Monday, September 20, 2010

Best Intentions and Miscalculations

"Good tippers make better lovers." -Tip Jar in Isla Vista coffee shop

So I've been putting off this post for a while, for several reasons. The first reason is because honestly, my life is pure poetry right now. I live by the beach, in a really fun city, with really fun friends, and truthfully nothing  exciting enough to write about has happened. Well, except for this one thing....and I've been trying to avoid blogging about it, in hopes that something better, or funnier would happen, but it hasn't.

Luckily for you, Dear Readers, (all five of you) I'm willing to embarrass myself just a little for a laugh. Enjoy:

A couple weeks back, my parents came to visit me in my new place. I'm pretty close with my family, so it was great getting to see them and catch up, and I felt really proud of my new life in a new city, in my own apartment. I spent the cloudy Sunday afternoon taking them all around Main St., Santa Monica, the pier and the beach, and towards the end of the afternoon, we decided to stop for dinner at World Cafe.

We had a great meal, and just before it ended, I commented to my mother that our server was a pretty good looking guy. My mom, supportive as ever, immediately, chimed in that she thought so too, and that she wished I had mentioned it earlier so she could have done some matchmaking while I was in the ladies room. I was ready to let the subject drop, when all of the sudden my mom said,

"Quick! Give me a pen and your business card!"

Knowing immediately that she wanted to leave my phone number with the check, I immediately protested.

"Mom, please don't. This is embarrassing, things like this never go well for me."

She shot me the 'this is for your own good' look and wrote down my number anyway. As a last ditch effort, I retorted, "If you leave my number in there, I'm leaving the restaurant right now..."

"Go ahead." she responded, unconcerned. "We'll meet you in Starbucks."

I forgot that my mother doesn't respond well to threats. Rolling my eyes, I grabbed my purse and started walking down the street to grab a cup of coffee. By the time my parents caught up with me a few minutes later, my mom was proudly beaming that she had told the waiter that I was a great girl, and that I had left my number with the check. She said he seemed amused but that she thought he was definitely going to call. I shrugged off her optimism, and continued sipping my coffee as we began walking back to my apartment.

A moment later, my phone buzzed in my pocket. It was a New York area code and a number that I didn't recognize. My parents looked on expectantly while the following conversation ensued:

Me: Hello, this is Janae.
Caller: Hi Janae....this is Billy your server from World Cafe.
Me (immediately embarrassed): Hi.
Billy: So....I wanted to tell you, I think you're a really cute girl, and I'm stoked to get your number, but.....I have a girlfriend. But....that's not exactly why I called.

Me: Oh. Ummm. Okay. Is everything okay?
Billy, talking really quickly now: Well, I know you guys left in a hurry, and I'm sure you didn't mean to, and I wasn't even sure if I should call, but um, the bill came up short. By like $2.

At this point, I was hoping that he was kidding, or that a small earthquake was about to happen, and that the sidewalk was just going to open up and swallow me. No such luck.

Me: OHMIGOD, OHMIGOD, I'm SO SORRY. MOM, WHAT DID YOU DO?! How much money did you leave in the bill? Like literally, how much, and in what bills?!
Mom: What's wrong???
Me: OH God, I'm so embarrassed and so sorry. We are coming right back, right now, to make this right. I am SO SORRY.
Billy: (at this point he I'm pretty sure he was still talking, but I was too busy having a colossal meltdown to pay any attention to what he was saying).
Me: Mom! Dad! Come on, we're going to the car right now!
Dad: Well, it's just down the block, should we walk!
Me: No!!!! That will take too long, c'mon!

Billy: (I think he hung up, but I'm not really sure because I was still mid meltdown).

I quickly rounded up my folks, handed my parents even more money for poor Billy's tip, and then we booked it back to the restaurant. I was too embarrassed to go back inside, so my Mom, undaunted, went in for the task.

Upon returning, she said that after leaving Billy a sizeable tip and apologizing, she had told him that I was new to the area and that I was really just interested in making friends in my new neighborhood.

"He said that he's new here too, and that he just moved in with his girlfriend out here. I told him you're a sweet girl, and he said that he'd love to make more friends, and that he's going to look you up on facebook. I think this is good, I think he'll call," she assured me confidently.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that this was extremely unlikely.

The takeaway for this story is that my parents love me very much, and have only the best intentions. And also, I can never show my face again in World Cafe.

Oh well. I'd be more devastated if this had happened at Panini Cafe down the street. I love that place.