A week goes by and it's time for me to step back into White and Orange Romper Room for my buddies birthday party.
There were six men in our "Party Animal" Entourage.
As we all stepped into the lobby/hallway area of Hooters (you might remember me talking about this area -This was the spot where "I was greeted with all of these pictures and posters of all these lovely and "blessed" women garbed in tight white t-shirts and orange shorts"), because of my previous bragging escapade, I led the group being the perennial expert of all things Hooters (the restaurant not the body part).
Much to my dismay it was the same hostess I met the prior week, and she recognized me. She says "Well hello again. You sure wasted no time coming back."
Internally - I groaned. I just wanted to crawl under a rock to rot away and become an all you can eat buffet for the worms that are said to frequent under said rock.
Externally - I said "Well this time I'm here because it's my buddy's birthday and what place better is there to start a birthday party then at Hooters?"
She laughed and looked at my friend and said "Well then let me be the first to person at Hooters to wish you a Happy Birthday." And she gave him a dazzling smile.
He said "Thank you." and giggled like a school girl.
She led us to our table and tells us our waitress will be with us in a minute. We all choose a place to sit our collected fat asses down. The birthday boy looks over at me and asks me what, if anything, I know about the hostess. Without thinking I answer "I know she just turned 18 recently, and I think she's here most Fridays." The guys all looked at me like I was this shaman of cool (which I am SO not).
After that our waitress shows up, looks at the table, sees me and says "Hi Jose, how are you?"
Internally - I groaned. I just wanted to crawl under a rock to rot away and become an all you can eat buffet for the worms that are said to frequent under said rock, again.
I have this habit of introducing myself to people who introduce themselves. For example (and since I can't remember her name, so for the sake of this blog we'll call her "Andi")...
"Hi I'm Andi and I'll be your server today."
"Well, howdy Andi, I'm Jose and this is _______ (whoever happens to be with me that day)."
I do this because many many years ago my mother taught me three simple rules.
1. Be polite and respectful to the people who handle your food. You never know if they might do something to it.
2. Be polite and respectful to the people who cut your hair, because they control how good or bad you new look will be.
3. Be polite and respectful to the people who you fall asleep with, because while you are asleep, you have no control over what might happen while you slumber.
END OF INTERMISSION
Externally - I say "Hi Andi, I'm doing good, but not as good as the birthday boy here though. How have you been?"
She says, "I'm doing good."
Looks over to my friend and says, "and a happy birthday to you."
He says "Thank you."
She asks me "Should we start you with a pitcher of beer like last time?"
I say "Let's make two pitchers, and I don't think some of us have looked at the menu yet." (god, I sound like a pompous ass don't I?)
"Ahh, so I'm dealing with a table that's easily distracted, huh. OK, I'll be back with the beer in just a minute, OK?"
She walked away. The fellas immediately opened up the menus so they would be ready to order when she returned with our libations. When she had gone far enough away from our table, the inquisition began.
"What do you know about her?" "How old is she?" "How often DO you come here?"
"Aren't they all a little young?" Ouch.
I knew one of them would ask me something like that. Me being the "OMG she's just a kid!", when discussing actresses who were in my opinion, recently out of diapers.
At this point I really had two choices. I could come clean, be honest, and expose the web that I had spun two weeks before. Or I could continue with the charade. I chose the latter.
"Andi" returned with the beer and asked if I was going to have the burger again?
Internally - Damnit!! How on earth can I have the bad luck of having a waitress with a mind like a steel trap. Normally I would love this, but that night I wanted this horror to end.
Externally - "Sure that sounds good."
The rest of the guys, ordered their food, and away she went again.
"I thought you didn't like looking at the young ones?"
I looked at each and every one of the guys and said "Have you seen me look around at all? No? It's because I don't sit here and ogle at every waitress. When I do come here, I'm usually with a friend, where we sit and have a conversation."
This was the truth, because the week before I was there with Mike and we did have a conversation. It was about how to get out of this mess I had gotten myself into, but it was a non-ogling conversation.
"The times when I come alone, I'm usually reading a book or a comic."
Which is also another truth...sort of. Back in DISAPPOINTMENT 2 - THE FINAL SPOT-LITE, I made a reference to a strip club "that would end up to be and still is my favorite." I would frequent this establishment during the noon hours for a few reasons.
1. They made one KILLER burger.
2. It wasn't very busy.
3. The dancers chose and played the music. Which was really good music
4. The bar itself was situated in a way that there was a section that was completely blind to the stage, where one could enjoy the beer, the burger, the music and even read a book or a comic. Which I started doing when I realized how young some of the dancers looked.
"So can we just drop this and just have a good time? Sheesh."
"Andi" came back with our food. They ate and laughed. Some of the guys made the usual guy comments and some leered on the sly.
I concentrated on my burger. I am a guy, and I try really hard not to be a complete pig. I admit I have some piggish moments, but for the most part I try to be a good man.
The girls started to come over to do some song/clapping thing for the birthday boy, and I excused myself. Because, as we all know, beer makes you pee. So I went to the bathroom. When I got back they were done, and everybody in our group were ready to go our separate ways.
They all chipped in and took off pretty quickly. Birthday boy, said thanks for a great night and went on his merry way.
I grabbed all the money and counted it. And then I recounted it.
SON OF A BITCH!!!
I was 30 bucks short. How could they? Rotten bastards. Thank god they were my friends and I could get back at them, but someone still stuck me with their part of the bill. I was so pissed off. Thankfully I had the money to cover it, but I was still mighty pissed.
That was when "Andi" showed up. I asked her why she remembered me? It was a thought that had plagued me the entire evening.
"Because you and your friend last week, had actually talked to me and you guys were nice and polite. You guys were my first table since I had just finished the training the day before. Since then I've had customers that were slobbish and some that were nice, but you two were the only guys who were polite. So when you walked in I remembered you."
I said thanks, paid my bill, doubled the tip, and I left.
I went back a few more times that year, usually with a book, and I always asked if I could be seated in "Andi's" section. It was a good feeling knowing that I was remembered for something positive. It was also a good feeling knowing that I was there visiting someone who could be classified as a friend.
Than one day I went to Hooters and found out she wasn't working there anymore. I knew this day was coming, because she had mentioned going back to college on different occasions.
She had finally moved on to greener pastures.
I was disappointed that I never got to thank her for making me realize that I am not such a bad person.
This would be a lesson I forgot for a long time.