Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Family-style dining

We are at a expensive restaurant. My dearly beloved and I, along with our daughter, are the first to arrive. When fully realized, we will be a group of eight. This is a family event.

I order a martini and comment on how delighted I am with the table at which we are seated.

"Everyone can see me," I say with smug satisfaction. I am wearing lipstick and I have also used a copious amount of hairspray.

My husband eyes the menu. "Maybe we can just share our entrees with the kids."

I glare at him as though he has just closed one nostril with his forefinger and hockered into the butter dish out of the free nostril. "Just wait for the waiter says about it."

Each item on the menu is ala carte. "Maybe we could order different side dishes and pass them around," he offers.

While inhaling an enormous wife sigh, I roll my eyes. "Would you take a look around?" I say. "This is not some cheesy family-style affair. It is an elegant restaurant. We are not going to pass clanging dishes around for chrissake! What are we, the goddamn Waltons?"

"Mom said 'goddamn,'" says my 9-year-old.

"Honey," I say, "I said no such thing. I said 'Grandma,'"

"You said 'goddamn,'" she says.

My husband says nothing, just shakes his husband head, sips his beer and goes back to the menu.

The rest of us arrive. We sip cocktails. We chat. The kids mercifully behave.

The server approaches us with the look that servers display when they are ready to impart information. She talks about the quality of steaks the establishment serves. She tells us the specials. She recommends some of her favorite dishes.

"Our side dishes are very generous and each one is more than enough for two people," she says. "We encourage family-style dining." She continues, explaining that if each person orders one different side dish and passes them around and shares, there will be something for everyone and more than enough.

The restaurant, our server tells us, offers a smaller portion of steak, salmon or chicken for children. "Or," she adds, "the kids are welcome to simply share parts of your entrees and side dishes."

My husband transforms into a giant smiling Buddha fashioned from shimmering gold. I disappear.

11 comments:

josh williams said...

That was good.

nicole said...

I thoroughly enjoyed that post. Especially the part where you covered up with "Grandma." Priceless! :)

Denny Shane said...

I think the waitress was hitting on the husband.

goat said...

ONCE ? (or once again?) the husband is right

PDD said...

Erin my love, that waitress wanted to secure a good tip, and when a waitress is in the process of securing a good tip, she/he will say anything even if it goes against establishment policy.

That, or she was hitting on your husband as Denny brilliantly figured.

Anonymous said...

What a smart idea! Your husband must be smarter, and more perceptive, than the average bear. Not only does he maintain good price control on the meal; but he gets some from the waitress on the side!

Shame on you for doubting him. Shame, shame for lying to your daugher!

BTW; you are feeding him too well if he can imitate Buddha.

garrett said...

Cock. Balls.

Hope Dangling said...

i think husband needs to take you to a REAL elegant restaurant where you can display your lipstick and NOT pass plates around. GODDAMN it all to hell anyway. (I love it that you lie to your child. I'm sending you flowers.)

Hal said...

Did any gross smelly guys ask your husband how much his women cost?

FLAMINGO1 said...

You said, "goddamn"!!!

Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Are you crazy? Your husband was right and you PUT IT IN WRITING???