Happiness is an elusive thing. It sometimes comes on in unexpected moments. When it does come on it's like a burst of joy, like sparklers on the Fourth of July lighting up the monotony of everyday life.
Last night, we took the moms to El Torito for dinner. My mother-in-law had spent the day driving herself around north Fontana. I was on vacation and spent my day at the doctor's getting an EKG for my fat girl surgery and the rest of the day writing. My mom spent her day at the senior citizen's center interviewing for a volunteer position and Adrian spent his day working.
The night didn't start out auspiciously. When Adrian got home from work at seven, I was lying in bed reading my Kindle in my duck pajamas. He wasn't happy. "I thought we were going to dinner? I'm hungry," he complained as he pulled on a pair of jeans.
I couldn't help but get defensive. "Don't rush me or I won't go," I said as I switched my Kindle to the off position.
"Fine, don't go," he said as he slammed the bedroom door.
I pulled on my jeans and an empire waist style shirt. I scrunched my hair with anti frizz mousse and walked downstairs.
"Let's go," Adrian said with a pinched look in his eyes. The moms were at the door.
We all got in the car and looked at each other. "Where are we going?" I asked.
"My mom saw this little Italian place in South Fontana. It's called Sons of Italy."
"Great," I said my sarcasm evident.
As we drove down Sierra Boulevard, we passed the new Fontana library and I was struck by how beautiful it was. It had a waterfall running down the front of its surface and I could see the stacks of books through the windows. "You have to go there," my mom said. "It makes Ontario's library look puny."
Cardenas market. A dress shop with Princess like dresses in the window. A bar and a tattoo parlour.
The Sons of Italy turned out to be closed and wasn't even a restaurant, but some type of Elks like lodge. "No more Italians in Fontana," Orieta said. "Let's go to Sizzler."
Adrian shook his head. "No Sizzler," he said and kept on driving. Orieta always wants to go to Sizzler. I heard her mumble something about their salad bar to my mom.
I pointed at the 10 freeway and he took it east and exited at San Bernardino's Hospitality Lane. We pulled into the parking lot of El Toritro and went inside. The wait was only ten minutes. They sat us at a large round booth. I could hear Shakira blasting in the bar as we walked by. The waiter came by and we ordered a round of Margaritas and Fajitas for everyone.
Two guitarists played at the table next to us and Adrian asked his mom if she wanted a song. Orieta clapped and sang along to the music. I sipped my second Cadillac Margarita and watched her.
Alberto died eight months ago. It's been hard. There are days where she doesn't get out of bed.
The guitarists stayed and sang another song. Soon, we were all grinning like fools and clapping along.