January 19, 2007

Gloomy

I didn’t work my restaurant job today. I really needed some money, but I had lots of errands to run, so I gave it up. I wound up with a little time left over, so I took myself to lunch thinking I could knock out some reading while I was there.

In the end I was able to. But at first all I could think of were two similar events. One is a scene in the movie The Idiots. In an introductory scene a woman, dining alone, is ridiculed by her server for being cheap. In the last minutes of the film it is revealed that she was dining out to have time to her self, an attempt to do something nice for herself after the recent death of her infant son.

The second happened a month or two ago while Casey and I ate at The Omlettry. A woman unexpectedly flew off the handle when she was told that she couldn’t serve herself. It wasn't that she was receiving poor service - actually, its a little complicated. I was irritated with her for quite a while before I understood what was going on. The Omlettry is cash only, and she had not remembered this when she arrived. She wanted to serve herself so that she wouldn’t be taxing the servers because she didn’t have money for a tip. So, being told that she wasn’t allowed to do so frustrated her, and she quickly began to quiver, yell, and then sob. With fragments of speech, sandwiched between sobs, she told the manager that her husband had recently died. It was raining and she was sad. She kept repeating that she had just wanted to have a nice lunch. They had frequented the place, she said, and he had proposed to her there. The situation made me extremely uncomfortable, and extremely sad. The manager did the only thing that could be done and listened while she spoke of him until she was calm enough to go home.

It's been swimming around my brain all day. I had to write it down before I could get any studying done.

****The Omlettry is another of my favorite places here. I think I need to make a huge "Guide to Austin - Through The Q's Eyes" post. This would be a huge undertaking. Do not expect it any time soon - I'm reading Chaucer.****

2 comments:

Madge said...

This made me cry.

My English teachers throughout high school used to have us write in journals everyday...and then they would read them. If they particularly liked a sentence, they would do this: ! in the margins. Sometimes a star. Sometimes many !!! Always in pencil.

If I could write in the margins of your blog, there would be a lot of stars and exclamations.

FRITZ said...

Oh, God.

Thank you for this; I can see why you were uncomfortable. I also think it's important to remember these little things.