Hank: (setting the table) Mama? Are you eating?
Me: (wearing a neck brace, frying up burgers, hands swollen like catcher’s mitts) No, darling. Thank you for asking.
Hank: (sigh, abandoning the silverware, walking over to the stove to rub my back) Mama, how was your day today? Did you get to work on your book?
Me: (smiling at his compassion and love) I did not. I got my blog post up and then I went back to bed for the whole day.
Hank: You have been very feeling bad lately. Can I finish dinner for you? You can sit and tell me what to do.
Me: (sing-songie, keeping the mood light and cheerful) Thank you for asking, Hank. I appreciate your offer, but I’m all right. I rested all day so that I could show you I love you and your papa and Molly buy making this meal and sitting down at the table with you. I rested, calmed my soul and soothed my body best I could all day so I could do this and I am almost done so setting the table is exactly what you can do to help me. Thank you.
Hank: You’re welcome. And you are sure you are not eating?
Me: Yes. Food is not what I need right now. What I need is conversation, gentle laughs and a tall glass of water.
Hank: I will set your place with the tallest glass we have.
Me: (flipping the burgers) Sounds like a plan. Now, (raising my voice) who wants cheese, who wants a fried egg and who wants both?
Pai: (from the other room with Molly) Both!
Molly: OVO (EGG)!
Me: (adopting my best diner lingo) Right, one broken hen berry, one CB: walk it through the garden, one Bessie with a hen berry: sunny-side up, tuck it in a blanket, walk it through the garden. Got it.
Hank: Wait, what?
Pai: (smiling, remembering all our diner dates in America) Your mother is speaking American Diner.
Me: (winking at him) Get that table top set, Hank. ORDER is coming right up!
Hank: (to Pai) But what did she say?
Pai: She will explain it to you when the food is on the table.
Hank: (carrying plates and silver ware to the table) Hen berry? What’s a hen berry?
Me: (chuckling, day made)
Different Diner, Different Slang. Scene from Manpower (1941)