My husband is going to kill me for writing this. Well, actually I am sure he won’t, instead he will be massively amused. He will shake his head and think, “why does she really want to tell everyone this?”
We were driving all around Missouri that frightfully hot August of 2001. We had been living as cheaply as possible the entire vacation, only visiting free or dirt cheap attractions, eating most of our meals out of the cooler, staying in hotels which offered free continental breakfast. But there in Springfield, after checking into yet another Super 8 motel, we decided it was time to splurge. Himey took me out to eat at the Olive Garden.
Have you been to Olive Garden much? I don’t know about you, but it always seems like my waiter is this young cute male, working his way through college, and he knows exactly how to work me.
“Would either of you like a complimentary glass of our house wine?” he asked, not so innocently. He knew what he was doing. His name was something like Michael or Andrew or Barnaby, not Mike or Andy or Barney.
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t drink, maybe a sip of my husband’s cold beer during a cookout or maybe a fancy drink with an umbrella when I am out to eat with my girlfriends. I haven’t had more than three alcoholic beverages in a year since I was this waiter’s age.
“Sure, I’ll try a glass,” I impulsively answered, fielding a shocked look from my husband. He shrugged and ordered a Bloody Mary.
Half-way through our salad and first round of breadsticks, Barnaby offered to refill my wine glass, or perhaps I wanted a mixed drink instead. Well, after one glass of wine, a brandy old-fashioned sounded fantastic, so I ordered one.
By the time Himey was half-way done with his chicken fettuccini and I had made a good dent in my chicken parmigiana, Barnaby returned, asking if we needed another drink. When Himey declined, I was still sober enough to follow suit. Not sober enough however to avoid some more fluttering with the young student.
When the bill, which totaled $33.41 came, Himey asked how much of a tip to leave. “Is five dollars enough?”
“Give him at least a ten,” I nearly slurred my words. And because my husband, the sweet thing that he is, always listens to me, that is what he did. And he has yet to let me hear the end of it.