Diaries Magazine

Blondie, Bling, & The 5 Hour Dinner

By Blairbarnes
Bling Bling Bling Bling Bling Bling Bling Blin...

Image by prawnpie via Flickr

Table 12. This extravagant old lady (let’s call her Betty), came in at
6pm, told me her two friends will be joining her. She also pointed to
the other seats and said, “Since there will be three of us you’ll need
to bring three separate checks.” It’s at this point I get to say
something I love to say, “We don’t do separate checks” followed by the
obligatory, “But I can take separate payments.” This boggles her mind
for a moment and then she agrees that it’s fine. The one other shows
up (let’s call her Sue) and informs us that their other friend would
be there in 45 minutes. So they ordered a bottle of wine, and some
appetizers and ask for bread. Before I get away from the table, Betty
pulls me back, “when you bring the dippy I don’t want the vinegar,”
she said to me, “do you want the vinegar in your dippy?” she asked
Sue. “What’s that?” Sue asked me. I told her it was oil and balsamic
vinegar. She said it was fine. I came back with the “dippy” for Betty
but she looks disappointed, and says to me, “oh it’s just oil? where
are all the herbs and things?” I told her that’s all we serve, but I
would bring her some red pepper flakes if she wanted to spice it up.
So she does. Meanwhile, Sue is fine with her oil and balsamic “dippy”.

I ask the ladies if they were going to the show across the street
tonight. “What’s going on across the street?” Betty asks. I tell her
and Sue that Blondie (Debbie Harry) is playing across the street
tonight. A show. Sue asks Betty who Blondie is, and Betty responds
with “Well…she’s like Madonna or Lady GaGa or something, but not
like that.” Betty wasn’t sure what she was talking about and so she
turns the discussion over to me. And I say “Yeah, she was really big
in the 80′s”. Not a clue. Neither of them had ANY clue about what I
was talking about, who Blondie was or what she did. I couldn’t believe
it! I mean, first of all I could have sworn Betty was a fan, she was
decked out in rhinestones and had big hair, and when she pulled out
her reading glasses, even THEY had rhinestones lining them! If this
woman didn’t know who Blondie was, I was surprised. But neither of
them knew a lick of what I was talking about. Amazing. So I walk away
and let them ponder the great wonder of Blondie.

I come back a little while later, after they have indulged in their
mussels and fritto misto (a mixture of friend everything), and Betty
says to me, “the mussels were good but that tomato sauce they were
in…” she makes a face that depicts disgust, “mussels are better in a
white wine with garlic, lots of garlic” she informs me. “Oh,” I say,
“I’ll be sure to tell the chef” and by that I meant I’ll be sure to
tell the chef that you are some kind of lunatic that can’t appreciate
different styles of food or good 80′s chick rock. She continued to
elaborate, “these mussels were great, but the tomato sauce was like
eating Campbell’s Tomato Soup! They really need to change that or have
an option to have white wine and garlic….like Carraba’s” She
finished up her rant with suggesting we be more like a national chain
italian restaurant. I had to walk away after that comment, otherwise I
might have just made a face that suggested I felt otherwise. And you
know how my facial expressions are; they’re like celebrity guests on
SNL, always popping up when you least expect them and without warning.
So I walked away and let them go about their chatting.

TWO HOURS LATER their friend, Mary, finally shows up! They’re already
on their second bottle of vino. I grab Mary a menu and finally they
decide to order. Betty wants spaghetti and meatballs “al dente” she
stresses in an over the top way, mocking Italian. The other two ladies
decide to split a pizza. When their food comes up, I was busy, so
Nicole, the manager, runs it. She puts the spaghetti down in front of
Betty, and Betty gawks at it. “That portion is too small! There is not
enough spaghetti!”. Never have I ever heard anyone over the age of 65
get angry because there wasn’t ENOUGH food. Usually it’s the other way
around. So Nicole, being the nice sweet manager that she is, goes back
to the kitchen and asks Chef for more pasta. Chef, being the clever
sarcastic guy that he is, drops two pre-portioned bagfuls of pasta
into the boiling water, with a smirk. Chef and I think a like. You
want more spaghetti, you’re getting more spaghetti! So Nicole brings
the heaping bowl of pasta out to her and she answers with something
like, “that’s more like it!” and as Nicole is walking away she says to
her friends, “I’m just going to take it all home anyway.”

About a half hour later, the bowl of pasta still looks untouched. I go
to check on them and Betty asks me to box up her pasta. In true form,
I couldn’t let this whole pasta thing to go rest that easily, so I
asked, “Was everything okay? It looks like you hardly touched your
pasta, I hope it tasted okay” and she shot back, “Just box it up, take
it and box it” as she shoved the five pound bowl of pasta at my face.
So I boxed it, poured them the rest of their wine and continued to
check back on Sue and Mary who were eating their Pizza like it was the
last pizza on earth and they have to save each bite. Finally when it
seemed that the last two pieces were going uneaten i asked if Mary
wanted a box, to which she shooed me off with the simple flick of her
left wrist in my direction, not even looking away from her
conversation with Sue. So I let them sit…and sit…and sit. Which
they were fine with. I wasn’t bothering them, they weren’t bothering
me. We were both satisfying each other’s need for solace. Until,
finally, it was 9:45. They had been there since 6pm. We were getting
ready to close. Mary had finally succeeded from the pizza and asked me
to box it. I shoved it in the smallest box I could and returned with
their check. They threw three credit cards in and asked me to split it
three ways. Not a problem. I return with their slips and send them on
their way. They continued to sit there for another 45 minutes, until
finally, around 10:30, they left. As they were giving their hugs to
each other, I hear Mary compliment Betty on her rhinestones. “OH I
love my bling. I’ve got to have bling.” every other word she used to
describe her style was bling. Bling. Bling. Really, Betty? All this
time you were all Bling and no Blondie. Interesting.

- Elizabeth

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