Today it was 96 degrees outside in the shade, not to mention humid. It was one of those sweltering muggy days where a person is much happier just sitting inside in the air conditioner. Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury to sit and soak up the AC.
After being outside much of the hot morning and early afternoon, I happened to drive by Hardee's and read the lettering on the marquee. "32 oz. Sweet Tea - $1" glared at me in large uppercase black letters. Hmm...now that was a thought. However, a quick glance at the long drive-thru line persuaded me to tuck the tired and perspiring dollar bill back into my wallet.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for driving with all four windows rolled down and letting the wind blow through my hair so I really do look like I never brushed my hair this morning, yet sitting in the stale heat in rush hour traffic, motionless? Nah, I had to pass. That tea sure would have been nice and cold though.
As soon as I had I driven by the small ENTER sign, I regretted my hasty decision. The marquee sign seemed to be calling my name, screaming come back, and it instantly felt ten degrees hotter. Then, Billy Currington started singing "Good Directions" on the radio. As I sat at the stoplight, waiting for it to turn green, Billy sang:
Don’t know why, but somethin’ felt right
When she stopped in and asked Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
Mama gave her a big ‘ol glass and sent her right back here to me...."
Yeah. It didn't help.
An hour later, I flipped country music stations only to hear Billy Currington crooning about that big 'ol glass of sweet tea again. Damn it!! The only cloud of dust that I had disappeared into was the one related to cleaning lake houses in the 96 degrees heat and fifteen miles farther away from that sweet tea! I just hate it when I'm more hard-headed than Hollywood!
What seemed like an eternity later, the kids went to grandma's so my husband and I could enjoy our first "date night" in almost four months. He suggested a movie. I told him I'd fall asleep in a dark theater within the first twenty minutes. He suggested a nice dinner and listed off a few choices. I started to laugh. He wanted to know what was so funny about going out to dinner. I tried to explain how a 32 oz sweet tea for $1.00 at Hardee's had been calling my name all day. He reluctantly gave in to my request but he wasn't happy about it.
Since neither of us really wanted to run into anyone we knew in our small town, we actually drove 20 miles to the next town over to have dinner! As we pulled into a completely vacant Hardee's parking lot at 7:30pm on a Saturday night, I started to laugh again. With a buy one, get one free Thickburger coupon in hand, we waltzed into a quiet and empty Hardee's and ordered. Burgers, curly fries, and two big 'ol 32 oz glasses of sweet tea.
We sat down and waited for our order to be brought to our table. We sat there. In silence. Complete silence. For once, I had absolutely nothing to say and I didn't care. I felt so completely giddy on the inside as I waited in anticipation of that big 'ol glass of sweet tea. No children screaming. No laundry to do. No dishes to do. Just silence. And tea.
When the burgers arrived, I didn't even care that somehow the burger maker had screwed up. I laughed hard at my two bottom buns and my husband's two top buns. I joked that the burger guy must have been entirely too busy to know what he was doing particularly since he was so overwhelmed with customers! It didn't matter. I switched him a bottom for one of my top buns and that problem was easily fixed.
We ate in silence. The best $8 and some change that we've spent in months! The only thing that made it better was the 32 oz free refill of sweet tea I stopped to get on the way out!
Thank God for good directions...and Hardee's tea.