Is It Us or Them?

I wrote this a few years back; it was about one of those weird situations when we go out to eat. 


The Crankee Yankee and I like to go out for a meal now and then; it’s a nice change from resurrecting leftovers or having what we call a “finish dinner:” finishing dibs and dabs of what’s left in the ‘fridge. However, we find that we often run into some weird situations when out for lunch or dinner. When these things happen, we always wonder if we are creating the weirdness ourselves.

Case in point: not long ago, we went to a popular Mexican restaurant for dinner. We ordered our usual; Cokes with lime and enchiladas and quesadillas. The waitress asked if we wanted sugar around the rim of our drinks. We both looked at each other and I said, ‘who puts sugar around the rim of a Coke?’

Several minutes later, the waitress came back bearing two large margaritas with lime, and no sugar around the rim. We repeated that we had asked for Cokes with lime. I really don’t know how much clearer we could have been, but we just shrugged it off.

The waitress came back shortly afterwards bearing our orders. My quesadilla was not the one that I ordered, but it wasn’t a big deal; it was pretty good, actually. When it came time to pay the check, the waitress brought over the check and no pen. We had to flag down another server to borrow his pen.

Now, this waitress might have just been new and nervous. We gave her a decent tip and thanked her. It wasn’t until we started walking out that we both dissolved into giggles; the kind where you are laughing so hard that your eyes and your nose runs. We wobbled out to the car, still laughing. We asked ourselves “is it us or them?” Stuff like this always seems to happen to us.

Just the other evening, we decided to go to our local seafood place. It’s small and intimate, the food is very good, and the tables are close together. It always seems to us that it’s a place more for us older folks than your standard restaurant crowd, but that isn’t always the case. Here’s how the evening went:

We were one of the first couples in, which was fine; the place does fill up quickly. We had just placed our orders when a table of five came in and sat about two feet away from us. It was a mom and dad, a grandma and grandpa, and a baby.

Now if you’ve read some of my posts, you will know that I am not a fan of babies or young kids in restaurants because they tend to be fussy, shrieky and screamy. But unless there is a restaurant policy that bans kids five and younger, you pretty much have to live with it.

And sure enough, this baby was the full trinity: fussy, shrieky and screamy. Never having been a mother myself, I am always amazed at the level of screaming and shrieking that such a small human can produce. Since I was sitting the closest to this table, I spent most of my meal with my finger in my outside (facing the baby) ear.

After a while, it just got funnier. The Crankee Yankee and I did some major eye rolling, and all of a sudden we just couldn’t stop laughing. That was bad enough, but then the older couple behind us soon added to the madness. The man sneezed twelve times (I counted) in a row. After each sneeze, we tried hard not to laugh too loudly (I mean, the poor guy; he couldn’t help it).

But the “sneezing geezer” just pushed us right over the edge of civility. We asked for our check (and the waitress must have wondered why we were killing ourselves laughing) and bugged out just as soon as we could. Again we asked each other: “Is it us or them?”

Hell if I know.

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