“Mom, did you know they make ranch dressing seasoning?” one son says.

“I feel like she bought that already,” says the other son.

“No, not the dressing mix. It’s in a shaker. Like parmesan cheese,” says one son.

“I had a bad experience with ranch dressing,” says the other son.

“What was it?”

“Uncle Rob said I could have all the money in his wallet if I drank a whole ramekin of it.”

“Was it worth it?”

“It was like three dollars. And now I hate ranch dressing forever, so.”

“I thought it was ketchup,” says one son. “Mom, wasn’t it ketchup?”

“I feel like he would know what it was,” I say.

“Mom, didn’t you one time make like a hundred dollars on a dollar bet like that?”

I smile remembering the scene, the wager, and the bet I didn’t take.

“Yes, Aunt Patty offered me all the money in her wallet. But I didn’t do it.”

“What did she bet you to do?”

She dared me to do… that scene from When Harry Met Sally.

In an Applebee’s.

In front of my husband.

And my parents.

My guys forge ahead with what they think they know. “Didn’t she want you to perform something? Like, something in a restaurant? From your favorite movie?”


“What did she want you to do?”

It’s like they know.

“She wanted me to re enact a scene in a movie,” I say, skating carefully around it.

“What was it?”

Oh, whatever. I’ll tell them. These are crazy times and we need something to spice up our dinner conversation these days.

“In the movie, the woman pretends to have an orgasm.”

All the eyebrows go up.

“Mom, what’s an orgasm?” says one son.

The other son pats me on the back. A nonverbal, “Good luck with this.”

“It’s… the best part of sex.”

“I don’t get it. I’m confused.”

“It’s… like, the moment. The best moment.”

“How could she fake it? In a restaurant??”

“She… made a lot of the right noises.”


“Can I watch that movie, Mom?”

“I don’t think you’d like it.”


“It’s a lot of talking, not a lot of action.”

“Then why do you love it?”

“It’s written by my favorite writer.”

“Jen Hatmaker?”

“No, though I do love her.”

“She’s all you talk about.”

“She’s not all I talk about, though I do love her. She doesn’t make movies, though. This movie was written by Nora Ephron.”

“Like Zac Efron?”

“No. Homophones, yes. But not in the same family.”

“So we can’t see that scene?”

As if they won’t google it as soon as they have screen time.

“How are those fish sticks?” I ask.

“Orgasm.” One son practices the word.

The other son pats me on the back again. Good luck with that.

“I feel like I want to blog this.”

“Fine by me,” says one son.

“Start with the ranch dressing,” says the other son.

Peter was silent the entire time. Not a single word.

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