Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Leo and me.
We arrived at the restaurant just as my Oma and Opa were walking up the steps to the door. They noticed us and waved.
"Oh, man. They beat us!" Leonardo DiCaprio said. "And your Oma's outfit is amazing."
Leonardo DiCaprio was right. My Oma was wearing the leopard print button-down shirt that my Opa once said was too young for her. It hurt her feelings then, though she never came right out and said so. She only relayed Opa's comment when she took me to her bedroom closet to show the shirt to me, but I could sense in her otherwise jovial retelling of the story that she didn't appreciate it. "I'll just save this to wear for a special occasion," she'd said. "When I'm even older than I am now."
That special occasion was today. Leonardo DiCaprio and I had planned a dinner with our respective Omas and my Opa, and everyone's schedules finally worked out. We chose Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar®, mostly for my Oma and Opa. They like that the menu features pictures of what a lot of the plates are. It's easy to imagine eating something when you know exactly what it'll look like! I'd wondered if Leonardo DiCaprio would feel weird eating at such a popular chain restaurant, but when I sheepishly suggested it, he mentioned splitting an order of Green Bean Crispers :)
I helped Leonardo DiCaprio's Oma out of the front seat of his car (I rode in the back because manners). My Oma and Opa were still outside of the restaurant, waiting for us at the door.
"Guten Tag!" Opa said, to which Leonardo DiCaprio replied with his own German greeting and a follow-up. A full-blown German conversation started up from there as we entered the establishment, and I suddenly felt silly being the only member of the party who hardly spoke a lick of the language. Seemingly sensing this, Leonardo DiCaprio put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer. "You've got a great granddaughter here, you two."
We slid into our booth - Leonardo DiCaprio, his Oma, and I taking one side; my Oma and Opa taking the other - and began the daunting task of looking over the 174-page menu. The pictures might've helped my Oma and Opa, but for me they added an almost manic feel to an already overwhelming selection. Between the Shareables, Lunch Combos, and Have It All sections, I felt my eyes glaze over. I flipped to the desserts and mentally settled on just ordering a Triple Chocolate Meltdown® as a meal.
"I might get the Fiesta Chicken Chopped Salad," Leonardo DiCaprio announced to the table. My Oma and Opa looked up from their menus with concern on their faces. "Just a salad?" my Oma asked. "What are you, a rabbit?" my Opa teased, laughing at his own joke. Leonardo DiCaprio's Oma smiled and touched her hand to his. "You sure that'll be enough, dear?"
Leonardo DiCaprio mulled it over and nodded. "I mean, Jazz and I are sharing an appetizer, and I can already tell she's chosen a dessert," he winked at me. "I think a salad will be okay." I smiled. How did he know?