Earl and I decided that we wanted to have a date of sorts tonight, so after working out at the gym this afternoon we made ourselves presentable, threw on some duds and headed to a local steakhouse.
The steakhouse is neighbors with the local theatre, and this week Cinderella: The Ballet is in town. Since I work right across the street from the theatre, I should have remember this from passing under the marquee all week, but I didn’t remember until we got to the area and saw that it was quite busy. The street traffic was a welcomed change for the usually dead Saturday night in this area.
We were pleasantly surprised to be seated immediately, having arrived about 20 minutes before curtain time. Along side of us was a party of about ten, including three young children, roughly early elementary school age. They were accompanied by their mothers, who appeared to either be friends or sisters, and an elderly couple that we deduced were somebody’s grandparents.
The kids were hedging into holy terror territory running around the tables of others, taking their shoes and socks off and storing them under the table, ripping loaves of bread in half and making like Hansel and Gretel. In the sad fashion on today’s parental generation, the mothers apparently couldn’t of cared less, save for the one that started counting “one, two, three” as if the Sesame Street numbers routine was going to scare the wrath of God into the children. Amongst all the noise from the table, the kids were screaming about how excited they were to being seeing Cinderella. Except it was 7:15. And curtain time was 7:30, and they were just being served their salads.
“This can’t be good”, I whispered to Earl.
Around 7:20, Count Monster Mom started flapping her arms like a demented windmill in an effort to flag down the waiter. “You need to bring the kids their food right now, they don’t need to wait for the other meals to be served.” Why discipline when you can stuff their mouths shut? Small wonder today’s youth is fat. Nevertheless, the waiter brought the kids their food.
It was nearly 7:25 when the remaining meals were brought to the table. At 7:30, as they were still digging in to their meals and undoubtedly the curtain was going up next store, Count Monster Mom did the windmill routine again and then snapped her fingers in the air (I’ve never seen that before in real life; how rude!) in a stereotypical “Garçon!” move, demanding the check. She then asked for the manager to come to the table.
I couldn’t hear the entire conversation, but Earl and I did our best to Gladys Kravitz what was going on next door.
“This restaurant is next door to the theatre, we thought a 6:00 reservation would give us ample time to eat before the show started. You should be taking 15% off the check.”
“Yes ma’am, I understand, but you arrived at 6:45. We’ve been located next to the theatre for a long time. One and a half hours before curtain with a party of ten is cutting it rather close.”
“But we have to take most of our meals with us since the show has already started. You really should take something off the check.”
“I’m sorry ma’am, but I can’t do that, as you were 45 minutes late for your reservation.”
Count Monster Mom then got all huffy and started shoveling her food into the take-out containers, gathered up her gaggle of monsters and headed for the door.
The grandparents decided to stay and finish their meal in peace. Earl and I enjoyed the silence after their departure as well.