It was a hot day in New York, so Amy and I decided to grab an early dinner at this really good restaurant. Their food ranges from quail, duck and ostrich to penne ala vodka, manicotti and calamari. It serves everybody from any taste range, but in an eloquent dining room.
Our waiter was way too giddy; obviously making a sales pitch for a good tip. He was well-groomed, handsome with a game show host personality. His hair was slicked back, with a ‘I’ve been greased up a bit too much’ type of look, and his face was given a very close shave. His eye contact was impressive, along with his hand gestures, as he described the delectable appetizers and entries listed for the specials of the day.
“Let me get you started on drinks so you can wet your whistle and look over the delicious specials, shall I?” He said, as he clasped his big hands together, as though he was overjoyed with our presence.
“What are your beers on tap?” Amy asks.
“Oh, well we have the finest brews here, freshly cleaned taps that hold Guiness, Bass Ale, Stella Artois, Heineken, Sam Adams and Bud Light.”
“I’ll take your Guiness please.”
“Right away! And how about for you? What’s your choice of beverage?” He turns to me with a smile that begs for big tips.
“I’ll take a Heineken please.” I wasn’t in the mood for a martini or a glass of wine. It was hot out, and I wanted a cold frosty beer.
As Amy and I went on with our conversation over appetizers, the perky waiter swings over with a lighter to add a flame to our candle.
“Ambience is everything! This will make it more romantic.” He says, as he peeks over the glass on the candle trying to get hints of any lesbianistic behavior from us. It was evident that he suspected we were playing for the other team, but he wasn’t quite sure. His curiosity grew with each approach.
“May I take your appetizer dishes away for you?” A little voice speaks out from beyond. I went to look up—but no one was there. I looked down, and to my surprise, there was a little boy about seven years old in a busboy outfit. He oddly reminded us of the little kid who played on the new redone movie of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, with his huge bucked teeth that nearly hit his chin. It was eerie, but even more stranger that he approached us like a little gentleman with such grace. Being that Amy and I had just watched this movie, it creeped us out a bit.
“Oh…thank you!” I said, in shock of how this boy gripped each plate with such caution, as if he’s been doing this for more years than he’s been alive. I wave down our hyper waiter, and ask him who the boy was. He was the owner’s son who wanted to work and get extra cash. The father did it to be nice, as well as to give him some work ethics. At that age, I was out riding bikes with my friends and playing kickball down the street. This boy was totally in the workforce already.
“Can you give him this?” As I handed the waiter a ten dollar bill. I was so impressed that this boy was working, and so polite.
“Wait here, give it to him yourself. Let me go get him.”
The boy walks over with his hands behind his back, all shy and reserved. “Here, take this. Thank you so much for helping us,” I said, as he grabbed the bill from my hand and ran back in the kitchen. It was so cute. Then he turned into our waiter for the rest of the night, serving us little things like parmesan cheese to sugar and milk for our coffees.
I finally had to get up to use the restroom. No fear in this bathroom—it was always clean and smelled so nice with candles from wall-to-wall. My OCD never flared up in this place—ever. The one problem with this bathroom, is that it’s only “one” bathroom for the entire room full of women with overflowing bladders. I had to wait my turn. As I waited for the next girl to go in and come back out, my waiter cornered me with an intrusive conversation that lasted a little longer than expected. Information included things like, where he lives, what he does, and how he is single with no kids…no baggage. His arm was resting high above the wall as I was squished in the corner, trying not to inhale his breath. Finally, the owner came over to us and said, “Are you harassing my customer? She’s been coming here for a long time!” I wasn’t sure if he was kidding or really serious over the waiter practically straddling me before I went into the bathroom. I laughed it off, and said how much I enjoyed the service, as the waiter quickly removed himself from cornering me. The owner was relieved to hear I wasn’t upset over this. The waiter looked like he had beads of sweat coming down off his forehead.
I walked back to the table where Amy was waiting for me. She overheard me laughing and realized that it was ‘nervous laughter’—not sincere. She saw the awkwardness as the waiter made himself a bit too close for comfort.
“Ah, he just wanted a big tip probably.” I said, as I folded my clothed napkin and placed it on the edge of the table.
“Well I didn’t like the way he cornered you there.”
“I seriously think it was his last attempt to get whatever tip was stewing in my purse.”
Amy just looked at me like ‘let’s get outa’ here now’! There were a flock of men swarming our table—all wearing black uniforms and trying to make conversation at this point. They were the busboys from hell.
Each time we go to this restaurant, we experience a new busboy or waiter that lingers a bit longer than they should. One of the busboys told Amy that he was twenty-two years old, and then laughed it off and admitted he was fourteen. He also kept begging us to not finish our martinis that evening, because he wanted to drink the rest of them. This kid would not leave the table. Finally Amy had to literally stop talking and relieve him of any sense of welcoming that may have been trickling off our table. I, on the other hand, tend to feel bad for these guys (especially after two martinis) and joke around with them. But once you give them an inch…they end up taking a yard.