garbage disposal.  I miss her so much, but am so grateful I got to see her!  And my sisters – a few hours with them and I am reminded of how much I’d wish they’d all move to Chicago, damnit!
I hope your 2014 is starting off as well as can be expected given this redonk deep freeze.  Stay warm, check on your loved ones, and be safe!
Have you ever watched a football game with your mother?  Okay, in all fairness, you need to watch a football game with MY mother.
Let me set the scene – she’s sitting at the edge of the bed concentrating just as hard during the game as she is during commercials.
  • After FSU gets to the 20 yard line with less than a minute to go –> He did not get that far
  • With 7 minutes to play and FSU down by 4 –> I don’t think they can get the 4 points
  • Oh no, he’s hurt.
  • While watching the players run down the field –> But that is good exercise.
  • What happened?
  • Her final thoughts “Gooood.  Last minute!”
I leave you with what I like to call yet another “Ah-ha” moment compliments of Upworthy.  This one made me smile and think!
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