For once I wasn’t working in a restaurant but dining in one. I barback, I seat guest, I’ve been thrown on the dish line, I’ve even grabbed a skillet and spatula at one point. But tonight, tonight is the night I am in a dining room without waiting on someone. Someone….dare I say it, will wait on me.
It comes with mixed emotions because I’ve been there, but it’s also nice to see that the “grass is greener on the other side.” My friend picked the place and said to meet him there for dinner. I get a text that he’s running late and I’ve already been seated, but that’s okay because I’m being waited on. Doesn’t hurt to also know he won’t be offended if I don’t wait and order a drink.
I soak it all in. I can’t help but to people watch…
The couple next to me is seated. A guy and a woman. I say guy because he’s not dressed too shabby but is wearing an uncomfortable looking button down, newer or hardly worn and a bit too tight around his gut. The woman with him looks a bit shy, but smiles and laughs when he says something remotely funny. First date? Second date?
That social contract. They’re both trying to be extra polite and you can tell because it doesn’t come naturally.
“sir, your drink?” – – “I’ll have another”
They get menus and he immediately blurts out, “It all looks so good” – – “mmhmm! what are you going to have?”
It kills me to watch, but my appetite grows and it gets better.
“So do you like Stargate?” – – “whats that?” (then the explanation of Stargate)
No dude! Do not lead off with that.
She asks what do you do for a living. I can’t hear at this point because some other table adjacent to us is seated, but he makes the motion with both of his hands, I kid you not, points his two thumbs at himself and nods. What I can only assume “I’m that guy” whatever that guy does.
I hear her say “oh wow, that sounds important” it’s genuine enough his ego is satiated for now, but I know…I know she doesn’t mean it. He could have said rocket scientist, marine biologist, physician…but she was not impressed. I cannot see any of those professions pointing their two thumbs at themselves anyways. Unless he said physician and was a proctologist and was demonstrating what he saw during the day.
The lady excuses herself, what I hope is to escape this horrible first date.
The guys pulls out his phone and starts texting, takes a selfie with a thumbs up (what the hell is with the thumbs up?). He takes a deep drink of water and spills a bit, wipes it off and looks around. I don’t need to turn away I’m directly in his sight and I don’t really care if he sees that I saw. We make eye contact and he dilates. I stare through as if I’m not paying attention, but really…how can I not?
He nonchalantly puts the phone in his jacket pocket not where he had it before and leans back in his chair and begins to look around. He too is now people watching.
His date must be returning because he sits up straight goes back to hands at his side.
My friend finally arrives…