Monday, February 18, 2013

A Prelude to Paris: The Clampetts Dine Out

So the other night, Eddie and I were feeling exceptionally lazy.  Well, not really exceptionally lazy, but lazy enough we decided to go out to dinner. (Yeah, definitely not exceptional. We do that all the time.) Point being, there were plans for food consumption that took place outside of our home.

Now, I no longer work on much of a schedule. My deadlines are calendar dates, but there's no Monday-Friday going on here. Eddie also works on a weird schedule. As a result, we've both lost all sense of time when it comes to keeping track of the days of the week.  As a result of that, our lazy pursuit of cooked-by-someone-else dinner wound up happening on a Friday night. The one that happened after Valentine's Day, too.

Surprise, surprise, all of our favorite spots were packed. We wandered around for a while, and eventually stumbled across a strip mall that contained three eating establishments.  The Texas Roadhouse was, in true Friday night fashion, absolutely jammed with people.  The second place was a diner that had numerous open tables, but looked like it had three varieties of food poisoning on the appetizer menu. The third was both uncrowded and appeared to be in the health department's good graces, so we picked that one.

So we parked the car, trudged in out of the falling snow, and requested a table for two.

The hostess gave me a look that said, "Are you...sure?", but she still dutifully gathered the menus and wine list.

And that was when I looked around.

And realized we were so, so out of our element.

You see, hunger had blinded us to most things. We were starving by this point, and only cared about whether we could be put within arm's reach of food in under ten minutes, and whether or not that food was fit for human consumption.  We paid no mind to the atmosphere, the ambiance, the crowd, the prices.

And as she led us deeper into the dimly lit restaurant, I realized we had just sauntered into a very nice French restaurant.  You know the type. The kind that has its wine list printed in single-spaced small font and it's still longer than the menu by three or four pages. The kind that has several recommended wines listed under each entree. The kind where respectable couples dressed in designer clothes huddle around single candles at small tables draped with white cloths, and talk about big client accounts and Maximillian III's piano lessons and how ghastly expensive it is to fill up the Escalade.

Yeah. That kind of place.

In other words, not the sort of establishment for a couple of overgrown teenagers with casual clothes and no sense of social graces.

And when I say casual clothes, I don't mean we were wearing business casual from JC Penney, or last season's slacks with scarves that didn't quite match.

I was wearing a T-shirt from the Sturgis motorcycle rally.

Eddie was wearing a WWF wrestling T-shirt.


I'm fairly certain we couldn't have stood out more without getting ourselves summarily tossed out into the snow.

And that was just our choice of clothing. Naturally, things continued to spiral downward.  I'm fairly certain an elderly woman fainted when I informed our waiter that we don't drink wine.  I can only imagine what people thought when they saw me sipping Pepsi out of a brandy snifter like a goddamned hillbilly.

You think I'm kidding?


We ordered by way of pointing at the menu rather than butchering the French words, and found ridiculous reasons to giggle uncontrollably over our bread and appetizer. Really, it was ridiculous, so there's no point in trying to explain it. Suffice it to say, we were giggling like idiots.  Like, "couple of stoners talking about Spongebob" type giggling. A lot. We weren't loud (c'mon, we're not that bad), just....giggling.

And, I mean, Eddie's a cop and a Sailor, and I'm an erotic romance author. When either of us discusses our jobs, there's usually a fair amount of inappropriate-for-mixed-company language involved. That's just the way it is. There is no better soundtrack for that sort of conversation than the soft orchestral music of a mostly quiet upscale restaurant that has profanity acoustics. You know the type: where conversations don't project beyond each individual table unless someone says something like "fuck" or "vagina" or "Obama." Then regardless of actual volume, it's like you just said it into a megaphone, and people start clutching their pearls and gasping into their wine. Or looking like their laxative just kicked in.

The food was absolutely amazeballs. Seriously...awesome. So good, in fact, that we plan to go back. As I said to Eddie--and apparently some nearby diners heard me--"We need to invest in some pants, because we're coming back to this place." I'm sure everyone who works or eats there is thrilled.

Fortunately, though, the couple sneering at us from the other side of the room gathered their expensive jackets--and her Totally Freaking Real Coach handbag--and left before we were halfway through our meal. And we had a waiter with a really good sense of humor. Seriously, there is nothing funnier than a waiter in a Nice French Restaurant (tm) laughing like Beavis over a comment you made, and in fact, we ended up friending him on Facebook so we could regale him with photos from our upcoming trip to Europe.

And I have to give the dude a hat tip: He brought us chocolates with our check, but couldn't confirm whether they had any kind of nuts in them, which meant Eddie got to eat both of them. I playfully gave the waiter a hard time, which he took in stride, but then he came back to the table with another chocolate, which he had cut in half to make sure was nut-free. Awesome!  Though I'm fairly certain the couple sitting behind me was unamused when I exclaimed that our waiter was exceptional for bringing me a, quote, "neutered chocolate."

So in the end, we had an absolutely amazing meal, generally made asses of ourselves, and made a new friend.  But the story isn't over quite yet. In fact, I think it's only the beginning.

You see, in under a month's time, Eddie and I will be traipsing across the ocean to Europe. And while we're there, we'll be taking our undignified American butts into Paris, where we will eat, drink, and be merry.  After this dry run of attempting to be grownups in a French eating establishment, it's safe to say we will also most likely horrify the Parisians, embarrass the Americans, and mortify our traveling companions.

It's inevitable, my loyal blog minions.

And yes, when it happens, there will be a blog post. And most likely photos.

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. God I love you Lori! Nuetered chocolates!!! Love it. Kris was rofl over the Sturgis and WWF shirts. We must go to this place together!