We went to dinner the other night, just the Hubby and me. It’s the way of the world lately. The kids have their own lives now and we find ourselves alone, more and more. Not that I’m complaining.
When it’s just the two of us, oftentimes I walk out the door unshackled, no keys, no wallet or phone, no mom purse filled with blister band-aids and tissues, just a lipstick in my pocket, unfettered. It reminds me of being young again, when there was no one else to tend to but me.
We chose from our plethora of franchises, since we live in the Franchise Capital of the World. No fresh, little hometown bistros for us. Give the folks of our suburban bland some good ole’ Applebee’s or if they’re really feeling lucky, they can go Outbacking tonight. We decided on one of our healthier franchises. I won’t say which one, but they’re from CALIFORNIA and they serve various versions of gourmet, organic PIZZAs and salads from their KITCHEN.
I was looking forward to my usual, vegetarian pizza with Japanese eggplant (yum) and a glass of wine.
Our waitress was prompt, immediately asking us if we’d like a drink with dinner. Hubby ordered a margarita and I ordered water and a glass of Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay.
And that’s when the fun began.
Without even batting an eye, she asked me for some ID. I chuckled and said something along the lines of, “Yeah, right.”
Keeping her mouth in a tight line of misery, she said she was serious. She said it was their policy to card anyone who looked under the age of 40.
Because there’s a blurry line between the dewy-eyed teens trying to cop a drink and those of us who have to put our reading glasses on to read the menu.
I smiled and thanked her for the compliment and assured her that I was definitely over 40 and that it had been light years since anyone had even entertained the idea that I might be too unwrinkled to drink.
Hubby piped up that he could vouch for that.
That mouth, still set in an angry clench, said “nothin’ doin.”
I, still trying to make light of the ridiculous, tried to enlighten her. I said, “Look, I certainly don’t think, I’d be ordering a full-bodied, buttery chardonnay with subtle shades of oak and a hint of a honey and vanilla finish, now would I? I’d be ordering up a Mojito or a strawberry daiquiri, for sure.”
I chuckled, trying to find a little piece of the good in her heart, but she only clenched her lips tighter. I was sure blood was about to spew.
Hubby proclaimed in his loud-talking voice, “Well, I"VE got ID!” He whipped his out with a grand flourish and repeated his need for a margarita.
She nodded at him and turned to me, a flicker of victory in her narrowed eyes. “So, you wanted water, then?”
I smiled as sweetly as I could as I asked to see the manager.
Nothing comes between me and my need to get my drink on.
She abandoned her see-through façade of politeness and sneered, “I’ll get him, but it won’t help. You’re not getting a drink.”
You wanna bet.
See, I believe in kindness. I believe in being a positive life force on this planet. But, I also believe rudeness should not go unrewarded.
The manager came and we had a laugh and he apologized and said I should be flattered, because I certainly didn’t look a day over 40.
I’m pretty sure I heard something resembling a snort coming from behind the Hubby’s menu.
I told him I was too stunned at her rudeness to be flattered. Two can play the game of Bitch and Honey, you just tangled with the wrong Bitch.
The waitress came back. I was still ready to forgive and forget. Wine makes it easy to do that. Her lips were flesh-colored, she was pressing down so hard. She said, “What do you want.”
I smiled and said, “Thanks, I really appreciate this. I need a glass of wine. You see, I have three kids.”
She said, “What. Do. You. Want.” Those periods spoke volumes.
I bit off, “Chateau St. Jean, Chardonnay,” and narrowed my eyes at her as she left in a huff.
We didn’t speak for the rest of the night. I treated her like a second class-citizen, ignoring her as she spoke to us, handing plates to her while still in conversation with The Hubby as if she were some lowly servant, not to be trifled with. It gave me great satisfaction.
She, in turn, did not try to right the unpleasantness she had swathed us in. She didn’t laugh along with me, as I tried to make light of it. She didn’t abandon her smug, self-righteous attitude. She didn’t smile, not even once. Her life must be very sad.
At the end of the night, thinking she could still get the upper hand, she turned to my hubby and pointed at the pizza sitting directly in front of me and asked, “Is she done with the pizza?”
I know, right?
I said, “Yes. She. Is. Done. With. The. Pizza. And. She. Would. Like. A. Box. For. That. Pizza. Right. Away.”
I fumed as she stormed off to get the box, hissing to my Hubby, “Can you belieeeeeve her?”
My Hubby smiled as he pulled out his wallet and handed me a credit card. “Here, why don’t you pay.”
Oh, how I love that man.
One buttery glass of Chateau St. Jean Chardonnary-$9.00
Dinner with appetizer, pizzas, a few margaritas, and one much begrudged glass of chardonnay-$64.00.
All color leaving our boorish, self-righteous, mean-girl waitress’s face when I said, “I’ll take that check.”- Heart-Warming Priceless.
My hubby asked, “What are you gonna leave her?”
I thought I was being nice when I offered up 10%. He gave me a look and preached about harsh economic times and the fact that she was only doing her job.
Did I mention he made his way through college as a waiter?
Did I also mention this would be a different story if he’d been on the receiving end of her smarminess?
I made him leave the tip. I couldn’t find kindness in me.
As we trudged through the mall parking lot, (aren’t the best franchises found at the mall?), I asked, “What’d you give her?”
“20%. Did you see how empty that restaurant was? It was the right thing to do.”
I sighed, “Yeah, I spose, but why did she have to be such a bitch about it?”
I can’t understand meanness. I can’t understand how a person can be swallowed whole by the bitterness of pettiness and misery until they can no longer find the goodness that had to have nestled in their soul at some time in their life.
He wrapped his arm around me. “I’m sure it was because you have 20 years on her and you’re still way hotter than she could ever hope to be.”
He’s good, but he would have been even better if he'd left out the 20 years older thing.
I smiled. “Maybe, I should have ripped my shirt open and asked her if these looked like the boobs of a twenty-year old.”
My husband didn’t miss a beat. “That would have definitely gotten you your drink.”
Like I said, he’s not that good.
Looking back, I think that waitress was from France.