My husband and I aren’t rich. We aren’t poor. We have stuff. Basically, we live paycheck to paycheck. But we do get by, and we do get out.
Fast food, like McD’s or Hardees (his favorite) or some other such place is where we usually head. But on occasion, very special occasions, very rare occasions, we drive out-of-town to a nice restaurant (there aren’t any where we live, okay?) So, consciously ignoring the gas we’re spending and feeling like a lottery winner with space on our credit card, we salivate our way to the city.
Never known for planning ahead, we scour the streets for what looks like a yummy place – one that even Chef Gordon Ramsay would be proud of. Bingo! Now the butterflies in my stomach start fluttering. Excitement, starvation, worrying that we may have spent something on that credit card and forgot and don’t really have enough available, ooh – fancy!
“Table for two?”
We look at each other and smile gleefully before absently following (we’re looking at everyone’s plates) the hostess to our table. My husband remembers his manners last second to let me sit first – it’s all an act as he usually scoots into the booths first. Cue the perfectly sized menu thingy (I can see my husband over it! Yay) Gulp. Look at these prices! No, don’t look!
So full we can barely breathe, and hating to leave what might be the nicest place we see in another year (or until we get our tax refund), we ask for the bill. It’s placed on the table linen in that plastic/leather pouch thingy and we stare at it. My husband slowly reaches for it and slides it over to open it. No biggie.
Now we’ve come to that awful, dreaded moment. With credit card neatly placed inside, we look around… is there a cash register we’re supposed to take this thing to on our way out, or do we wait for someone to come back? What the heck are we supposed to do? Every place seems to be different. Why can’t they just all get it together and stop torturing us?
Finally, my husband flags someone down. I stiffen. My face starts burning with the impending doom that’s about to assault my senses. Why does he have to do this every time? I put on my best smile like it doesn’t matter as the waitress reaches us. Then, with husbandly innocence, he announces to the whole restaurant, (I’m not just imagining it. He, admittedly, has two volumes: mumble and megaphone) that we’re social virgins. We’re not from around here. We don’t get out much. Where do we pay this? Is the tip included in the amount? Where’s your restroom?
O M G! Whyyyyyy? I know my smile has turned into a grimace by now as I see other patrons glance our way. Now, I can’t wait to get out of there. I eagerly grab my purse (mmm, nice and heavy) and we leave.
Soon, my pain becomes his.