As kudos for being successful students, I shove food into my children’s gullets. Go ahead, lecture me on how much damage I’m doing to them, using food as a reward system. It works, I like eating out, and gosh, darnit, so do they.
This time, we tried Moroccan. Now, in case you think that was dangerous, the first choice shouted at me by my food-snob daughter was “Casa Bonita”, where, I swear, they can’t even open a can of refried beans without ruining them. How hard can it be to make cheese enchiladas? You sprinkle cheese on a tortilla, warm it up, top it with lettuce and tomatoes. But at CB? Oh, no. They open a can of the nastiest, most putrid nacho cheese sauce, pass it through a heat lamp until it’s almost room temperature, and serve it up. And you don’t have the choice of not ordering food. You absolutely MUST order food if you want to pass through the gates. Because they have teenage boys diving off cliffs inside the joint. Topless. You see who this is for, right? Anyway, so they get you at the food.
Before she’d even finished the word “Bonita” I was shaking my head and saying, emphatically, “Over my dead body not in a million years save your own money if you want to go there again.” Her next choice? Anything with the word “Buffet” attached to it. Clearly she had thought about my needs, my food preferences, and had maliciously chosen things not on my scale of “edible”. So, when a friend suggested a Moroccan restaurant that seats you on cushions on the floor, all the food is eaten with fingers, and they even have belly dancing, I planned my counter-attack. I knew the food would be fine: we eat couscous regularly and they have lamb for my husband who prefers his meat greasy.
Everything went beautifully. The food made me want to move to Morocco (don’t worry, this is not an announcement), the wait staff, other than an abundance of Fa cologne, seemed jovial and fun, and the kids loved the whole experience.
And then the belly dancer came out.
Now, I’m aware that many traditional dances are thinly veiled seductions. Even the hula, which men historically performed, changed to a mostly-female cast when Capt. Cooke took one look at the dance and thought, “Ah, if we could just get chicks to swing their hips like that.” I’m okay with all of that. And I laughed when my three daughters burst up from their seats and started dancing, too. The oldest focused on the shoulder movements. Pretty benign. The youngest had her own somersault-arabesque dance. Cute. And the middle one? Oh, she was all over the hip swaying, butt shaking, chest pumping moves. I should have known. The belly dancer, the real one, was so charmed she sent our server back out with a stack of coloring sheets which also informed us that she does children’s parties. Not in this household, Scheherazade.
On the good side, they can support themselves in college. Hal saw the belly dancer on the way out. She was shimmying low to let a fat smiling guy slip a twenty between her wonder boobs. Gee, I’m glad the kids got good grades so they could witness that. They do offer mother-daughter courses. I think it will be a good routine at the next church talent show.