Saturday Vignettes: Street Crossing, Sundaes, Secret Cards
Alisha and I had plans to meet down the street at Eat n Park for lunch. I don’t mind walking there because it’s only a few blocks away, but I hate that I have to cross over a main road; it’s a phobia. Fortunately, there was a young guy ahead of me who was about to cross, so I ran and yelled, “Wait! Wait for me!” He turned mid-step to eye me up suspiciously. Catching up to him, I panted, “I don’t like crossing the street by myself.” It wasn’t awkward at all. But then I made the mistake of telling Alisha and she was like, “Why are you so stupid.” Later, she ordered a turtle sundae but that is a story for another time.
OK, it’s time. Alisha decided we should get dessert and since she was buying, I heartily agreed. “I’ll have the dutch apple pie,” I said to our waitress, Barb. This was after I recovered from the shiver session I had when, in passing, Barb imprisoned me in an intense eye-lock. I really don’t know what that was all about, but afterward I was literally trying to bear hug my way through to my soul, you can ask Alisha.
Barb nodded and duly jotted it down.
“And I want the turtle sundae,” Alisha mumbled with the general disdain she reserves for strangers.
“Ooooh, the turtle sundae!” Barb exclaimed in an intonation preschool teachers must master before getting their own classroom. And then she let loose with some celebratory sound before shuffling away.
Shocked, I asked Alisha, “Did she say ‘God damn’?!”
“No,” Alisha shook her head, looking alarmed. “It was just some excited noise. And why was she talking to me like I’m 8 years old?”
When Barb came back, she made some monotoned comment about, “Here’s your dutch” before raising her voice several octaves and cooing, “And here’s your….turtle sundae! Ooooh! Look at that!” Alisha gave her a fake smile and was all, “OK bye bye now.”
“What the hell, it’s just a sundae,” I said. And not even a signature one at that. But then I remembered I had the pie of the Dutch beneath my face and focused on that for awhile.
Barb reappeared a few minutes later to make sure we were competently devouring our desserts. “How’s your TURTLE SUNDAE?!” she shouted, fawning all over Alisha like she was a visiting diplomat, because don’t all visiting diplomats stop at Eat n Park for a turtle fucking sundae while visiting Pittsburgh?
Alisha, refusing to make eye contact, assured her it was fine. Satisfied with that review, Barb began to retreat. She made it a few feet before turning, as an after thought, and asking over her shoulder, “Oh, and how’s the pie?”
Oh, why it’s no turtle sundae, Barb.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that this situation seemed redundant. Like, I was having some major deja vu. And then I realized I had been in that same situation before, three years ago, only that time I was in the Queen Seat. I went home and checked LiveJournal, and sure enough, this was not my first run-in with Barb, the Dessert Snob:
Lisa temporarily resides in Colorado so I was excited to get to see her Wednesday afternoon during her Pittsburgh visit. We walked down the street to Eat n Park for coffee and dessert, the perfect pre-work sugar fix.
Our waitress Barb was an older woman with the easy-to-talk-to charm of a seasoned server. Lisa immediately overshadowed me with her big smile and confident voice.
“I’ll have the chocolate cake!” Lisa cheerfully ordered.
Barb smiled and jotted it down.
“And I’ll have the blackberry pie with ice cream,” I ordered not as cheerfully, but I sort of smiled. Which is big for me.
Barb’s body shook with pleasure. “Yes! Good choice!” she sang as she scratched my order on her pad with a flourish.
“That’s my favorite!”
I smirked at Lisa after Barb retreated. “She likes me better than you,” I chided.
“What makes your pie so much better than my chocolate cake? I mean, it’s chocolate cake!” Lisa’s visage melted into a befuddled glaze.
“Chocolate cake is a menu mainstay, Lisa. My pie is a seasonal delight.” This seemed to distract Lisa long enough for me to continue droning on about my life’s conundrums. It’s nice to have counseling ears across from me sometimes.
Barb returned with our desserts and the reminder than I am, and always will be, better than Lisa. She set down Lisa’s plate with an unremarkable motion, but then turned to me with the fanfare of a queen’s arrival as she gently placed my pie beneath my fat face and took a step back.
“Look at that pie, would you?
Oh, I hope you will enjoy it. It really is the best!”
I hesitated before crushing into the crisp sugary crust, unsure if Barb was going to stand there and gawk. She smiled once more and carried on with her rounds of coffee refills.
Lisa was absently slapping her cake with the back of her fork, scowling at me. “Enjoy your freaking pie,” she mimicked.
During our meal, Barb came back later with our separate checks. She was delighted to tell me that my check was special. “Lookie here! There’s a number at the bottom to call and complete a real short survey. Then you write down the code they give you and bring this back next time for a two dollar discount!
” She clapped her hands together and held them under her chin, waiting for me to call my mommy and thank her for birthing me so that I could one day experience the jubilation of getting an Eat n Park survey check.
I feigned happiness for the sake of Lisa’s plummeting self-worth. “It’s because I was smart enough to order the delicious pie and not the boring cake,” using my words to further wheedle away at her ordering inadequacies.
We continued to pick away at our desserts and imbibe (too much) coffee, when Lisa spilled her water all over the table. Barb came running over with her rag and we all tried to make light of Lisa’s fumbling fingers.
“At least it didn’t get on her pie,” Barb sighed.
The worst part of today’s episode in dessert racism is that suddenly Alisha likes cherries now and no longer gifts me with her unwanted maraschino sundae toppers. FUCK.
Just a few moments ago, Chooch started shouting some nonsense about how there’s a Valentine card for me in the car.
“No there’s not,” Henry said tersely, all but making throat-cutting motions to get Chooch to shut up.
“Yes there is!” Chooch battled.
“No there’s not!” Henry said through gritted teeth, like the subject was hidden paternity and not some flimsy supposedly secretive greeting card for a holiday that I know is tomorrow, sorry, but I have a calendar and people on twitter reminding me every .005 seconds that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
“Yes there is!” Chooch shouted, getting visibly upset at this point. “We bought it in the Valentine card section!”
The jig is up, Henry!
Oooh..I bet that the weird look she gave you was because she recalled the very same visit that you do and she was trying to figure out if you were going to live up to her dessert expectations!!!! Yes! I am SO friggin smart!
Eric left the house at 6pm on the 13th with the great cover story of “I’m going to the store.” I asked which store and he wouldn’t tell me. Gosh, that was a head scratcher!
*cracking up so bad* Dessert snob!!
Ooooooooooooooooooh a love card?! I await the next post, then!!
“Lisa was absently slapping her cake with the back of her fork, scowling at me. “Enjoy your freaking pie,” she mimicked.”
Just the mental image of someone absent-mindedly spanking a piece of cake with their fork is going to make me giggle all day. This might have to become a drawing. Where would you insert a ball-gag on a cake?