In October 2010, I drove 300 miles to spend the weekend with my first love from high school, 26 years later (we had recently reunited after not seeing each other for over 20 years). I met him at the hotel and we left for dinner in his car.
We went to a fairly nice chain steak restaurant (think Texas). The food was great but the service was something else altogether.
We were seated immediately and the server came to our table quickly and asked if we’d like something from the bar. My (now) fiance ordered a commonly known beer and I asked if they had a riesling. My question was met by a blank stare. I said, “It’s wine.” She said, “I’ve never heard of it so I don’t think we have it.” So I replied that I would just have a chardonnay… any kind. No big deal. Again… blank stare.
Really… who hasn’t heard of chardonnay? Anyway, I again told her it was wine. She said she didn’t know anything about wine so she had no idea if they had it. I asked for a wine list, which she pulled out of her apron! (I don’t know why she didn’t offer it to me to begin with.) I showed her the chardonnay so she’d know what I wanted and she went off to get our drinks. My date and I laughed a bit… in a good mood and not easily annoyed.
Then came time to order our food… we still didn’t have our drinks… I ordered one of their salads. My date ordered steak, but he doesn’t like salad so he asked about the soups; specifically the “Steak Soup.” She said it was a just like a beef vegetable soup. (He ordered it… it was a thick beef stew!)
Finally she arrived with his soup and my wine. My date reminded her of the beer and she apologized and went to get it. While she was gone, he leaned over to give me a kiss. We were not making out or anything and it was brief, but a nice kiss (the restaurant was nearly empty and no one around our area). I opened my eyes to see her just standing at our table, basically watching us, with his beer in her hand… smiling. She was literally inches from him where he was sitting! I moved back quickly and she sat the beer on the table and walked away. You would think she would have just sat down the beer, or took a walk around to give us a second or at least cleared her throat or something… not just watch until we were done!
She never checked back to see how the food was or if we needed another drink (a runner brought the food). We saw her hanging out near the bar the whole time, chatting. We finally flagged her down to get another beer for my fiance.
She never asked about our meals and arrived with his beer nearly 15 minutes later! We asked for the check and he quickly finished his beer. Fortunately our mood really could not be ruined and we just laughed it off as her probably being new. He left her about a 10% tip.
We are getting married next month and seriously considering eating dinner there that evening just for old time’s sake. We still laugh about that “first date” all the time! But had we not been in such good moods, this would have been a REALLY bad experience!