J-Girl and I have been doing a dessert night almost weekly. It’s been a trick to try and find the ultimate place for a sweet treat. A couple weeks ago I discovered Denny’s is offering a Peanut Butter extravaganza. Peanut butter shakes and pies, oh my! It just so happens that I like peanut butter. I patiently waited for J-Girl’s schedule to open up so that I, er, we could indulge.
Finally, we had an opportunity to go the other night. It was after 9:00pm, which was a bit late for me but she’s a high school kid – the night was just getting started. The Denny’s in our town is connected to a gas station just off of I-80. When I went the other afternoon, it was busy and noisy. When J-Girl and I went for dessert it was just noisy. A couple sat at a table by the window and a mother with six billion children sat in a booth. Okay, maybe six billion is a bit of an overstatement. Based on the noise and commotion, it sure seemed like a lot of kids. For all I know, there might have been just one very busy child. But I’m pretty sure there had to be more than one.
As the hostess walked us toward our table she asked, “Are they, “she said and rolled her eyes in the direction of the six billion children, “too noisy for you?”
“No,” I answered not realizing what we were up against, “it’s fine.”
She sat us in a booth and told us our waitress would be with us momentarily.
One of the children popped his head up from the other side of the booth. Another one started to cry. I think a couple more ran past our booth.
We looked at our menus and I couldn’t find the peanut butter desserts. I’m a little ashamed to admit I almost had a panic moment. But before my meltdown I found the pictures on the table placard advertising all things peanut butter. The waitress came to get our order. “Are you ready?” she asked.
J-Girl decided she wanted something different. “I can’t decide between the Hot Fudge Brownie and the Apple Crisp,” she said.
I looked at the waitress. “What do you suggest?”
“The Apple Crisp is very good,” the waitress responded dutifully.
“I think I’ll go with the brownie tonight,” J-Girl said. The waitress looked at me.
There was no hesitation or doubt. “I’ll have the Peanut Butter shake.” I’ve been planning it for about two weeks.
The waitress walked the five steps to the kitchen to place our order.
“I feel kind of bad that I didn’t get the Apple Crisp after she recommended it,” J-Girl confided.
I waved her guilt away. “You’re fine. You were just asking for her opinion.”
The kids from the booth next to us continued to run through the restaurant. The physical exertion wasn’t so bad except for the fact it was accompanied with very loud screams. The one who started crying when we first sat down wasn’t quite finished with his tantrum. And the gopher kept popping up staring at the back of J-Girl’s head.
The waitress returned. She set a plate on our table. “Doesn’t that look good?” she asked hopefully. It did look good. For an Apple Crisp.
Did somebody else order a crisp and she’s showing J-Girl what she’s missing out on? I thought. Isn’t it violating some kind of health code to put somebody else’s order on our table?
J-Girl slowly nodded her head. I could tell she was just as confused as me. The waitress smiled and walked off leaving the Apple Crisp on our table. J-Girl started laughing. “I guess I didn’t really want the brownie.”
“Did you still want the brownie?” I asked.
She shrugged her shoulders. “No, this looks good.”
The waitress came back to our table. “I’m sorry,” she said. I thought she realized her blunder. “You wanted the Peanut Butter Pie, right?” She asked me.
“No, the shake,” I said slowly.
“Oh,” she walked back to the kitchen.
I looked at J-Girl and we both laughed.
Now, let me pause for a moment. I realize most of you are probably saying, “Why didn’t you just tell the waitress she screwed up the order?” It was just dessert. True, it’s easy for me to say since my order didn’t get messed up. If you are an avid reader of my blog you’d also know there are a couple more reasons. One, I am one nap away from having to beg for a waitress job. And two, it’s a safe bet that I’d make a horrible waitress. So, I was paying the mercy forward.
I’m proud of J-Girl. There are some people who would have raised a stink about it. It’s the same kind of people who drop gum wrappers on the floor with the justification, “It’s [the janitor’s] job to clean it up.” That is true. Isn’t it also our job as humans to show some class and respect? But I digress.
J-Girl ate her Apple Crisp. I drank my peanut butter shake. After a few minutes of sucking my straw I realized it’s going to be awhile before I can have any more peanut butter. That one shake filled my quota for quite some time.
After our desserts, we stood at the cash register to pay. A man with a headset and dressed in black attire walked to the cash register. He didn’t make eye contact or ask us how our meal was though. I waited as he finished some business he was working on. He mumbled something.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
He continued working on his project. Finally, he looked up. “How was your meal?” he said in an obligatory tone.
You mean, other than the six billion kids running rampant, the dirty table, and the waitress messing up our order? “Fine,” I responded. I left a tip for our server because I figured she was going to need it.
J-Girl and I got in my car and I locked the doors. “It’s a different crew at night,” I said.
Just then, the headset man walked out with the six billion kids in tow.
J-Girl and I laughed pretty hard. It’s this kind of adventure that makes the best stories. After all, a perfect life would make such a boring blog.