If it was a Sunday evening in August, we were at the Dairy Queen.
Just like every other Sunday evening in the summertime.
Momma, Daddy, my brother and me.
It was the official end to weekends at Granny’s, where my brother and I were usually dropped off on Saturday night by our parents and stayed over until they returned the next day for Sunday dinner.
On the way back home, even when Daddy pretended he was going to drive on by, we’d pull up to the old-school kiosk-style DQ where you walked up to the window to order your cone.
Until I got a little older, I always asked for an ice-cream sandwich. Because in the Tennessee heat, I couldn’t eat the soft-serve fast enough without a sticky mess pouring over my little fist.
Even at 6 years old my OCD was kicking in.
I don’t so much have issues with white goop pouring over my fist anymore. But it’s the warm salty kind.
As fond as my childhood memories of Dairy Queen are, my fondness for ice cream, itself, has greatly diminished over time.
I don’t dislike it. I just don’t get a hankering for it very often.
But, somehow Sunday evenings at the Dairy Queen have become a thing again. Now it’s The Attorney and me at the end of weekends that he stays over.
He likes ice cream much more than I do. He likes ice cream. I like him. So we go to Dairy Queen.
I mostly go to people watch.
Even though you go inside to order now and there are tables in air conditioned comfort, we still kick it a little old school by taking our cones outside where we sit on top of one of the picnic tables and watch the people.
We make up stories about them, creating characters out of our fellow customers, deciding who they are, where they have come from and what their relationships are to each other.
I sometimes wonder if we nail it. Or least wonder how right we are.
While we were there last Sunday it struck me that maybe other people are creating stories about us or making a judgement about what our relationship is.
Neither The Attorney nor I is what you would call a flag waver, but if you pay attention at all, you gotta be able to figure it out.
Two teenage boys hanging out together at Dairy Queen is not that unusual. But two grown men, one in middle age and the other approaching, has to prick up your ears a bit.
We probably laugh too easily at each others jokes. We probably lock eyes a touch too long. Or probably sit a little too close to be confused for straight.
So I wonder who knows.
And what do they decide, based on that?
Does anyone sees it simply as a guy tagging along simply because is boyfriend like ice cream?
Which one do they decide is the top?
Does anyone nail it?