Recently both of my kids were gone for the evening at a sleepover birthday party, so that left the husband and me all alone. The house was so quiet, nobody was screaming, nothing was being broken, nobody was needed to plunge a toilet. It was so tranquil. Anyway, my husband and I were sitting all alone in our quiet house and he looked over at me and said in a husky voice, “The kids are gone and I shaved my back, wanna go out?” So we dressed for dinner and selected a restaurant that did not offer crayons, a drive thru, or nuggets of any kind and prepared ourselves for a romantic night on the town.
Since it was a spur of the moment decision, and we didn’t have a reservation, we weren’t sure that we would be able to get in at a nice restaurant. But, as luck would have it, the hostess found a table for us right away. It was the teeny-tiny one located right in the middle of the dining room that nobody ever wants. You know, the one right in the middle of the high traffic area and about the size of a TV tray, only more wobbly? Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers, and middle-aged couples with one night of freedom will pretty much take anything.
As we sat at our table and looked over the menu we began to wonder if the wait-staff had forgotten about us. My husband tapped the tines on his fork as I felt my crows feet deepen. We looked around trying to make eye contact with anyone carrying a serving tray. Eventually our waiter could not take our death stare any longer and came over and took our drink order and promised to “be right back.” I have found that most waiters are liars, and this one was no exception. To me, “right back” means he will return in 3-5 minutes, however, in the waiter’s handbook it is defined this way: “We are going to serve everyone else in the place, let them eat and pay, and then, if we have nothing else to do, we might come back and take your order, but that is a big maybe.”
In time, a long time, our waiter did return. It might have had something to do with me sticking out my foot and tripping him as he went by, but I can’t say for sure. Anyway, he did bring us our cocktails and let us order our appetizer and meal, but I was doubtful we would ever see either.
“Do you think they are getting any bites?” My husband asked.
“Well, you did order the Salmon and that means they have to go fish for it.”
“Don’t blame me. You are the one who just had to order the pasta and sausage. First they have to grind the flour, find some sheep gut for casing and kill a pig. Seriously, whose meal do you think will take longer to make?”
The table next to us was eating a delicious looking meal and it was hard to keep from staring. My husband said, “I am so hungry.”
I said, “Me too, all I had was a single grape and some macaroni that one of the kids didn’t finish at lunch.”
Then my husband leaned in close, looked at me with love in his eyes and said, “Ok, here is the plan. I will create a diversion; you steal both plates and the bread basket. Oh, and if you can, grab the giant pepper grinder, I love those things.”
I think the couple whose food we were thinking of stealing heard us because the gentleman at the table fashioned his cloth napkin into a noose and dangled it above his plate. Thank goodness the waiter came by with our cheese platter or things might have gotten a bit dicey.
Now, about the cheese platter, my husband isn’t a big fan of cheese. He is mostly afraid of cheese that isn’t bright orange and doesn’t come wrapped in cellophane or squirting out of a pressurized can, but it was date night, so he let me order the appetizer. I helped out by refusing to tell him what any of the cheeses were--I didn’t think gagging and choking sounds would be appropriate at a fancy restaurant. He was a real sport, and was actually enjoying himself until he took a big bit of what he thought was cream cheese, and with his mouth full of bread and dairy said, “I think I taste goat.”
I said, “No you don’t.”
“Yes, I do. I know what cow tastes like and this isn’t it.”
“Could you please just swallow it and stop talking with your mouth full?”
“Fine. But I want to know what kind of cheese that is?”
After he swallowed I said, “goat.”
Before my husband could accuse me of trying to poison him, our salads arrived. Nothing happened during the salad portion of the meal except that the table next to us got new residents, one of them was a cackler. The cackler was a woman who laughed so loud it was like a car accident, all screeching and broken glass. My husband leaned over again, “Ok, new plan. I create a diversion and you smack her in the face with your salad plate. Be sure to hit her really hard, you don’t want to just stun her; you need to knock her unconscious. And don’t forget the pepper grinder this time.”
I was about to question why he always gets the easy part of his plans when our entrées were delivered. We even got our own bread basket full of day old croutons.
“Hey you wanna break bread with me?”
“Ha ha, very funny.”
“No really, it is hard as a rock. I think the roof of my mouth is bleeding.”
Finally, it was time to hunt for our waiter so that we could pay. We were going to order dessert but the kids were only going to be gone for one night and we didn’t bring our toothbrushes. After we had settled the bill and were on our way to the car I asked my husband what time it was.
“Only nine o’clock. Wow, it only took three hours.”
“I know. It felt like it took much longer.”
“You’re telling me. It feels like midnight.”
My husband belched sausage.
“Are you thinking what I am thinking?”
“That you need some antacid?”
“Yes, and . . . ?”
“That the night is young?”
“Yep, and if we hurry home we can be in bed and asleep before nine-thirty!”
“Well, let’s get a move on then, there is a pillow at home with my name on it!”
“Race you to the car!”
“You are so romantic!”