Crazy (Five-Alarm) Sunday Family Shenanigans

My family is full of worrywarts (myself included), and here’s an example:

Every Sunday my parents go out to breakfast with my aunt and uncle after church.  They mix it up often, and they don’t go to the same place every weekend.  It’s a lovely little tradition, and sometimes my husband and I or my brother and his wife join them (usually minus the whole “going to church” part).

Last night (Saturday) my parents offered to watch my son overnight so that Mr. Mags and I could go to a couple movies.  We had a lovely time (despite the movies’ mediocrity) and we had a fabulous and extravagant dinner (at Noodles & Co.).  In the morning we slept in (until seven freakin’ THIRTY) and went out for breakfast on our own.

Just as we sat down to eat my phone rang.  It was my aunt, and she was wondering if I had heard from either of my parents.  I had not.  She and my uncle were waiting for them at their predetermined breakfasting place of choice (the IHOP, for realz), and had been sitting there for a half hour.

I tried calling my mom’s phone.  No answer.  Tried my dad’s phone.  Nada.  Tried their house phone.  Nothing.  Tried all three again.  Nope.  I called my aunt back, and she still had not seen or heard from my mom, my dad, or my son.

So, by this point my mind was swimming.  I figured that maybe they got out of church and had to stop at home to get the car or change a diaper or something.  I tried all the phones again.  Still no answer.  My aunt called me back, and she still hadn’t heard anything.

I knew there was no way I was going to be able to enjoy my breakfast, so we paid for our meal and got it to go.  In the meantime, I called my brother (who lives about twenty minutes away — on a good day) to see if he had heard anything.  Now, I didn’t just call him to get him worked up.  There was some logic to my madness.  I thought maybe he was meeting my parents for breakfast and maybe they were waiting for him.  He wasn’t, and they weren’t.  He said he would try calling them, and he’d keep me informed.

Mr. Mags and I got our meal and set off to drive the route to the IHOP, looking along the way for my parents’ car (on the side of the road in a non-existent ditch, or rammed into an errant telephone pole).  I ran into the IHOP and found no recognizable family members.  My brother called again.  He was on his way to our house, wife and baby in tow.  My aunt called again.  She and my uncle were on their way over to our house to discuss a plan of action.

We had developed a number of possible scenarios:

1. They had gone to the wrong restaurant and had forgotten their phones

2. Either my mom or my dad had sustained some kind of injury/heart attack/stroke and all three of them were incommunicato at the emergency room

3. All of them were dead and hidden along the side of the road in some little nook and/or cranny we happened to have missed

4. They were abducted by a carjacker/alien

5. They had decided to flee the country to raise their grandchild away from his mother, who had neglected to give him a haircut for so long

6. They had all perished in a gas/carbon monoxide leak in the house (debunked because they had been seen at church earlier that morning)

Mr. Mags and I drove past our house, where we saw our dog sitting serenely on the couch (which told me neither my parents nor the baby was in our home).  I suggested that we pull a little CSI action and go over to their house to look for clues.  We got out of the car and climbed the stairs, fully expecting to find some kind of Uncle Owen/Aunt Beru situation.  The first thing I noticed as I went to put my key in the lock was that my son’s car seat was sitting empty in the dining room.  I opened the door and heard an immediate cheery exclamation from my mother: “Well, look who’s here!”

They were fine.  They had forgotten their phones and had missed my aunt and uncle at the restaurant.  They had forgotten to tell my parents that they were stopping at home before going to breakfast.  My mom and dad waited in the parking lot for them (figuring that my aunt and uncle, who were baby-less, should’ve been at the restaurant long before they were) for a few minutes before deciding there had been a miscommunication about breakfast location.  So they drove to another restaurant — the same restaurant where Mr. Mags and I had been eating earlier.  If we had just stayed put, we would’ve run into them in a matter of minutes.  We all would’ve had a good laugh, and I would’ve had a hot breakfast.

But alas, all’s well that ends well.


1 Comment »

  1. Emily J. Spivak Said:

    I used to go to IHOP with my family for their pancakes, but now we may want to keep in mind that the company has been exposed for food safety issues and animal cruelty in its supply chain. For more details, please check out

    Just wanted to let you know what is going on at IHOP. Thank you for your time!


    Emily Spivak

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