Once upon a time, I was twelve years old with all the world spread before my feet. Full of vibrancy, intelligence, and a deep love of Swiss Cake Rolls, I had only a year before thrown off the shackles of my mullet and moved on to bigger and better things, to deep purposes high beyond the comprehension of those not as awesome as I.
Finding myself full of lofty ambition and sparkling ability, I determined that I should put it to use, and thus it was that I began my journey to create an Epic Anniversary Evening for my parents.
We would have dim lights, romantic music, homemade food, and I would mastermind the entire event.
(Looking back at this occasion, I begin to see some similarities between my eldest and me).
My best friend’s mom was in on the secret, even baking for the big night if I remember correctly. I remember lying on Tammy’s bed, non-mulletted hair strewn over the pillow artfully, contemplating my parents and what would please and surprise them the most.
With the wisdom that only a junior high girl can attain, I decided that the best course of action would be to have a theme. Something romantic. Something that would just cry out “thank you for being awesome parents who have been married for sixteen years.”
Something like . . . corn.
I’ll give you a moment.
My maiden name was Cobb. And when my mother married into the Cobb family, she embraced the joyful punniness of a last name that is eternally the object of ridicule. Our kitchen was filled with corn. Not the “sheep’s in the meadow, cow’s in the corn” variety. But the “I was at a garage sale and they were getting rid of these hideous corn-cob shaped salt-and-pepper shakers and I thought of you!!!!” variety. I wish I had a picture. I don’t. But imagine a fairly small kitchen, and imagine a lot of knick-knacks, and imagine they all are corn-themed. And imagine the curtains, and put some corn on them too. And the fridge magnets. And the wall hangings.
So it was only natural that my seventh-grade brain would skip right over hearts or stars or pink gingham (which the bridesmaids wore in my mom’s wedding– cut her some slack, people, it was 1975) and land on corn.
We would call it The Corny Cafe.
There was even an apron shaped like a big ear of corn for my sister to wear as she waited on my parents. (That apron also inspired me to dress up as an ear of corn one year for Halloween, but we won’t go into that).
And when you’re going with a theme as versatile as corn, you save yourself a lot of hard work because as you all know, corn is a food. Which really made planning dinner easy.
I seriously thought this was genius. And my parents were gracious enough to eat it and not laugh or barf, and my friend’s mom was also gracious enough not to laugh, even though I’m sure they were having to bite the insides of their cheeks kind of a lot.
And I’m sure that night, as my parents prayed over their very yellow meal, they undoubtedly thanked God that our last name wasn’t Headcheese.
Although the curtains, they would have been fabulous.