Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Forty Years Together

Yesterday was the 40th Anniversary of our wedding. Bebe and I exchanged cards, and when we opened them, we had to laugh. We had both chosen the same card to mark the occasion. I guess we both had to admit we influence each other more than we would like to admit. We had a new restaurant open yesterday and so we decided to try it out. The Texas Roadhouse is a chain of restaurants, at least one of which is owned by Willie Nelson. Of course for the grand opening you could hardly walk without running into an employee, all of whom were exceptionally happy to see us. A pail of parched peanuts sat on every table and loud Country music blared from the numerous speakers. Going out to eat in the Valley is always a loud experience. In fact going to any venue here is a loud experience. These folks like to visit, and they bring the entire extended family grouping with them when they go out. We have adjusted and are able to go with the flow. Our new little waitress came by for our drink orders and gave us the canned speech of a newly opened business with the gusto of someone who has only been dealing with the general public for an hour.

"Have you eaten with us before?", she asked.
"When did you open?", I replied.
"About an hour ago." , she said.
"Then how could we have eaten with you before?" , I inquired.

This of course stunned the young woman and she said something about having to change her opening speech, which she did while standing at our table. I approved of her new lines and she left to get the iced tea. She returned with the tea and told us a lengthy story about their training in dealing with difficult customers. I had become her new mentor. The story was filled with some of my favorite phrases, "...and I was like...., and he was like...." and I nodded knowingly right through to the end.

"My, that must have been exciting.", I said.
"It was." She giggled.

Bebe and I both ordered steaks. I had no real confidence that the meal would be anything special given my most recent encounter with the help. This is what we have come to expect. Jokes and satire are lost on this populace. They don't get it. Service is something not taught in the home much anymore, and therefore it is difficult to train young help in a concept so foreign to them. Well, was I in for a surprise, the meal was excellent. We couldn't hear each other above the din, but Bebe and I communicated with knowing looks and gestures. We left full and on the way home the silence of the car helped to abate the ringing in our ears. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening.

There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe