Monday, May 30, 2011

Listening Between the Lines

Bethlehem Dairy Store, The Cup, Mower's

Bethlehem's Dairy Store (Also known as "The Cup") has been serving its homemade ice cream for over 85 years. I distinctly remember my dad bringing me here after one of his softball games and his growing impatience as I changed my mind no less than 12 times on what kind of ice cream I wanted. Rainbow sherbert, or maybe butter pecan. Chocolate chip mint? Raspberry? Tonight I got the yellow vanilla. Remember when you were a kid and the adults always seemed to get the boring vanilla or chocolate flavors? Maybe that's because they knew the secret of how something so simple could taste so good.

I wasn't going to go to The Cup tonight. (The line out the door is typical and actually quite fast moving, as a squad of high school students move at lightening speed to serve the crowd.) I actually wanted something icy cold like a slushie on this 90 degree day but then I bumped into the Old Man as I was walking to my car. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" (Old Man is hard of hearing and always sounds like he's yelling) I told him I was going for some ice cream or something cold on this hot day. "YOU DON'T NEED THAT, IT'S NOT GOOD FOR YOU." I said I know, but that I wanted something cold... on this really hot day. I asked him if he wanted something. "I DON'T WANT ANY OF THAT. I DON'T NEED ANYTHING." I ask him, "Are you sure? I'll get you something if you want it." "NO THANKS. ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE, MAYBE ONCE A YEAR I'll GO AND GET A CONE FROM THE CUP. WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" I tell him I'm not yet sure but if he'd like me to get him something from The Cup, I would. "HELL NO. I DON'T NEED NONE OF THAT." Okay then, I tell him I will see him later.

There were easily 50 people waiting in line when I got there but the line moved fast. I asked the girl to put a scoop each of vanilla and chocolate in a cup with a lid. The Jeff gets chocolate and some cookie dough and I get a pretzel cone with the yellow vanilla.

I knock on the Old Man's door and as he opens it, I hold up the cup so he can see it- prepared to tell him that I'll chuck it in the trash if he doesn't take it, but he comes out onto the porch with a big smile on his face. "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. THANK YOU. BUT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THAT." I lean in to give him a kiss on the cheek and say "I know. But I also knew you really wanted it." :o)

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