we snuggled into our table, hungry like bears are hungry, as our distinctly mouthy friend likes to put it, and drooled over the diner menu. our savior arrived, looking like the quintessential motherly host, and requested our order. i went first. i always seem to have to go first. i'd like the blueberry pancakes! i chirped. special or buttermilk? she quipped. oh, i didn't know there was a difference-- does the buttermilk come with clotted cream? with a grand roll of her eyes, a la napoleon dynamite, she barked if you WANT it.
who does not want clotted cream?
as she impatiently awaited my decision, which at this point had taken up a good ten seconds of her time, i looked to the table for help. do i want buttermilk or special? godsakes people, BUTTERMILK OR SPECIAL?! i am, surprisingly, not a pancake aficionado. accordingly, i like to make the most out of these dessert breakfasts when they come along. silence filled the table. i turned back to Surly. umm, which do you like? i ventured, hoping to appeal to her with flattery. silence, avec irritated glare. finally ruggy muttered i don't think you'll go wrong either way and i stammered out special. special! just dear god STOP LOOKING AT ME.
what is it about surly servers (yes, i'm using the word server, it has a better ring in this case) that causes the most loudmouthed of folks to clam up? lemme tell ya, this was not a table of shrinking flowers. but clam up we did, i didn't give her an ounce of sass for her ample attitude. we enjoyed the hell out of our dishes, buttermilk or no, throughout the many rolled eyes and heaved sighs of Surly Server. it actually became a piece of enjoyable performance art.
at the end of the meal, Mouthy Friend said i thank you for your hospitality. he said this in all seriousness, he often says such things. what do you MEAN, she glared, as three friends and a Bebe looked anywhere but in her direction. i mean thank you for hosting us, it was delicious.
she eyed him suspiciously, ready for the kill: oooooooookay. you're.... welcome, she breathed, and rewarded him with what i can only call the most well intentioned smirk i've ever seen.
charmer, that Mouthy Friend.
it got me thinking: what is it about disgruntled waiters, waitresses, servers, restaurant professionals, that makes us do everything in our power to assure them we will bend over backwards to insure their good experience? is it the knowledge of their crappy wages? the thankfulness that we are not on the other side of the table? it ain't the lack of tipping, i'll tell you that.
at any rate, all of those perfectly reasonable theories bore me. what say you?