My husband and I had a gift card for Cheesecake Factory so we decided we should go out for lunch, by lunch we meant martinis and cheesecake. When we got there, I knew we were in trouble because it was SOOOO crowded. If you read this blog ever, you know I LOVE to be smooshed in a crowd of people. (That was sarcasm.) Being five foot nothing, I usually can’t see anything but torsos in this situation. There was a 20-minute wait for a table and the hostess did not have a microphone or any of those vibrating “your table is ready” things. So, we had to stand (no place to sit) and wait for the hostess to yell for us. By yell I mean whisper, or at least that is how it sounded to me.
I had to pee, and I was thinking about going to the bathroom, but I didn’t because I HATE public bathrooms, I didn’t have to go that bad, and my husband ended up ducking out to take a phone call. This left me and only me to stand there and wait for the hostess to whisper our name. So, I just held it.
Finally, the happy moment arrived. I was standing right next to the hostess stand, as I have the hearing of an 85 year-old, and she whispered something that sounded like “Chris, party of two.” So, I asked her, “Did you say Chris, party of two?” She nodded and smiled. Score! I waved at my husband to come back in. He followed us to our table, still on the phone. It was a business call, so I will forgive him. I was so relieved to get out of the crowd.
The hostess led us to a tiny table that was about four inches from the table next to it. I am exaggerating; it was a foot from the next table, but it really felt like I was going to have to sit on the lady’s lap at the next table. I barely had room to set my purse and coat next to me. I scooted as far over to the left as I could, without going through the wooden partition. It was one of those tables where you basically share the booth seat with strangers. Hermits don’t like sitting with strangers. So, I did the only thing one can do in this situation; I ordered a drink.
Our waiter came to the table soon after we sat, and he looked really familiar. There was something about that dark hair, and prominent brow. It hit me. He looked like a younger, less Cro Magnon Brett. Brett was someone I used to do stand-up comedy with back in the late 90’s. Now, he is out in LA, doing stand-up and scoring some tiny roles on TV shows. For example, he was a Eastern European thug on Weeds a few years ago. I always found Brett to be funny, but sort of arrogant, especially after he gave me a mini speech on how I should have chosen my marriage to my first husband over stand-up comedy. I’m holding my fingers in W formation on my forehead and facing west. Whatever, Brett! I was kind of hoping that Hollywood had spit him out to wait tables at the Cheesecake Factory in Columbus, Ohio. Yes, I fully understand that this is very non-Buddhist of me.
So, back to that much needed drink. I ordered a Cosmo, my usual poison. I’m just not that adventurous. My husband pointed to a dirty martini on the menu, and tried to get off the phone. Once his call was over, we ordered appetizers, too, because by this time, we wanted more than cheesecake and drinks. The food was delicious. We were long overdue for some greasy, salty food. Fried zucchini and mini burritos go great together and they are full of fat and gluten. Plus, we got cheesecake.
As you may know, my husband had his throat melon-balled on December 17. So, we haven’t been eating fried bar food at home. We’ve been sticking to things that don’t irritate the husband’s throat. Without giving you too much TMI, I will tell you that my husband had to dash off to the bathroom shortly after polishing off his cheesecake. My apologies go out to the other gentlemen in the men’s room on Saturday.
I stayed at the table until Brett Jr. brought the check over. I signed, tipped generously, and gingerly squeezed out of my seat, trying not to knock over the drinks on the table next to me. Two Cosmos and a full bladder later, I decided to check out the bathroom. Surprise. It was really crowded and stinky. It seems that if a bunch of people eat a bunch of cheesecake, odds are that someone is going to have a lactose intolerant attack in the bathroom. Oddly enough, this person was not me this time. I just had to pee REALLY BAD, but I didn’t. The smell was overwhelming, so I opted to wait until we got home. When we walked out to the car, the crowd in the waiting area had tripled. We had gotten out just in time. I think next time we will just get a cheesecake to go.