So, having previously regaled you with the first half of my Friday evening, here is he second, as promised. :)
I hadn't eaten in nearly 10 hours by the time J finished working on my hair, which I realized when a headache began to set in as she was blow-drying it. Accordingly, I immediately went to Starbucks across the street for iced coffee and something light.
I wound staying until closing, chatting with my friends S and B, who were working the closing shift. Since it was getting late at this point, I decided to head back to the mall for dinner rather than make it at home.
The mall had closed about 30 minutes earlier. Typically the restaurant is very quiet by this time, even on a Friday, but last night both the bar and the dining room were packed. I even had to wait for a table to open, something I don't ever recall happening there.
And that was when the evening became a bit interesting - but with a nice ending. :)
As soon as the waitress dropped off a menu and took my drink order, I couldn't help but notice that there was a party next to me on the other side of the partition.
A large, loud, boisterous party, and one that had been there for a long while, judging from the grim expressions of the two waitresses who was shuttling drinks to them every few minutes.
It soon became obvious that this was a group of high-tech workers, judging from their conversations. Since they were so loud, I - and everyone else in the restaurant - had no choice but to listen.
Few things are more amusing than a group of balding, overweight tech nerds with questionable hygiene habits (there wasn't single woman in their party - hard to believe, I know!) attempting to out-macho one another by dropping as many F-bombs as possible into their conversations about how they told off their manager just that afternoon.
(I couldn't help but notice that the volume - of their voices, the profanity, and, presumably, their testosterone levels - increased when their cute waitresses were within earshot. Alas, they both seemed immune to their charms. lol)
My poor waitress was covering for someone who had left sick earlier in the evening on top of dealing with this group, and consequently it took her nearly 15 minutes before she could take my order.
She apologized profusely, and of course I told her not to worry about it. I joked that she clearly wasn't able to resist the table of eligible bachelors next to us. She sighed and rolled her eyes.
"Oh my God, computer geeks are always the party from hell," she said. "They've been here for nearly four hours."
"Seriously?" I exclaimed.
"Totally," she said. "You'd think they'd have something better to do on a Friday night than sit here all night."
I raised my eyebrows and nodded at them, and she laughed.
"Well, I'm really sorry," I said. "That has to be a nightmare to deal with."
"Thanks. And the more they drink the more they all seem to think they're God's gift to women," she said, shaking her head.
"So youre not seeing Mr. Right - or even Mr. Right Now - over there?" I asked.
She laughed out loud, causing them to turn around. She covered her mouth and turned away, trying to hide her smile as she leaned over.
"Oh my God, hon - do me a favor. Please kill me if I ever get that desperate!"
"I'm so sorry you're stuck here," she said. "It's the only table open. We had to close off a whole section because we're short-staffed."
"It's OK," I said. "As long as they don't bother me, I don't really mind."
Famous last words.
A few minutes later my soup arrived. As I began to eat it, I had a feeling I was being watched.
I looked up, and one of the nerds had leaned back, pushing the partition to the side. He was idly watching me eat as he sipped his beer. I chose to ignore him.
A minute later I looked up again, Still watching me. This time I stared at him. Hard. After a few seconds it worked through the fog of alcohol; he got the hint and turned away.
Another round of drinks arrived, and within a minute or two both the volume and the profanity increased exponentially. Now I was annoyed. Judging from the expressions of everyone else who turning around, I was not alone.
Having finished my soup, I was checking my email while I waited for my main course to arrive. By this point the nerds had drowned out even the music played over the P.A. system. If I hadn't ordered, I would have left.
"Excuse me? Miss?"
I looked up, and an older gentleman, clearly the manger, was standing at my table.
"Excuse me, miss. I apologize, but if it's OK with you we'd like to move you to another table," he said, his eyes gesturing to the group. I accepted, gratefully.
He apologized as he led me to the unoccupied section.
"We should have stopped serving them earlier, but our bartender is brand new, working alone, and doesn't have the experience to know that. It's not her fault."
"Everyone can relate to starting a new job," I said, and he smiled.
"Thank you," he said. "M (the waitress) told me you were very nice to her."
"Well, she had her hands full dealing with the Wild Bunch over there," I said, gesturing.
"That's why we wanted to move you," he said. "And why we're not charging you for your meal."
I started to protest, saying that wasn't necessary.
He held up his hand.
"Yes, it is, miss. A young lady shouldn't be subjected to that kind of language."
I am still blushing about that comment! I'll have to remember to tell J and L at the salon the next time I go in. :c)
I mentioned Shannon McNally in my previous post, so I thought I would include a song from her in this follow-up. This is the song that put her on the map - "Now That I Know," from her wonderful 2002 debut album, Jukebox Sparrows:
Believe it or not, this isn't the best song on the album, good as it is. The rest of the album is much more rootsy-sounding. This was clearly given a different production to get it on the radio. Which it did, since it's how I first heard her! :D