T R A V E L My birthday is coming up soon. I know my doting husband will take me to a nice restaurant to celebrate, wherever I want to go. Wherever in fact, I let him know I’ve made reservations. By nice, I mean the place will have carpet. If it is very nice, no one will bash a carpet sweeper into our table as a hint that we need to be out within the next 45 minutes.
We don’t go to fancy restaurants often, not that we can’t afford it. It’s just that Mr. Brennan isn’t comfortable in places where nothing is served in a red plastic basket. Despite knowing this, I insist on placing ourselves in Downton Abby without having been properly trained in the fine art of snobbery and stink eye.
It starts with the seating. Even though we have a reservation, we will be stiffly asked “Table for how many?” It reminds me of the book Uncle Victor gave me called Mad Magazine’s Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions. I’d like to say “Table for one. My husband is afraid of mice, so he will sit on my shoulders.” I could get creative and say “Forty six. We like to change seats as soon as the one we are sitting in gets too warm.” Of course, I don’t say either. It doesn’t seem as if we should piss anyone off right away.
Any wine list longer than four inches is out of my league, and they know it. I can’t just say what I want to say, which is “give me the cheapest wine you have”. As soon as I take a stab at pronouncing the name of one, the waitress repeats my selection in a better accent just to show me up. Whatever. I’ll have alcohol sooner than she will tonight.
It used to embarrass me, yet now I look forward to seeing how Mr. Red Plastic Basket will manage to get ketchup to go with that $40 steak. If there are “frites” on the menu, it can be our little secret how he plans to use the accompanying ketchup. If not…well, once they were not on the menu, and he boldly ASKED for French fries. In the snootiest way possible, the waitress replied she thought they had some on the children’s menu. He simply said he would like some, which I thought was daring and romantic.
Did I mention our wedding anniversary is coming up?
Kathy Brennan has organized information for a living as an educator, computer programmer and government policy writer. Now she is doing it for fun as a stand up comic and humorous writer. See more at http://mrskathybrennan.com/.