Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Chorus In My Head

"They just told me I had table 40. I'm so sorry. I bet you know what you want to order after waiting an hour already."

I smile at my waitress and give her my order for supper.
If she only knew the dialogue that went through my head as I waited, at most, 10 minutes, for her to show up at my table.

It's payday. My first one in over 5 years. I have a board meeting in an hour and decided to treat myself to a nice restaurant supper beforehand. Usually it's Subway for this gal so it's really a treat.

When I first walked into the restaurant and the hostess found out I wanted a table for one she asked if I minded being seated in the lounge. Why, yes I did. Long day at work, surrounded by noise, I wanted a little distance between me and the half a dozen TV screens and the music blaring, so I declined and she brought me to a booth. My favourite booth, in fact, although she didn't know that. The restaurant is busy. From where I'm seated I watch a young family as they eat their supper. The little boy, no more than 3, picks up his hamburger and his face looks like he is ready to feast. The difference between his little mouth and the full size hamburger makes me smile. He eats with such enthusiasm. I watch as he and his sister trades sips of their drinks with each other.

Meanwhile there is a party going on in my head. Usually the service in this restaurant is really good. They take your beverage order within moments of sitting down. Tonight they are bustling about as if I'm invisible. Granted, my booth is at the end of two converging rows so I have no idea which server gets my table. I lean out once or twice to try and get someone's attention. Doesn't work. Then the chorus in my head tells me that really, they are punishing me for not taking that chair in the lounge, and the hostess has conveniently forgotten to tell my server that I'm here. That's the first thought that comes to mind. Immediately I challenge it. I look at how busy they are. I see how many trips the server makes to the family of four's table and think to myself that she very well may be panicking inside because they aren't her only table but they are needing a lot of service. I decide they are simply busy and will get to me when there's a momentary lull.

Which satisfies me for maybe a minute before the chorus in my head reminds me that I'm being punished for not taking the seat in the lounge and I deserve to be treated better than this. Again I challenge that thought. Around and around we go. It's a wonder I'm not too tired to eat by the time my server appears.

She is so apologetic.
She didn't know I was there.
I choose to believe it's a momentary lapse instead of a revenge induced forgetting on the part of the hostess.

Eventually my food arrives and I read the paper and eat my supper.
Perhaps tuckered out by the drama,
the chorus in my head settles down
and goes back to sleep.

Later, standing at the lounge counter paying for my meal,
the noise of the place swarming around me,
I realize the chorus in my head
gave the lounge noise a run for its money.


Owen said...

Congrats on the payday.

Steve E. said...

Do not eat alone.

My cat insists that I stand over him, with my foot touching somewhere on a part of his body--he HATES to eat alone. I think it's an inherited
fear of attack while in a vulnerable (eating) situation!

Just so you do not have a resentmen about the whole episode. I'd have left (pleasantly, really!) LONG before you got served, or even recogized. Of course, we have two restaurants here -grin!

Cat said...

WooHoo congrats on the first pay day of many to come! I often eat alone but the chorus in my head whispered mean and evil things about others and would have sure as hell told me that the hostess deliberately set out to harm me... see how my brain works? I have to keep it in check - congrats to you my dear friend.

Daisy said...

Wow, our choruses should get together sometime for a play-date; they'd get along great. On the other hand...uh...maybe that's not the best idea, eh? :)

Congratulations, Hope. Paycheques are a nice invention in my book.


Heidi Renee said...

Woo hoo! Payday! Yippee for you Hope!

I always keep a book in my bag for that very purpose - shuts up the chorus :D I get trapped in the border line so many times w/out a book and think "why did you take it out of your bag?" - that's when the impatient chorus rages for me.

so proud of you for making your way through this! good on ya!