Thursday, January 24, 2013
The Boring Diner
Take New Year’s Eve for example. Wanting a “quiet” night, I went with several people to the local Chinese restaurant, predominantly frequented by the oldies who live in my complex. By 9 PM I was beginning to yawn and couldn’t wait to get home, when suddenly a group of 20 octogenarians waltzed in rambunctiously, their rowdy chatter filling the space. The portly barrel-bodied women donned sparkly shirts bedazzled with sequins and the men wore sports coats over black turtlenecks (one even sported a ponytail). They were happy and animated; disturbing thoughts of they might be getting "lucky" filled my head.They were just starting their night . . . and I was done.
And now on top of it I have been called out twice by the waiter at the aforementioned Chinese restaurant for being a boring diner. Tall, wiry, and bespectacled, this particular waiter took my order a few weeks ago with no complaint. A few weeks later, however, when I went again, the waiter laughed nervously as he approached me and my dinner companion. “You again,” he said, chuckling.
We placed our order, and suddenly his friendly face scrunched up in disgust. For a moment he looked lost in thought. Finally he said, “Same as last time? Really?” Me and my companion exchanged looks. Of the dozens of orders he takes per day, how could he possibly remember what we ordered a few weeks back?
We smiled and nodded. “You don’t want something different?” he pushed. Nope . . . we’re boring. He shook his head, laughing as he walked away.
Last night, we went back. It had been several weeks. The same friendly man attended to us. As soon as he saw us he started cracking up (still not sure what is so amusing aside from our obvious boringness!). But this time I had come prepared . . . I was going out on a limb. Instead of the spicy tuna roll and asparagus roll (without sesame seeds, to avoid my faux allergy), I was going to order a vegetarian roll (with avocado, sweet potato, and Japanese pickle). Instead of the Shanghai soup dumplings, I was going to try a steamed vegetable dumpling. This is called “Living On The Edge” people!
But before I could go cahhhrazy and change things up, he whipped out his pad and said “OK, boring customer. So, same thing, right? Boring diners? Hmmm? Soup balls? Edamame? Haha. Spicy tuna and asparagus roll, no sesame? Red wine? Right? Same as usual. HAHAHA. Same. As. Usual.”*
What happened to the crazy, spontaneous, fly by the seat of the pants girl I was for most of my life? The girl nicknamed “Crazy Amy” or “Amiac” by friends? The world traveller who had eaten cuisine in a dozen different countries? Apparently she got left back in my 20s. I can’t even keep up with the old farts I live amongst and apparently to boot I am now the laughing stock of the Chinese restaurant.
As I left, all of the waiters turned their heads to the side, nodding and smiling. I could hear them thinking “Lame. Boring. Diner.” But I will show them. REST ASSURED readers. Next week, when chuckles comes over with his pad, I will say “up up up, I’m gonna change it UP!” Instead of a STEAMED dumpling, I will go for FRIED dumpling. Maybe a little white wine instead of red? How about instead of a spicy tuna roll, a spicy yellowtail roll.** You see where I am going with this?
*Somewhat (very much) exaggerated for effect.
**Readers, feel free to chime in on dining selections I should be making.