Saturday, we went out to dinner with friends. We went to a local “Highway” restaurant chain known for a nice salad bar, decent food and reasonable prices. It was not particularly crowded for a Saturday night.
Getting old sucks, but one benefit is you no longer feel compelled to play nice.
We were seated after a short wait by a surly teenage snotty receptionist. Why is it so hard to be pleasant? Believe it or not I am pleasant to servers. When I was on the other side of the service business I found it was easier to be pleasant than surly.
Anyway, I gave the surly teenage snotty receptionist a pass and followed a surly snotty teenage waitress. I gave the surly teenage snotty waitress a pass and settled into the table she directed us to. I was to be seated next to a table full of young children and about two feet from an antsy three-year-old with flailing arms and whiny voice.
I gave the three-year-old with flailing arms and whiny voice a pass, it was not his fault he was three, but I was a little miffed as there were several booths available that were not on top of little children. When I sat down my chair was wobbly and clearly not glued together properly and bordering on collapse.
"We’re taking a booth about five yards away." I told the waitress that the chair was falling apart and we were taking a booth. The waitress said she would get a new chair. I said that is fine, but we will be sitting in the booth. The waitress said she would check if that was ok. I said it was either the booth or a different restaurant…I said it very nicely.
We sat at a booth for four with service for three. We asked the waiter several times for an additional service, when none was delivered we took one from an unoccupied table behind us.
Years ago, when I was a young man, I would have accepted seating next to a rug rat, balanced myself on a busted chair, been uncomfortable for the whole meal and would have had a miserable time. As a cranky old man, I got what I wanted without a fuss and without permission and we enjoyed a very nice meal and conversation that had nothing to do with a three-year-old, a crappy chair or surly teenage snotty service.
I suspect the surly teenage receptionist and waitress had some things to say about the rude presumptuous old fart patron.
To my fellow diners this night: Some of this recollection may have been exaggerated or only actually happened in my head…get over it, real life does not always make a good post.