The SMS Invitation
Come to Secco Restaurant at 6pm Sunday 10 May. Don't wear your painting clothes. Oh, and wear a bra!
I stared at my cellphone with a perplexed expression on my face. "What the...?" I mumbled out loud. Sunday 10 May was Mother's Day, so obviously my daughter was inviting me out for Mother's Day. But, the painting clothes? What does she mean by that? I'm not painting at the moment. Okay, the bra part I got. I have an aversion to wearing a bra. The boobsling must be one of the most uncomfortable things ever invented, and in the heat we are having at the moment, it is annoying. Usually, when I get home first thing off is the bra. Weekends and public holidays I never wear one if I can help it. So, I do get the bra part. It's not like I have mosquito bites that I don't need to wear a bra. Actually, mine are probably quite a lot more than mosquito bites. Probably a good handful I'd say. But, they don't jiggle so madly out of control when I am braless that I might risk knocking a passing cyclist off his bike. I decided to call my daughter.
"Hello," I said cheerily when my daughter answered the phone.
"Mother," she replied formally as she often does.
"Um, just got your SMS. What do you mean by painting clothes? I'm not painting so am not wearing painting clothes," I say nervously chewing on a nail.
"Your trackpants," she replied impatiently as she often does with me, "I know you're not painting at the moment. Dress up a little as you'll be meeting my boyfriend and some other friends."
Most weekends I veg out in the house in trackpants. Comfort is of prime importance to me. There's no way I'd ever go out to a restaurant in trackpants anyway. Obviously, she didn't want me to embarass her in front of her friends, and the pressure was on me to make a good impression. I had to admit, I was excited to finally be allowed to meet the boyfriend. Okay, I can sometimes be a little random and some of my comments are occasionally a little inappropriate. But that is just me. A little eccentric but totally unique. I admire than in myself. My daughter should as well.
"Don't forget to wear a bra!" she added sternly. "It's very noticeable when you don't wear one."
"But, they don't hang down to my knees?" I asked anxiously.
"I know that mother! But your one nipple sticks out and I don't want you poking my friends' eyes out." She laughed. I was relieved. Thank God I didn't have Cooper's droop.
The Rent-a-Mom Party
After an early start to get ready for the packers, and a long day where I finally said goodbye to my worldly possessions, I was quite looking forward to a Mother's Day dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend. Secco Restaurant is a really good German Restaurant in a prime location with their beer garden looking out onto an intact piece of the old city wall. They're famous for their Sunday night all-you-can-eat BBQ. Just the perfect way to end a few hectic stressful weeks and enjoy my motherhood and being spoiled by my eldest daughter.
My daughter arrived with quite a few friends, the boyfriend was arriving later. More and more people joined our table. My daughter announced that it was a Rent-a-Mom Party for all the expats in Nanjing who were missing their mom on Mother's Day. I was the Rent-a-Mom! What a surprise! Thank God I had dressed up and worn a bra! I shook so many hands, smiled until my face ached, but enjoyed playing Mom to so many 20-30 year olds. Delicious BBQ, although the sausages weren't as good as mine, and I lost count of how many Mojito Cocktails I managed to put away.
And the boyfriend, I don't know why she hid him from me for so long. What a wonderful guy! "A keeper," I whispered to her at one point. And, I managed to restrain myself and not say anything inappropriate. I hope.
Mojito Cocktail Recipe
This has got to be one of the most cooling and refreshing cocktails to drink on a hot balmy summer's evening. It was born in Havana, Cuba.
- 4 mint leaves
- 1 lime (for juicing)
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 2 ounces white rum
- 2 ounces club soda
- 1 sprig of mint (for garnishing)
- crushed ice
Put the mint leaves into a tall glass, then squeeze the lime over it. Add the powdered sugar and crushed ice and stir it around a bit. Stir in the rum, top up with club soda and finally, garnish with a sprig of mint.