tonight my mother and i went to a restaurant that was way way waaaaay out of our league. my dad’s out of town. and the girls decided to make a night of it (homecoming queen takes magic champion player to prom. it’s cute, but it ain’t happening).
there’s this restaurant 2 minutes away from our house that we have never been to even though we’ve lived in this house for the last 15 years. so we went there, being of full-fledged all-americanworthy laziness.
my mother was wearing her “i love yoga” long-sleeved t-shirt +jeans, and i was wearing this homemade wondershirt reading “speed demon ” + some atrocious helicopter crashlanding pants usually spotted on 14 year old teeny boppers courtesy of american eagle. i still looked sick and snotty, with dark circles under my eyes. my mother looked mentally burdened. we were the epitome of class.
the host at the door gave us a doubletake, considering as how everyone else in the restaurant was wearing ties and jackets or pearls and dresses. he was a young studly eastern european import, complete with accent and all.
the guy asked if we had a reservation. he did it in a very kindly unassuming way. noppppe, not buying it. he tried not to obviously look like our mere presence upset him, but i have a knack for sensing these kinds of things. seeing as how we didn’t intend to leave and thereby stop offending his aura, he sat us down.
we were asked if we wanted wine by a woman whose very nature was cheer in the midst of people who also upset her. noppppe, one teetotaler and one infirmary patient here. we shall be abstaining, madam.
i started coughing on everyone and everything within minutes of sitting down, including the prim elderly couple sitting next to us. the lady looked inflamed. i tried to ignore her but the hacking kept jostling my glance within her line of vision.
my mother made me read everything on the menu out loud to her so she could learn how to pronounce everything correctly. it was an italian restaurant. since there were people loudly talking, this ended up with me yelling things like “it’s pronounced NYO-KEE! they’re potato dumplings!” earning a not-so-exclusive place onto the “people i want to kill” list of the elderly woman on my left.
anyway, our appetizer came. it was LITERALLY a small ball of purple leaves with torn up slices of what looked strangely like KRAFT american cheese on top of it. and then a family of walnuts seemed to have taken asylum within the purple undergrowth. we divided the hairball of food between the two of us, and it proved palatable. mine tasted suspiciously like coughdrop.
then the old man’s walking cane at the table on our right fell over, and the fabio-host bent over to pick it up right when i turned to see what had made the noise. so the host’s butt ended up right in my face. as i was saying, epitome of class. my mother almost fell out of her chair after that happened. such was her amusement.
then we got our entrees, and did the typical indian habit of splitting everything even stevens to get maximum flavor exposure possible at the meal. the elderly couple next to us looked at us with such disgust, it was like we were a bunch of savages buring some poor hapless anthropologist in a stewpot on our table.
then my mother smacked the waiter passing by our table with her heavy burlapsack purse because her cellphone went off, with a gd loudass rendition of “ode to joy.” it was, of course, my dad. so she had to pick up.
after that, things went pretty smoothly. i dropped my fork. we got our check. and then my mother asked to speak to the owner of the restaurant, much to the shock of, i believe, everyone in the restaurant. who are they?, some might have wondered.
anyway. long story short. my mother took care of the owner of the restaurant when he had a heart attack, more than ten years ago. he had told her he owned this restaurant at the time. and as she told him, she finally decided to stop by. they had a nice little chatty chat. and we earned our due respect. or at least the approving eyebrow of ms. hoitytoity next to us. oh, privilege.