The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

The Visit – Chapter 2

Posted by Daniel on Thursday, May 24, 2007

Never enough time…there’s just never enough time.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I drove my Mom and sister Tracie to the airport for their flight back to California. As I watched them boarding the plane, I was struck with a heavy dose of melancholy. I was missing them already, and it was all I could do to refrain from buying a ticket and flying out right behind them because I am, admittedly, a Momma’s Boy.

I’m Italian, so that’s to be expected.

This visit went pretty well, I think. Everyone was happy to be here and they even liked the house, including all of the recent renovations, both inside and out.

Steve and I did a good job of playing hosts and did everything we could to make my family feel welcome, relaxed and entertained.

As I’ve mentioned, the visit was two-fold. First my oldest brother, Terry and his wife Teresa (my BFF) were here Tuesday through Friday (of last week). Then my mom and youngest sister, Tracie, were here this past Sunday through Wednesday. While it would have been fantastic to have them all here at the same time, I was simply glad they were able to make it at tall.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes.

During Terry & Teresa’s time here, we had planned some things just for them. First, on Wednesday (again, last week) we wanted to treat them to dinner out. We took them to the 54th Street Grill here in Blue Springs. We were seated in a nice booth rather quickly and all was, for a time, going well. Terry and Steve were talking about something I wasn’t paying much attention to. Teresa was trying to concentrate on their conversation, but I was distracting her by taking as unflattering candid shots of her with my digital camera as I possibly could. What she didn’t know (until later that night) was that I was using the digital video mode…because Little Miss Polly Precious was being, shall we say, rather unladylike….and I wanted that moment saved for posterity.

Okay…I also wanted it for YouTube…just for future giggles. See the clip below…

Anyway, moments after our food arrived, this guy walks up to our table and specifically asked my brother if he might have accidentally gone into the wrong restroom. Naturally, we all started looking around, because we thought he was being punked. Far from it, actually. When Terry told the guy that he hadn’t left the booth since our arrival (a fact we all confirmed), we asked why the question had been asked. Here’s kinda how that went down:

Stranger: “Sir, would you mind if I asked you if you might have accidentally (his itallics) gone into the wrong restroom?”

Terry: “No. I’ve been here since we arrived. Why do you ask?”

Stranger: “Well, my daughter just came back to our table and she said that a man tried to open her stall in the ladies room.”

Terry: “Well, I can assure you, Sir, it wasn’t me. I haven’t left this table and don’t even know where the restrooms here are. I’m visiting from California.”

Stranger: “I asked her to point out the man, and she pointed to you. She said that the guy had on a blue baseball cap and pointed right to you.”

Teresa: “She was wrong, then, because my husband hasn’t left this table, just as he’s already told you.”

Stranger: “”Are you sure you didn’t mistakenly think you were in the men’s room?”

All of us: “He hasn’t left this table. Not once. Not at all. Period. Your daughter is mistaken.”

Stranger: “Well, these days you can’t be too careful. Are you sure you didn’t go into the Ladie’s Room by mistake? My five year old daughter was very scared and pointed right at you and described a blue cap.”

Terry: (by now, seething) “Listen, guy, how many times do I have to tell you, your daughter has made a mistake. It wasn’t me.”

Stranger: “I’m just trying to protect my little girl, Sir. She said it was you. Are you absolutely sure it wasn’t you?”

All of us: “IT WASN’T HIM!!!!!!!!”

This went on, back and forth, for over 15 minutes!! I was so afraid, knowing how Terry was a bit of a brawler in his youth, that he would lay down his knife and fork and throttle this concerned-yet-idiotic dad. Terry, however, has aged nicely and even this slid by without adding injury to insult.

It was bad enough that there were at least five or six others in that section of the joint also wearing blue baseball caps…and this guy didn’t ask not one of them about the restrooms. It was a bit more insulting that this guy’s 5 year old daughter said she recognized him from inside the stall…where the best view she would have had was through the crack between the stall door and wall. This fact, apparently, went right over concerned dads’ head.

In the end, though, it was pretty traumatic. A fact that I, being the ever-so-concerned bystander that I am, exploited to the hilt. When the waitress and manager arrived and heard what had happened, I flew into a Bette Davis rant. Utilizing what I’d once learned in the Growing-Up-Gay class “Drama Queen 101”, I clutched the imaginary pearls and expressed how traumatized I WAS over the ordeal and how I was one step away from fainting from sheer fright over the whole scandalous affair.

Side Note:  Drama Queen 101 is the perfect lesson when wanting to learn how to turn any (or every) situation around you into “How All Of This Affects ME”.

For example:  Lesson 16 – Your best friend has just broken up with his lover of 20 years.  Now, tell everyone how it affects YOU.

Oh yeah, it was Oscar-worthy.

Net result of the evening…

  1. Terry was vindicated because A) he was innocent and B) even the waitress said that Terry never moved from his seat.
  2. We received 20% taken off of our total bill AND one full meal comped.

Guess which meal was comped? MINE!!!

The irony of my meal being the one we got for free wasn’t enough for me, as it turned out. I also remember telling the waitress that I was so shocked and hurt that Terry didn’t get his meal comped that I might pass out right there at her feet. Adding…

“…but a free desert would make it all better…”

…To be continued tomorrow…


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