Last weekend, hubby and I went for lunch. So off we toodled to a restaurant we’d previously been to, one we knew had good food and fast service. Upon arriving, we requested a booth, but the hostess ushered us to a small table along the main aisle.
I’m not sure what it is about the way we appear. Maybe we look like we’re right off the farm, or like we have low expectations, but usually we get seated next to a kitchen door, the washrooms, or across from the family with screaming and crying toddlers. This time, we were eye level with rear ends waiting in line for a table, and had a great view of butt cracks and panty lines.
Our hostess gave us our menus, asked what we would like to drink, and then our waitress came to take our order.
“Would you like a few more minutes to decide?” she asked.
“Yes, thank you,” I replied, and off she went.
“What are you doing?” Hubby said. “You know we’ll never see her again now. You should have ordered something.”
Sure enough, the minutes ticked by, and no waitress. Five, ten, fifteen…
“Where the heck is she?” I asked.
“Probably hiding or gone for lunch.” Hubby answered.
Finally, a waitress returned to take our order and we settled in.
Again the minutes passed, and we waited …… and waited.
I checked my watch. Another twenty minutes had gone by, and I noticed that the people who had come in after us were being served. Our server must have gone to Brazil to get our coffee from Juan Valdez in person. Where could she be? I spied her at the other end of the restaurant, chatting and laughing with someone she obviously knew. I stared at her back, sending the “we’re over here” thought waves out with a vengeance. The minute I blinked, she headed to the kitchen. Apparently, we had once again become the invisible customers. Now I knew what ghosts felt like, not being able to catch the attention of the living, trying to communicate, but invisible and silent to the real world. Bummer.
I politely asked the hostess to check on our order. In a few minutes, our server appeared to let us know that “our food was the next order up, and did we know that it was a busy time?” I could see that, and “did she know that it was busy because it was lunch? That was why we were there?” Usually I am a very patient person, but by now, my empty stomach was touching my spine. I couldn’t leave, since I had too much time invested in this, and it had now become a matter of principle.
“I think I see our order coming,” Hubby finally announced.
“You’re kidding? Are you sure?” I countered.
The grub was placed in front of us, looking as good as the menu picture. We dug in like a couple of castaways, who haven’t had a decent meal in months.
“Are your eggs hot?” I mentioned to hubby. “Mine are barely warm.”
“Eat them anyway”, he said, “We can’t afford to send them back and run the risk of waiting again. Anyway, you know that they’ll just nuke them, spit on them and send them right back out.”
“Oh geez! Can you be more graphic? … They don’t do that, it’s just an urban myth.” I reply.
Nevertheless, after hearing that, I decided not to risk it, and spent the next few minutes trying to get the visual out of my head.
The meal was half eaten when we were approached by a young man carrying a tray of food.
“How was your meal”? he inquired.
“Very good.” Hubby answered.
“Well that’s terrific,” replied the waiter… “because that wasn’t your order. This is what you ordered!” He set down our lunch and quickly left.
Hubby and I looked at each other.
Somewhere in that restaurant, there was another couple waiting for the dinner that we had just eaten. I felt their pain.
Maybe next time, we’ll just eat at home.
Author Val Enders resides in Spruce Grove, Alberta. She married her high school sweetheart, Richard, and they’ve been together for over 40 years. Val doesn’t consider herself a writer by profession, rather she writes more for her own enjoyment. An accomplished artist, Val’s a member of the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove. Visit Val’s “Journey Into Art” website at www.vals.webs.com