Monday, May 14, 2007

Hometown Buffet how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways...

So yesterday was another holiday and what does that mean for my husband's family? Why yes it means another fun filled excursion to Hometown Buffet. Now it's been over a year since I've been on one of these outings because we had moved out of state, but now we are back and so is Hometown. It's not the restaurant itself that I loathe, it's the actual Hometown experience that sends shivers up my spine whenever my husband tells me there's another Hometown trip in my not to distant future.

Now my husband has a very large Italian family headed by Nana for whom the world needs to revolve around. Now I love Nana, she's a sweet lady, a little eccentric, but sweet. Last night was similar to all other Hometown experiences. Sometimes I feel like I'm Bill Murray in "Groundhogs Day" and I'm reliving Hometown every single day of my life. So here's how it all played out:
First there are at minimum 20 of us every time, and the first thing out of Aunt O's mouth is "I don't know why they don't take reservations! We have to wait at least 30 minutes and they won't let us call ahead to tell them that we're coming." While I'm thinking "Well why do we have to come here for every holiday? Of course we are going to have to wait it's 5:30 on MOTHER'S DAY!" Now there's no shock on the employees faces when we show up and say we want a table for 20+ because we always go to the same Hometown. They smile sweetly and usher us off to the side to wait. We either have to wait standing against the mirror by the salad bar, or down the hallway that leads to the restrooms. This is one of my favorite parts of the experience because we stand there watching other people get their food while they look at us like we're a family of circus side show freaks. Last night I watched a kid pick his nose and then grab some cherry tomatoes with the very same hand (mental note: no tomatoes on the salad tonight)! On one of the other previous outings when we were lined up down the hallway leading to the restrooms the kids were applauding as people exited the bathroom. Yeah, we're a classy bunch.

Now of course we have to wait a little longer because we have to wait for a table in the middle of the restaurant because we can't sit next to the door because Nana will get too cold. Even if it's 100 degrees outside, she'd get cold. She wears two pairs of long underwear, two pairs of sweat pants, three shirts and then a sweater on top of all that and she's still cold. I remember sweating bullets during my bridal shower (which was in June) because she was cold and wouldn't let my MIL open the doors for a breeze. Now Hometown is the only restaurant Nana will eat at because she will only eat chicken legs & baked potatoes (see I told you eccentric). Then of course they want one large table together, well I'm sorry but they don't make tables for 20+ unless of course you're a king.

Finally we get our tables and then begins the most confusing word problem of all: "When you have 20+ members of this Italian family and three tables where is everybody going to sit and who are they going to sit next to?" So we stand there next to our tables for another 10 minutes while we work out this unbelievably difficult word problem. While once more our fellow patrons are staring at us like we're a bunch of freaks. Finally it's time to eat and stuff ourselves silly while we make fun of other patrons and laugh like crazy. Then it's time to leave with hugs and kisses all around...until we meet again Hometown Buffet.


LuAnn said...

Wow...I thought a group of 12-15 was bad! :)

Elizabeth said...

That story did have a happy ending! We used to have Old Country Buffet here, and my boys LOVED it. I think it's sweet that your whole big family gets together like that-you're lucky!