Monday, September 26, 2005

You Can Dress Me Up But You Can't Take Me Out

I believe I've mentioned before my debilitating fear of any stranger who asks me a question. Especially if it is their job. Wanna freak me out? Walk up to me in a store and say, "Can I help you?" as if you work there.

Alternatively, you can just be my waitress. Saturday evening, while waiting for the Glorious Fish Man to come home from a LAN party, Thugglife Chris and I decided to take in some Italian food. Out. At a restaurant. A restaurant I've only been to once before, which means I'm still somewhat ignorant of the ordering procedure. Being ignorant of the ordering procedure has the effect of making me nervous, public nervousness tends to cause me to act silly, and acting silly in a nice restaurant frequently causes me to look like an ASS. It is not helpful that Chris can't decide what to eat, and is asking me what different things are on the menu (since I obviously will know, being Italian and all) while I'm trying to construct a complete sentence around what I want to order.

"What's Gnocchi?"

"Huh? Gnocchi? Um, I don't know. I think it has cheese on it."

We manage to order some Cokes without incident, and Chris asks for more time to decide what he wants, causing me to sweat profusely at the thought of our waitress actually coming BACK to the table to talk to me AGAIN. When she does come back, Chris is still not ready and starts asking her about the chicken special.

"It's two pieces of chicken breast, lightly breaded and served with a white wine, lemon sauce and a side of pasta."

Nervous Amber, impatient to get the ordering ordeal over with, puts her hand to her mouth conspiratorially and whispers to Chris, "That sounds good!" - at full whispering volume.

The waitress thinks this is funny, and also whispers to Chris, "It is!" Great, now she's laughing at me.

So Chris orders the chicken and now it's my turn. "I'llhavethecheesestuffedraviolibecausethat'swhatIwant," I blurt. "and can I get a salad with that?"

"Yes, well, all of our entrees come with a salad." See what happens when you don't know the procedure? I'm mortified by not knowing about the "comes with a salad" rule. So my mouth starts running again.

"Really? It comes with a salad? Wow, that's AWESOME! It's like you guys knew I was coming!"

"Um. OK. And I'll bring you guys two more cokes." Because, you see, Chris drinks really fast, and I sucked mine down in one gulp trying to cure my cotton mouth. By the time she brings the (free with entree!) salads, I've sucked the second one down too.

"Wow. I should have just brought you guys a carafe. In fact, I think I will bring you guys a carafe."

"Heh heh, you said carafe." The waitress looked at me like I had three heads and walked away. Chris burst into hysterical laughter.

"Oh my God! What the fuck was that?"

"Listen. I told you. I'm scared of her. She makes me nervous. I just...I can't talk to strange people. It freaks me out."

"Right. So retail is probably not for you then, huh?"

In the meantime, we had eaten all the bread. Our waitress notices this when she shows up with our carafe. "Would you like some more bread?"

Chris, a veteran of restaurant ordering, answered with a simple but effective "No." I, on the other hand, in a frenzied panic (DO I want more bread? It's hard to say. How do I know? What if I don't want bread right now but I'm hungry for it later? What do I do?) manage to articulately spout, "Uuuhhh. Uuummm. Nnnnoo? No. I'm pretty sure I don't require any more bread."

The waitress smiled at Chris and made fun of me like I wasn't even there. " 'I don't require'...I like the way she talks." Great.

Most of the rest of dinner passed without incident, until I discovered that of my six GIANT raviolis, I was only able to consume three. But they were good and I wanted the rest for later. This however, would involve my having to ask for a box, not a small feat.

Her Scariness came over to check on us. "How was everything? Can I wrap that up for you?"

My brain: Yes. Say yes. Or even yes please. Just answer the question and shut up. She already thinks you're a moron.

My mouth: "That would be great, you see, because I want these little guys to come home with me and I want them to be my friends!"

Yeah. People, it is obvious there is no hope for me.


Hot Heather said...

i love you! you're entertaining... i don't think we've ever sat down at a restaurant together yet from this story. either that or i just usually do the talking... hmmm...

tony93637 said...

i can hardly wait for mexican food nite... cripes i need a life