Jen’s Three-Course Meal

After we dropped Gracie off at school this morning, Vinnie, Sofia and I headed to Dutch Brother’s  Coffee for a treat. We had just enough time to grab a sugar-laced coffee before Vinnie and Sofia were off to enjoy their school day. (Sarcasm)

The plan was, I was going to drop Sofia off in the carpool line. A new ritual that she loves by the way. Typically I walk in with her, only because I have my own commitments to attend to, but the god awful state testing is going on, and I am not allowed to be there when that happens. Also, just so you know, anyone can opt their child out of the ridiculous state testing. No one wants this to be common knowledge, but you can.

After dropping Sofia off, I was going to head to the grocery store. I needed a loaf of bread, testing snacks for Sofia, and something for dinner. Well, in a matter of seconds, I felt like I was going to throw up. I blame the iced 24-ounce sugar-laced coffee. It was too much for that early in the morning. I told myself I will just go to the store after I pick Vinnie up because right now I do not feel too good.

I came home, responded to some emails and just took it easy.

Now, it is time to get Vinnie. I am still not feeling quite 100%, so I told myself I will go to the store after I pick up Gracie.

Well, because my children have no conception of my time, plans quickly changed. I had to take Vinnie to AJ’s job so he could give Vinnie a key to his apartment. After picking up Gracie I would then drop Vinnie off at Aj’s “crib” (not my word, theirs) so Vinnie could walk the dog and AJ could get in some extra work hours. I would then pick up Sofia, and from there, we would pick up Vinnie. When the hell am I going to find the time to go to the store?

As soon as Vinnie and I grabbed Gracie, he is all like “Mom, I am hungry, can we go to the gas station.” Once again, my trip to the store is going to be pushed back. You have to understand I only have an hour between each kid before the next needs to be picked up.

So now, Vinnie, Gracie and I are in the 7-11 parking lot that just so happens to have a Pappa Johns next door to it. Remember, I still have to drop Vinnie off at Aj’s, and take Gracie home, then turn back around to get Sofia. “That’s it, problem solved, we will do pizza for dinner and Vinnie, grab me a loaf of bread while you get your snacks.”

Vinnie goes into 7-11, Gracie and I go into Pappa Johns. Except, I somehow confused Pappa Johns and Pappa Murpheys. I thought I would able to pick up an extra large thin crust pizza to take home and make Joe cook. Wrong. Dylan from Pappa Johns made it VERY clear to me that they make their pizza fresh, they are not allowed to “make ahead” and it would be twenty minutes to cook a pizza.


Feeling defeated, Gracie and I meet Vinnie next door at 7-11. As soon as I walk in, I notice the one cashier is eyeing Vinnie. I mean I get it. The cashier, who most likely was the manager, was not from here, a foreigner and here is a young kid who looks to be mixed (Vinnie says he is white with an afro and gets a lot of looks and reversed racism. More about that in a different blog)

Once the cashier saw Gracie and me, and just so you know we can totally pass as Iranian, he seemed to relax a bit. Kind of. I mean once I started complaining to Vinnie that I confused Pappa Johns with Pappa Murphy’s, his guard went back up. As it should because I kinda sounded like a crazy person.

Now you have to get the full visual. Vinnie is in 7-11 chomping down on doughnuts that he already paid for. He is by the bread trying to decide which kind I want. Gracie and I bustle through the doors, well, actually, I bustled through the doors, Gracie was mortified. “Vinnie, I confused the pizza places, what do I do now? I need something for dinner and I do not have time to go to the store and I really do not want to go after I pick up Sofia, what do I do?”

Vinnie, still enjoying the doughnuts, Gracie, pretending she is not with us, and I am complaining about pizza joints. Also, we are the only ones in the store. The cashier quickly made his way back behind the counter, most likely ready to push some sort of “emergency alarm” that is hidden.

“Gracie, stop pretending you are not with me, go pick out a healthy snack.”

She makes her way to the very small deli section and decides on strawberries.

“Mom, just order pizza and stop stressing out!”

I am keeping an eye on Gracie while explaining to Vinnie I do not want to order pizza, because, by the time I finally get home with Sofia, dinner will be later that I usually prefer, not to mention we are on a budget.

“Whatever Mom.”

Gracie has her strawberries in hand, Vinnie is on his third doughnut. The cashier is wondering when we are going to leave, and all of a sudden I see it. Right below the strawberries, Gracie picked up, a glorious sign.

“5.00 Any Pizza!”

I push Vinnie and his mouthful of doughnuts out of the way.

“That’s it!”

I make my way over to Gracie. There before my eyes, for 5.00 each I have my choice of meat, cheese, or pepperoni.

“Okay guys, I just found dinner!”

Quickly, I grabbed one meat and one pepperoni.

“Oh great, dinner from 7-11, that’s not weird or anything.”

Gracie laughs at Vinnie’s smart ass remark.

“Vinnie, go grab a bag of chips, Gracie, grab five bananas.”

For once, they do what they are told.

We take our purchases up to the cashier who may have been checking his watch wondering how much longer he has to deal with us.

“Is this all for you?”

“Yes, this is it, thank you.”

“Do you want me to cook pizza or you take home to cook?”

I looked up from my wallet at the cashier who was pointing to a pizza oven. A pizza oven in 7-11!!!

“You do that? Like, you can cook it here?”

“Yes, Ma’am. I can cook here.”

“Damn! I need to come to 7-11 more often.”

“Sorry, not understand what English you say.”

“Oh, no thank you, I will take it home to cook, thank you so much though.”

At this point, Vinnie had grabbed Gracie and left the store. I think my excitement over the pizza oven put them over the edge.

However, none of that matters.

The takeaway from this post,

I was able to come up with a three-course meal from 7-11!!

Appetizer: Sour cream & Onion Chips
Entre: Pizza
Desert: Bananas

You are welcome.



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