Saturday, May 10, 2008

Going out to Eat with Beloved Curmudgeon

Adam and EveAs I write this, my Beloved Curmudgeon is watching one of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns. I don't know which one. Does it matter? They all have the same characters, are filmed in the same place and have the same music.

I am often blogging with any one of those movies playing in the background. Our lives are exciting that way.

We had some real excitement today. I'll tell you about it.

My Beloved Curmudgeon asked me on a date. He said, 'I haven't had a good steak in a long time, wanna go get one for lunch?'. My heart fluttered at the romance of it and I said that yes, I would like to do that! This conversation transpired first thing this morning, so I had a while to get my mouth set for a good juicy red steak. By lunch time I was definitely hungry and very much wanting a steak.

We drove past one steak house to go to another on the other side of town. That was okay, I like them both. Unfortunately, when we got to the other steakhouse, it was closed. It's only open for dinner. My Beloved Curmudgeon said we shouldn't drive all the way back across town, why don't we just go to IHOP that is right next door to the closed steak house.

I really wanted a steak, but being a good co-dependent type person I said that would be okay. I said, 'IHOP is okay' in my most pathetic tone that should have told him I really wanted to go get a steak. He didn't read my mind and pulled into the IHOP parking lot. A slight chip started creeping up on my shoulder, but I pushed it back down telling myself that it was silly. We'll go get a steak next time.

Being hungry and having had myself all ready for a steak, nothing looked good on the menu at IHOP. I even commented that they had steaks and eggs, but it just wouldn't be the same at IHOP. He still didn't catch on to my mood. He ordered a large breakfast and I ordered pecan pancakes (my mother will disapprove of that - but I did, okay!). When one is in the midst of unsuccessfully putting a guilt trip on one's spouse (unintentionally, of course) one shouldn't order anything of real substance to eat.

Adam & EveA few minutes later the waitress comes out with a huge steaming plate of eggs, bacon and all the trimmings for my Beloved Curmudgeon and little bitty plate with two half-dollar size plain dry pancakes for me. I really hate sending food back, but I looked at that plate and the bite size pancakes just weren't cutting it. I was so hungry.

I sent the pancakes back asking for the pecan pancakes I had actually ordered. The waitress returned in record time and proudly placed in front of me the very same plate with the very same half-dollar size pancakes on it. But now, they had a scattering of pecan pieces tossed on top of them. She didn't hang around long enough for me to send them back this time.

I was dumbfounded and looked at the dry, bite-size pancakes with pecan chips thrown on top and the chip I had been forcing down from my shoulder snuck right back up on it again. I got a little butter packet and made a half-hearted attempt to spread some butter on the now cold little bitty pancakes. The butter just rolled the few pecan chips around on the pancakes. They were getting less appetizing by the second.

My Beloved Curmudgeon noticed I was not a happy camper and asked if I wanted him to handle this. I demurred and he told me to quit being a victim, that he'd take care of it for me if I didn't want to. I demurred again, but was glad to let him be the bad guy this time.

He got the waitress over and asked her about the pancakes. 'We are out of pancake batter,' she explained. She went further and said the cooks should have told her. It wasn't her fault, she said - weakly. My Beloved Curmudgeon said, 'This is the International House of PANCAKES, right? And you don't have PANCAKE batter?'. She said they had pancake batter for anything BUT pecan pancakes.

I asked her for a menu again and I'd just order something else. By this time my Beloved Curmudgeon was finishing his meal and that chip was virtually dancing around on my shoulder as I flipped the pages of the menu without really reading it.

I tossed the menu in the middle of the table and said I'd fix something when we got home. He suggested we stop at a deli we like on the way home. I liked that idea and said we'd do that. We left IHOP and headed to the deli.

I ordered a chicken salad sandwich with walnuts and he decided to get an egg salad sandwich. I know, I know, he'd already eaten. We ran into friends and talked. All of this took a while. We finally got home and I sat the sandwiches down in the kitchen and went to change clothes and wash my hands.

I was REALLY REALLY hungry by the time I came back into the family room with my sandwich box in hand. My Beloved Curmudgeon was eating his sandwich and making a face. I asked him if he didn't like his sandwich.

'It's got nuts in it', he said with a disgusted look on his face. He then went on to complain about che-che delis putting all the extra stuff on when all you want is a plain egg salad sandwich on white bread. I was sympathetic and told him I was sorry he didn't like his sandwich. We actually discussed this for a few minutes with me sitting and holding my little sandwich box still unopened.

I opened my sandwich box looking forward to my chicken salad with walnuts, lettuce and tomato on wheat bread. As soon as I opened the box I realized I had a plain egg salad on white bread.

'Stop!! You're eating my sandwich!!!', I exclaimed.

He stopped in mid-chew and mid-puzzlement over the odd taste of his egg salad and held out the mostly eaten remains of MY chicken salad sandwich. 'Here.' He held it out to me in such a pitiful manner I burst out laughing.

'No wonder it tasted so strange', he said.

I flipped the chip off my shoulder and gladly ate the last few bites of my sandwich while he ate his egg salad sandwich. It hit the spot.

For the rest of the day he mentioned how full he was and I'm still hungry.