“Terrell Dougan writes with humor, humanity, and complete honesty. In this tale of two sisters—one who never gives her dolls, one who never loses her pluck—she takes readers on thought-provoking, endearing journey through life. Along the way, she shows readers the changing social attitudes of the last half century, and her personal odyssey from resistance to acceptance.” - Rachel Simon, author of
Riding the Bus with My Sister
“Enormously touching, funny, wise, breathtakingly honest, and completely readable.” - Judith Viorst, author of Forever Fifty
“Funny, and wonderful, and horrible, and happy and sad.” - Muffy Mead-Ferro, author of
Confessions of a Slacker Mom
“Irene is a very special lady who makes others feel better about lots of things. Her sister Terrell shares her shadow, just like my dad shares mine.” - Kim Peek, the original model for Rain Man
The Food Court Tango
Irene loves food courts in malls. So many choices, and she can see the pictures of the food. In a nice restaurant, she has to have me read a menu to her and try to picture what the food will be like. So we often choose malls with food courts. I go for the Japanese, she goes straight to McDonald's.
This is not for the McDonald's gourmet delights. This is because she wants the toy of the month.
The young man taking the order can't wrap his mind around what she wants. "She wants a big burger and the toy," I tell him, taking a deep breath and letting it out as I anticipate his reply.
"She wants a Happy Meal," he says. "Comes with the toy and fries."
"No," I tell him. "Happy Meals have tiny hamburgers for little kids. She wants a big burger, no fries, and a toy."
"Toys come with Happy Meals," he informs me again.
"That is right," I assure him, "but we want a burger, a drink, and a toy. We will pay extra for the toy."
The young man frowns, trying to think why Irene would want the toy. If it's for a little kid, then they want the Happy Meal, he is thinking to himself. Why would a big lady want the toy?
People in line behind us are taking interest. They want their turn, and they wonder why we need the toy. I want to turn to them all and yell, "It's a free country! Why can't we have the toy without the Happy Meal, especially if we'll pay extra? How hard can this be?"
But I don't. I just breathe deeply and take out my wallet, showing the guy I am really going to pay for everything, and he can reach down and get a toy without the Happy Meal included. I know we have finally won when he says, "What size drink, then?"
Book-of-the-Month Club Doubleday Book Club Quality Paperback Book Club The Literary Guild