Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It’s been about a million fucking years since my last confession, but while I was in Texas I did something I am completely ashamed of. The guilt has been eating away at me like a fat lady eats an order of eggs benedict. The shame has completely consumed me so that I can barely function. Last night at work, I found it difficult to maintain focus and give my customers the attention they so rightly deserved. My mind kept wandering to a dreadful night eight days ago when I did what I swore I would never ever do. Something that makes me shudder with revulsion. I ate at The Olive Garden.
It was my last night with my parents and I wanted to take them out to dinner. They live in a small town and when you want to eat someplace nice, the options are limited. There, they think The Olive Garden is fancy. Real fancy. When people go there they do it without any hint of irony at all. So that’s where we went. I must admit that I was looking forward to that never-ending bread stick/salad bowl thingy even though someone once told me that each bread stick was 310 calories. Our server was a young girl who was obviously new to the world of food service. Someone at our table asked her which wine she thought was better. I was pretty sure that all of the wines at The olive Garden would be equally mediocre but she had an answer. Her answer sounded like it was in the form of a question. “Uh…I dunno? You’ll have to ask someone else because I’m not old enough to taste the wine yet?” Then she giggled. Okay, listen, new waitress. You never say you don’t know; you just make shit up. You can always say. “Well, the chardonnay is much more popular than the pinot grigio” or some other vague ass answer like that. The table ordered three different glasses of wine so when she showed up she was holding three glasses in one hand and had three bottles of wine cradled in her arm and up against her chest. She squatted down to get them to the table and then gave a big sigh of relief. “Whew! I made it and I’m the captain of dropping things.” And then she giggled. Ay ay, captain, just shut the fuck up and take my order.
I had a chicken parmigiana and I inhaled three breadsticks (930 calories…), had some salad and two glasses of wine. I enjoyed the food. It sorta remonded me of the chick parm you used to be able to get at Burger King and I loved that shit. It was 9:15 and we suddenly realized we were the only ones left in the restaurant. It being a Tuesday night in small town Texas, people headed home early I suppose. Maybe they had to get up early on Wednesday and till the farm or clean out the chicken coops. We asked if they were closed, but they informed us that they were open until 10:00 and there was no need to hurry. A few minutes later, Giggles the waitress came to our table and said, “So, I’m gonna go ‘head and go home now? So…uhh…” We took that as our cue to pay the check. We left her a 22% tip which in that town was enough for her to go buy a two bedroom one bath house. I enjoyed my meal at The Olive Garden. When I was there, I really did feel like family. That may have been in part due to the fact that I was eating with my parents who are actually family, but regardless, it was nice.
I hope you can forgive me for eating at The Olive Garden. I hope Jesus can forgive me but most of all I hope I can forgive myself. I shall say 100 Hail Marys and clean the lids of twenty ketchup bottles in hopes that I can be resolved of this most monsterous of sins.