And the waitress is lucky not to be waking up at the funeral home.
OK, I’m wearing a nicotine patch, but, y’know, these things are designed for a pack a day smoker. I smoke three. Smoked three. Whatever. Past tense, I keep telling myself - all comments about cigarets should be in past tense.
Anyway, I met this lady I asked to dinner. I haven’t dated since my divorce (a year ago), and, hell, hardly dated before that. My ex and I just kind of started hanging out together, and went from there. No high school dating. I’ve probably only ever been on three dates.
So, I’m nervous. I’m low on nicotine. I choose this seafood restaurant a few people recommended. In Colorado I was 1000 miles from the nearest ocean; here in Ohio I’m 1000 miles from the nearest ocean; what is this obsession I have with inland seafood restaurants? The food wasn’t bad, though. Crab cakes were fine, shrimp was a little tough, scallops were good, her tuna was Excellent!, bread was very good. Overall, a decent meal, worth the mid-40’s tab.
The waitress, however, was not good. She shows up, “my name is blah-blah, etc.” We order drinks. Ten seconds after she drops off my Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks, the bartender shows up to exchange the Jack Daniels she actually gave me with the scotch I actually ordered. Fortunately, before I tasted it. (What is Ohio bartender’s Fucking problem with Johnnie Walker Black! Last Friday we were at my littlest baby sister’s college graduation and I sent the drink back, explaining nicely that it was possible the bartender did not hear the order correctly. She returned telling me that the bartender stated it was what I ordered. Restrained by the presence of parents, two sisters, a niece, a sister’s boyfriend, a sister’s best friend (doubling in the role of a sister’s boyfriend’s sister) and a sister’s boyfriend’s mother (scorecards available for $3.50), I did not politely explain: LOOK, you Fucking idiot, I have been drinking this Fucking Shit for 30 years! I Fucking know what it tastes like! This Fucking Shit is not Fucking Johnnie Walker Black Label. This Fucking Shit fell off of the Fucking turnip truck in New Fucking Jersey and and never has even seen the Atlantic Fucking Ocean, let alone an island on the east side of said Fucking ocean. So I shut up and drank it, but still, Fuck!)
Where was I? Ah, yes, dinner. We ordered some crab cakes to split. They came, they look good, she wants to take our order while she’s there. OK, we’ll be nice, we’ll let our crab cakes get cold while we order, so we do. They were still good, even lukewarm. It’s a shame we had only had ONE! (1!) ONE! bite out of each of our cakes when the salads show up. Well, OK… It won’t hurt a salad to sit. It’s been in the refrigerator for hours anyway, it’ll be good for the vegetables to warm up. Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket. Finish the crab, pull the salads over, put the dressing on them, pick up our forks, and guess what? Yes, it’s Fucking Donna the Wonder Waitress with our Fucking entrees!
I just looked at her. I honestly could not think of anything scathing enough to say that I trusted myself to say after one drink, on my first date with a lady I think I could like very much, and remember, I’m already cranky. (I quit smoking at the beginning of this story, remember. You What? You forgot? You fucking forgo… ah, sorry. I’m still cranky.) So - the salads continue their scenic tour of the dinner table, and the entrees take their place. After a couple minutes, long enough for two bites, setting a new world record for uninterrupted eating, Donna is back to see if everything is OK. Well, by now, I can tell her politely that we (I) felt rushed. She tells me the kitchen doesn’t know when to slow down. Huh?
Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything at all. We have been done for 10 minutes when she returns again. With the check. Plop! on the table. Are we done with these plates. yes, we are. I’ll take this whenever you’re ready - patting the check. Umm, I’d like a cup of coffee, please. My turn to get looked at. She generously offers to spring for the coffee, since the kitchen screwed up the meal ( which they didn’t, food was fine!), and she doesn’t want to redo the check. I slip 3 20’s into the book, which she still has a pretty good shot at retaining about a 30 or so % tip, otherwise known as ‘keep the change’.
Ten minutes later, I grab her, damn near literally, and ask again for my coffee. She gets it, and as I’m trying to hand her the bill and money, she’s gone again. Finally I get her attention, give her the book, and she says Sorry, that other table got me busy. The ONLY THING THAT KEPT HER ALIVE was that she did not ask if I wanted any change. I still tipped her a bit too.
The rest of the date went well; we had so much time left we went to a movie, which we both enjoyed. And we’ll be doing something tomorrow. A zoo or aquarium or something, so I guess my assertiveness and niceness levels must have been in OK balance, if she wants to see me again.
Oh, and I haven’t smoked yet either.