Thursday, August 15, 2013

Desperate Drinks

We were at a chain bar/restaurant with friends.  The place was hopping because we were in a smallish Pennsylvania town that was hosting a largish pop/rap concert. 

Everyone was there.  Okay, mostly middle-aged couples and groups of lady friends were there.  All the ladies wore sparkles, Capri pants or skirts, and mascara.  Most looked like they had spent some time on their hair, just like I had.  Blow out, flat iron.  This is the look I’m going for when I want to look fancy these days.

After all, it was a date night, and even though we were on a double date with friends and some several thousand other people, I wanted to look fancy.  I don’t often get opportunities to look fancy.

Although If I’m being honest, my fancy is also my Sunday morning church look, further proof that we were probably out of the age demographic for the concert.  Those people certainly weren’t dining around us; most likely they were in the parking lot of the arena chugging beers and checking out potential hook-ups before the big show.

We waited for several minutes and our waitress came over.  She was cute and bubbly; I could see why she was employed as a waitress.  I wanted to be her best friend, or at least wanted her to think I was cool.  She gushed over our choice of drinks and widened her eyes as she smiled over us like a beneficent fairy sanctioning the libations we would imbibe.  We bathed in her cosmic approval and I might have clapped my hands in anticipation, feeling duly blessed and ready to get our night on.

Along with a few appetizers, our friends ordered a beer and flight of small martinis and my husband and I ordered a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea to share.  Yeah, we did.

We waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Still the waitress didn’t come.  Our conversation, laden with laughs and excitement over the concert and the magnificent people-watching in the restaurant and general adult-only outing giddiness, turned into swiveling heads and craning necks as we searched the teeming room for our fairy waitress, our harbringer of joy.

The minutes ticked by.  We looked at our watches, the clocks on our phones.  We talked about when – IF – she would return.  Did she get fired?  Quit?  Take a smoke or bathroom break?  We hoped she washed her hands.

After twenty or thirty minutes our waitress returned with our drinks, clearly harried.  Wiping her brow, she gracelessly plunked down the beer and martinis for our friends, then proceeded to noisily add our pitcher and two mismatched glasses to the table, explaining that the Long Islands were popular and she had to wait for a pitcher to serve it in.  We eyed each other in awe as the reality that a restaurant could use up all their glassware in an hour sunk in.  We quickly ordered another round.  After all, we weren’t sure when we’d see her again.

Quickly my husband and I discovered that the pitcher was filled with ice.  The glasses she gave us filled up quickly and the drink was watery.  No matter; we’d already ordered another one; we drank it down in record time.  After one and a half glasses each our pitcher was just a pitcher of ice.  I joked that I would just stick in my straw and suck the rest of the juice off the ice cubes.

I was only halfway joking, but I have better manners than that.

Soon our appetizers came, and we seized the chance to order dinner and ask about our second round of drinks.  The server assured us that they were coming.  We eyeballed her suspiciously and considered her an enemy, at least someone not to be trusted.

Another twenty minutes or a billion years later, a different server arrived with our round of drinks.  This time we didn’t even concern ourselves with the whereabouts of our malicious fairy server; she obviously worked for the other side and was plotting our slow demise.  This time, our pitcher of drinks came in a large glass only half-filled with ice this time.  We questioned the delivery method of our second round as our compatriots lowered their eyes and greedily gulped their full glasses as if they had just survived a desert wasteland ordeal.

Forgetting our treasonous friends, we turned our attention to this new server, who assured us that this was, in fact, our pitcher of drinks which contained the same amount as the pitcher, only with less ice.  My husband and I looked at the glass, then each other.  It was clear that none of us at the table would be able to pour an almost-overflowing glass of floating ice and watery drink into any of our ice-filled glasses without spilling it all over the table, so we did what mildly desperate people in our situation would do.

We each stuck a straw in and sucked, racing each other to the bottom.

As the server left the table, we cried out, “Can we have another?” 
 
Thank you to my traitor friend Kristin for 
providing me with this picture of abject desperation.  
It looks like we're trying to be cute, 
but this was war. 

Postscript: Our waitress returned with another real pitcher of watered-down drinks within minutes of the second round, along with our food.  She was more agitated than ever before.  We never saw her again for the rest of the evening.  We had been there for two and a half hours.

Post-postscript: The concert was amazing.

*******

This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It
Prompt #4:  Share the story behind your current Facebook and/or Twitter profile photo.

26 comments:

  1. Funny! Don't you just hate waiting a week for a weak drink? And here I am thinking weak drinks were reserved for Vegas and cruise ships. Plus, you should never need more than one Long Island Iced Tea if it's made right! I know 'cause it used to be my drink. ;-)

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    1. They really were weak. I know all about Long Islands, which was why we got the pitcher, and maybe why the restaurant made them so weak in the first place. If they were full strength they wouldn't have run out of pitchers. :)

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  2. I was thinking the same thing as Renee -- if they were real Long Island Iced Tea, you'd have been in a puddle on the floor after the third one. Yikes! Glad the concert made up for the drink debacle :)

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    1. So true! The concert did make up for it, as did the night out with friends.

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  3. Oh Andrea. You make me laugh. I love your blog.

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  4. This is why you should always carry a flask in your purse...

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    1. I used to think so, until the time we sneaked little vodka bottles on a plane and got reprimanded by the flight attendant for using them.

      I believe the exact word she used was "felony."

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  5. Ha ha! As someone who has lost a waitress or three to the dark side before, I feel your pain. Great story!

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  6. As a waitress, this is my nightmare. Seriously. I still have nightmares about being SO busy that I forget/am unable to get to tables.

    Glad you got a cute picture out of the ordeal, at least!

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    1. You know, I think this might have been what happened. She was swamped and couldn't keep up.

      I hope she got her tip.

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  7. This is precisely why one should stick to beer. Bottled beer, to be precise. It's pretty hard to mess that up.

    Meanwhile, you get a cute with hubby picture. Win.

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    1. We thought at one point we should switch, but there wasn't time to make a decision or inform the servers. Too busy! We were clearly overwhelmed by the speed in which they set down our drinks and went off to serve the next table. I would have gotten a beer had I known I'd just be drinking ten-dollar pitchers of water all evening...

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  8. I guess Ms. Bubbly wasn't used to being so busy.

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    1. I guess not. My guess was that she went from Ms. Bubbly to Ms. Sobbing Heap in the Corner by the end of the night.

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  9. Gosh you are so pretty, even when sucking down a watered down drink.

    Also, I'm too old for this going out business. :)

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    1. Aw, thank you Alison!

      Nah. I'm older than you, and I'm not too old to go out!

      Ah, well, yes. Maybe I am.

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  10. Oh it's brutal when you get all gussied up in your Sunday best, only to have to wait around for a pitcher of ice.

    And that really is a cute picture of you.

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    1. Thanks Jennie. My Sunday best WAS disappointed.

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  11. Love the straw solution! And the blog. Here on the recommendation of Lady Jennie: just read right back to the beginning! Can so see having coffee or pitchers of Long Island iced tea with you if I actually knew you. ;)

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    1. Thanks so much for reading - and welcome! I'm always looking for someone to share my pitcher with. :)

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  12. as a former watiress, i'd like to give this gal the benefit of the doubt....but what the hell was going on?! did half the staff not show up and she was forced to cover 50 tables at once? was the bartender drunk?

    i am thinking about this way too much.

    great pic, at least!! :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm not sure what was going on, other than the complete lack of preparation for the crowd. Which is stupid. Obviously someone dropped the ball here.

      I'm going with the drunk bartender.

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