(I need to begin this post with an apology to both z and the boy. Because I totally do this to them. And now at least I know where I get it from.)
On Saturday evening, I was heading out the door to meet a high school friend for coffee when my dad stopped me.
"Where are you going again?"
"To Starbucks to meet Kristen, dad. I'll probably be gone about an hour/hour and a half or so."
"Oh. Okay. You want to pick up some ice cream on your way home?"
"Sure. I can do that. What do you want?"
"Do you want ice cream?"
"Oh, well, then don't worry about it."
I changed my tune. "Sure dad. I would love some ice cream. There is nothing on this earth that I would like more."
He laughed and said, "Forget about it."
"No seriously. I'll pick it up no problem. What do you want? A strawberry blizzard?"
"No. I don't like strawberry."
"Right, right. That's mom. You like peanut butter cup."
"Don't worry about it. Really."
"Oh maybe I'll just pick you up a pint of Ben and Jerry's?" I mused.
My dad immediately perked up and responded, "Do they have pistachio?"
"Pistachio? I'm not sure, but I can look."
"Nah. Don't worry about it."
Now, I don't know if I've ever mentioned how difficult it is to do nice things or buy gifts for my father. He's pretty self sufficient, and when you ask what he wants, you never get a good answer. (When he was working it was always "a new tie" - the man had over 100 ties - and now it's always "a bottle of Beefeater." - there is no shortage of alcohol at my parents house.) My dad is usually all, "Oh, don't worry about me. I'm fine." But this conversation? It was a chink in the armor of self sufficiency. My dad wanted pistachio ice cream. He wanted something. That I could provide! It was now my mission in life to bring home some pistachio ice cream.
I came to find out that this was easier said than done.
I started off by meeting my friend at Starbucks and then hitting four stores on my way home. The first was the grocery store that I had visited earlier that day. Where I struck out. But not after spending about 15 minutes in the surprisingly small ice cream section pouring over every different container. Still, I left optimistic. There were two other grocery stores within five minutes. Surely one of them would have it.
The second place where I stopped closed at 9:00pm. It was 9:10pm when I got there. I was dumbfounded. Seriously? The store closes at 9:00pm on a Saturday? Um, okay. Small(ish) town, I guess.
I tried an ice cream shoppe next. They make their own ice cream, so I was hopeful that maybe they had specialty flavors that no one else carried. Vanilla Bean, they carry. Chocolate, they carry. Pistachio - negative. So much for exotic flavors. However, after three strikes, I decided to ask if anyone knew of anywhere that I COULD find pistachio ice cream. I was directed to the Baskin Robbins on the east side of town. Sweet! That was on the far side of town, but if worse came to worst, at least I had a confirmed supply. I mean, assuming the high school kids behind the counter of a small-town ice cream shoppe were right. Grasping for hope, I chose not to doubt them.
On my way home, I stopped at the final grocery store. They were locking their doors as I arrived, so I just squeezed in under the wire. No pistachio, but they did have spumoni. I vaguely remembered that my father also liked spumoni, and perhaps the green layer in the spumoni was pistachio? (it isn't.) Regardless, I decided not to go home empty handed and bought the spumoni ice cream before heading back to my parent's house.
..where my father verified that the green layer is NOT pistachio, but still shared the ice cream with my mother so I wouldn't feel like a failure. Didn't work.
That night, while out with friends, I was recounting my quest and subsequent failure. I asked if anyone knew where to get pistachio ice cream? I was rewarded with independent verification that Baskin Robbins did indeed carry what I sought. Of course, they were closed by then (well past midnight) but I started plotting as to when I could get some ice cream the next day after church but before I drove the three hours home.
When we left the bar, my friend Jackie suggested that we drive past Baskin Robbins just to make sure. We did, and sure enough, "Pistachio-Almond" ice cream was on the menu. I was giddy. Super-giddy. This is what I blame on why I agreed when Jackie made the following suggestion, "Do you want to just go check Wal-Mart before we head home? It might save you a trip tomorrow."
It was 2:00am. I was tired. The thought of getting up for church was exhausting enough, not to mention the subsequent three-hour drive home. Saving me a trip sounded like bliss. Besides, I figured it was a long shot. I was certain that Wal-Mart wouldn't carry what I needed. No one else in town did. There's no way Wal-Mart would. Psh, Wal-Mart. Like they have anything good on their shelves.
Guess what Jackie found at Wal-Mart?
What a pickle. Seriously. I was torn. Spend money at Wal-Mart? The hated Wal-Mart? A store I wouldn't set foot in even when I couldn't afford real hand soap? The root of all evil? I mean, I sometimes act soulless and unethical, but to actually give my money to a soulless and unethical business??
But... the only pistachio ice cream I had seen in the entire town. (sob.)
I'm a daddy's girl. We all know how this story ends. Tears were shed and tantrums were thrown, but in the end I sold my soul for a pint of pistachio ice cream. I even had to use my damn credit card so there's proof! I feel dirty. Oh so dirty.
Still, the look on my dad's face when he found it the next morning? Priceless.
Not that I was there to see it, mind you. The man gets up at 7:30am. I didn't move until at least ten. But, you know, I can imagine.