Restaurants, masks & sausage biscuits #SOL22 12/31

Mr. 11 peered uncertainly through the windows, “I think about half of them are wearing masks, maybe a third. I’m taking mine just in case.” He stuffed his mask into his pocket as we got out of the car. The rest of us followed suit, but I doubted we would have a chance to put them on, and I was pretty sure no one was wearing a mask.

As we neared the front doors, another family was leaving. One child had a mask under her chin. “See?” he whispered. “She has one.”

I nodded grimly.

Then I opened the door and took the kids into a restaurant for the first time since the pandemic began. In the US. With no masks. Both boys stiffened a little, then settled as we were shown to a table in the half-full dining area.

I had to admit that it felt weird to me, too, so much so that Andre and I had considered skipping restaurants altogether, but this is our first road trip in two and a half years, and we have to eat.

We looked at our menus. “This feels weird,” the boys glanced around, “but also normal.” We ordered, the boys played the peg game on the table, and the food was out in no time. It was delicious.

Still, we didn’t order dessert and we didn’t linger. In the car afterwards, Mr 11 asked, “Does anyone in the US wear masks?”

His brother scoffed, “No.”

It’s been almost three years since our boys have been in the US. Despite the fact that they are half American, and despite my increasingly desperate desire to have them to know the US beyond the headlines, this place doesn’t feel like theirs right now, and sometimes I wonder if it ever will.

As we settled in for a little more driving, I did what I could: “Americans may not wear masks as much as Canadians, but I bet we’ll be able to get sausage biscuits with gravy for breakfast.”

They weighed these two truths. After a brief pause, one of them piped up, “Yeah, sausage biscuits are amazing.”

And for one night, the balance was restored.

11 thoughts on “Restaurants, masks & sausage biscuits #SOL22 12/31

  1. Amanda, you write of the great debate we all are making all the time. it does not feel right to just rip off your mask. I’m still wearing mine when I am in stores or restaurants. In NYC, many people still are wearing masks outside.

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  2. When I went to Granville Island today, everyone was wearing masks inside the market, despite the PHO lifting mask mandates. I was also relieved whe I went to a café bistro for brunch and they asked to see my vaccine passport.
    Covid still exists. I am relieved when I see people respecting the need to protect the vulnerable in our community

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  3. I love the biscuits that I ate in Jacksonville Florida and the chip-beef gravy with grits. There is something about Southern fare that is so unique to place. I’m so happy that you are travelling, seeing family, and reconnecting with your roots. I also love the weighing of “two truths” at the end. Safe travels!

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  4. Tell Mr. 11 that I’m still wearing a mask…though I suppose some would say that means I’m unAmerican. I have to say that sometimes when I walk into the grocery store or now my school, I feel a little like that phrase you used when you said, “This place doesn’t seem theirs.” I’m sometimes a stranger in my own land. I really liked that line “this feels weird but also normal.” School looked like that in those first days after the mask mandate was dropped here. This will be an odd trip for your family, but I’m sure you’ll find moments to hold onto as you venture into the wild, wild south. I hope it’s great for all of you.

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  5. It is unsettling for many people and I respect that. I hope your travels to the US are good ones…and you get some of that sausage gravy and biscuits!

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  6. Your slice was the confirmation I didn’t know I was seeking: sausage biscuits with gravy make everything better. Happy, safe travels. I’ll look forward to more slices from the road.

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  7. I see this push-pull each day in my schools, as well. Kids have a desire to move on from the masks, but so many of them are not yet ready. One day they’ll experiment with keeping their masks off, the next day they’ll show up for class with it on. We’re all just figuring it out together, I suppose…

    And. Sausage biscuits with gravy? YES, PLEASE.

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  8. I was honestly very surprised tonight, on a late-night run to Target, that MOST people were wearing masks (me included). It seems normal, yet not, to see them/wear them. That concert I went to yesterday? Well, I saw one. I’m convinced I have Covid after attending that indoor venue. It was one of a handful of times I’ve actually been indoors for anything but the grocery store. The mask mandate has been lifted for my District, as of tomorrow, so I’m both excited and nervous for that. But, yes, we Americans are a strange bunch. Such disparate opinions. Happy to hear you’re traveling! Enjoy the sausage biscuits and vacation! Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

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