Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Something tells me Emily Post would not approve

Yesterday I drove 6 hours round trip to drop the kids off at Grandma's for the week.

Technically it's Grandma's and Grandpa's house, but we shorten it to Grandma's because we all know who rules the roost over there. Grandpa is just there to be the responsible adult when the 4 wheelers are present. He also provides the M&M peanuts and beer batter pancakes, so his job is important.

To be honest, a week without the kids sounds like heaven to me right now. I hadn't realized how spoiled I'd become to my alone time during school hours until May 28 when I started spending 24/7 with the kids. We had a 42 day stretch in there where we were together every waking hour plus some of the sleeping ones.

I started the drive home, in the quiet, empty van, and I couldn't help but feel a little giddy about the 6 kid-free days ahead of me. I expressed my alone giddiness by listening to any song on the iPod I wanted and dreaming up plans for all the adult time I'd be having. . .plans that included going out to eat as soon as Honey made it home from work.

We drove in the general direction of the restaurants in town without a clue where we would stop. With no littles in the backseat and no worries of taking out a loan at the bank to feed 5 people, the possibilities were endless.

We ended up at a steakhouse that's only open for dinner. It's one of those places where you eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor while you wait to be seated. I know I don't have to tell you that eating somewhere that's only open for dinner is like throwing money caution to the wind. And, if you're a girl, you have to wear makeup because places like that are a little more uppity than, say, Burger King. Apparently not so uppity, though, that you can't take your peanuts to the bathroom with you. Because when I was in the restroom? I saw peanut shells on the floor, inside one of the stalls.

Who does that?

Our waiter started off on the right foot by greeting us with fresh rolls, but it was all down hill from there. And that's really too bad, because in all of my alone giddiness and only having to pay for TWO, I was ready to give someone a good tip. The credit card receipt was still on the table from the people before us, and it became apparent that they'd stiffed him when the waiter grabbed the receipts in a huff and crumpled them in his fist.

We didn't order drinks or appetizers, and the big ticket gleam in his eye faded almost before it sparked as he wrote our nothing special order on his pad. After ignoring our empty water glasses and loudly complaining about bad tips as he bussed tables around us, I think he could sense his night was not going well.

He did make one last ditch effort. After we declined to order dessert and he was ready to drop the ticket, he asked, "Do you need separate checks?"

I almost choked on my water. It was the most engaging thing he'd said all night. Did we look like we needed separate checks? Did we look like work associates? Did we look like we were brother and sister? Did I look like that cheap of a date? I put make up on.

I thought everything about us, right down to the wedding rings, screamed old married couple.

Honey recovered before I did and informed him that we were together. And when the guy left, I told Honey, "That right there'll blog."

I guess Honey was the cheap date, because he "forgot his wallet" and I was the only one with any money. I left a marginal tip. He only got that because we had a good laugh at his expense, and I got a blog post.

It's all about give and take.


valerie in TX said...

So sorry about your not-so-great night...I hate it when you have all the alone-time-with-hubby giddiness and something like this happens! Great blog fodder, though. :)

I had to smile at the title of this post. When I was pregnant with Kloe, I told a friend that we had thought about naming the baby Emily, but I thought people might make fun of her if her name was Emily Post. My friend replied, "Why? Who's Emily Post?" Guess it wouldn't have been such a big deal after all! :)

Kathy Lynn said...

You are such a talented writer. I totally understand those free nights when the kids were little. Enjoy them. Well, I guess we will have a lot more free nights in about 3 weeks, when my baby moves to college.

Misty said...

NOTHING puts a damper on an evening out like poor service...

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

i read your comment over at Meg's whatever and thought I would pop by. I'm glad I did. You made me laugh. Loved the waiter's last ditch effort. You put make up on... I could relate.
Have a great day!

Su said...

I always take a snack when visiting any restroom not my own; what if the door jams and I'm stuck in there with no food?

Laci said...

sooo i was literally cracking up reading this post!!! this bit about the steak house is one of the best you've written!!! i loved it! and I laughed out loud A-LOT!!!
love ya.