Everyone is born for a reason. Perhaps you were born to make a difference in the life of someone you have yet to meet or maybe your purpose in life is still being determined. Or it could be you were born simply to trap the baby-daddy in a relationship he didn’t want because all he did was hook up with your mom one night at that club after she had too many Long Island Iced Teas followed by two Fuzzy Navels and a hit of poppers. Who knows? What I do know is this: the women who sat at table sixteen last week were born with the sole purpose of getting on my last fucking nerve. Mission accomplished, ladies.
Two old women came into the restaurant. I only call them that because they referred to themselves that way. They both had their hair in buns and they looked like they just popped in from the Amish flea market and needed a quick bite to eat before auditioning to be one of the little old ladies in The Producers. In truth, they were probably in their 50’s, but they were the old kind of fifty-something, not the young cool hip fifty-something.
“Table for two, ladies?” I asked all chirpy and happy because that is my natural demeanor when wearing an apron.
Old Lady #1 cleared her throat and said, “Well, there are going to be three of us.”Fine. No problem. I began leading her to a table but she stood still. I turned around to see what the problem was and she said, “One third of our party is not here yet.” Well, I kinda figured that, Miss Pythagoras but thanks for the math lesson. Unless your friend is the Invisible Lady or you have her hiding in your back pocket, I assumed she wasn’t here yet. I told them they could choose a table and sit wherever they wanted and I would bring them menus. This confused them.
They looked at each other and muttered back and forth, “Do you want to sit here or do you want to sit there or should we sit on the patio or inside? Oh my God I don’t know what we should do.” Old Lady #2 said, “Why don’t we sit at that last booth?” to which Old Lady #1 replied, “But how will Old Lady #3 find us when she gets here if we sit all the way back there?”
Keep in mind this is a very small restaurant. It only has fourteen tables. It was ten minutes after we opened and there was no one else in the place. Unless Old Lady #3 was blind and/or stupid as a bag of hair, she would easily find her friends.
After much discussion and thought, Old Lady #2 finally made the decision. Waking me up from my self-induced coma, she said, “We are going to sit at that back booth but if you see another woman come in who looks uncertain, that is our friend.” So let me get this straight: if another old lady with her hair in a bun comes into the restaurant and tells me she is meeting two other old ladies who have their hair in buns, then she would be referring to you, is that it? Thanks. Got it.
By the time we eventually made it to table sixteen, it was time for me to color my roots again. They were so fucking slow, examining every table we passed as if it might be the one they should sit at instead. Before they sat down, Old Lady #1 said, “And who would we need to talk to in order to discuss the volume of the music? It’s too loud and we want to be talk. We’re old ladies and can’t hear very well.” Okay, you just fucking contradicted yourself, old lady. If you can’t hear very well, then I should turn the music up, shouldn’t I? Isn’t the truth that you just don’t like the Pandora 1980’s music channel I created so that I could listen to the music of my youth while at work? Maybe she would have liked me to create a Pandora channel of music from her youth, but who in the hell wants to listen to an Andrew Sisters and Doris Day channel. (Okay, honestly, I would totally listen to that channel…) I agreed to turn down the music.
About ten minutes later I saw their friend come into the restaurant. Of course she immediately spied her friends and headed towards them. It was truly remarkable how she found them. It was like she was Christopher Fuckin‘ Columbus or something. She walked right to them like she knew where she was going. The bartender told me that she must have studied a map of the restaurant in advance or we decided she may have been equipped with a GPS because how else could she possibly have found her friends among all the empty tables and nobody else? The woman was a true super-sleuth with the nose of a bloodhound and the problem solving skills of Jessica Fletcher. It was amazing.
They stayed way too long and never said anything when I turned the music back up about fifteen minutes later. They were pretty self-sufficient after they got their food. Two of them had a glass of wine so that must have chilled them out. They were probably trashed and were going to leave the restaurant to go home and do some wild and crazy drunk old lady stuff like embroider pillows with with dirty sayings and can some peaches without sterilizing the lids first. They left me a good tip which I appreciated since they occupied my booth for so long. I will be ready for them the next time I see them. The booth will be prepped with a flare gun, some knitting needles and Pandora will be set to play the Top 40 hits of the turn of the century.
(And yes, they sat at table 16 even though there are only 14 tables in the restaurant. I don’t know why there is no table 6 or 10 in the restaurant, but there isn’t…)