Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's the Opposite of Huzzah?

I admit it. Sometimes my great ideas are not so great. Sometimes they're downright stupid. I'm not sure if this is the case in this instance, but it certainly will be logged as one of the most interesting moments in my life.. as interesting as an I Love Lucy sketch can be, anyway.

Christine had an ARD* meeting. That's the excuse I used for not making the usual coffee house stop for grading this afternoon, and for choosing instead to go to Houlihans for artichoke goat cheese poppers and a blueberry martini. OK, so it was more about the artichoke goat cheese poppers than anything else, but I rationalized that on a Thursday afternoon there would be a cozy corner in the bar for me to spread out and grade, plus a martini might take the edge off of what usually is a highly stressful process - marking first draft essays. And hey, wouldn't all of that - goat cheese poppers and a blueberry martini - actually benefit the students' grades?

So I went.

I was finished with my martini and was casually snacking on the poppers when the manager of the restaurant - a small, spunky blond woman - interrupted my careful analysis and asked if I'd "like another cocktail." I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it. The martini was especially lovely, and, after all, I was, as I've mentioned, grading first draft essays. Responsibly, though, I said, "No thank you," and added that I was about to leave. She smiled at me and returned to her duty of being chipper and accommodating. I returned to my task, too, decidedly less chipper and accommodating. A minute later she returned to my table and said, "Actually, you'll be getting another cocktail, after all. Someone bought you a drink. "

"Um. What?" I asked, conveying confusion via the apparent question mark tattooed on my expression.

"You don't have to drink it" she said, obviously amused.

"No. I mean, this has never happened to me before. A stranger has never bought me a drink before."

I could have hugged the manager as she, in her most sincere (but forced) imitation tried, "Really? Never?"

"Nope. Never.. Um. Okay. Thank you. I think."

The manager said something about the fact that this was sort of secret or that she couldn't point out who had bought the drink or something of that nature, but I was too focused on what the appropriate protocol was for receiving a drink from a random stranger in a bar.

The waitress placed the drink on my table and my brain went haywire. I immediately recalled all of the scenarios in movies where this sort of thing happens. The montage went like this:

*Girl receives drink.
*Girl looks around the room to see who sent it.
*Very attractive man - probably an Italian - acknowledges, via either a short nod or by raising his own glass, that he is the "guilty" party.
*Girl takes a bashful sip of the new drink and nods appreciatively in his direction.
*And then, depending on the film, the man approaches the girl and they A. Have a bashful flirtation, the beginning of a new romance B. Leave together for hot, eccentric stranger sex C. Have a confrontation ending in embarrassment on all sides, the man being told to back the hell off, the girl stomping out in stilettos and justification, both leaving their beer goggles on the bar.

That's all I had to work with. I knew my ending would, as my husband would like for me to acknowledge, be minus the last bullet. But in all seriousness I had to do something. So, I went for it. I arranged my face into a less panicked, more pleasant (I hope) expression and began scanning the room slowly from right to left. I was pretty sure it wasn't the couple across the room, but I couldn't rule out the two Chinese business men who, though not conversing, weren't looking in my direction. There were three closely shaved contractors sitting to the left of the business men who were grossly engaged in conversations beginning with "Here's what we're gonna do", and then another couple, and then two, as I had previously determined by their familiarity with the bartender, regulars - one man who was apparently enthralled with whatever sport was on the big screen and a black woman who had just ordered nachos "to go".

My eyes crawled across the room and as I neared the end of the sweep, I was both elated and distraught to find that no one nodded back. There was absolutely NO acknowledgement as to who had sent a drink my way.
"OK," I thought, "look again." Once again, no one even pretended to look my way. I scanned the bill for an extra martini, just in case there was a miscommunication between me, the waitress, and the manager. Nothing.

"Shit! What now?" I thought. And then I did the most obvious thing in the world: I called my husband.

I won't bore you with the details here. Suffice it to say that I explained my situation to him - my husband and soul mate; the man I married when we were both still children; the one who has been ever faithful and supportive of me in all of my decisions and experiences; the one I chose to have a family with and common dreams; the one who nonchalantly commented, "Probably someone saw you hunched over, grading papers and thought, ' Hey, I should buy that school marm a drink. She is friendless more-than-likely and destitute. Plus, who else would take care of such a troglodyte? Sad, isn't it? It's my duty as a compassionate member of the universe to attend to sad cases such as these.' And then that person sighed for you -the pathetic being in the corner - and shook his head, feeling a small twinge of pride for being such an angel to such a lost cause. "

"OR" I countered emphatically, "someone might actually think I'm attractive."

And I hung up and dialed Christine.

Christine suggested that I make a grandiose gesture - possibly I could raise one hand into the air and announce, "Thank you!" in a theatrical tone to no one in particular but also to every one. I asked if I should stand on a soap box of some kind as a make-shift stage, or if i should just project my voice from the diaphragm. She then acknowledged that she too was unclear about what to do in my circumstance. Because she's a great friend, she did acknowledge that my husband is a colossal doofus, and then, randomly, she asked what the opposite of "Huzzah" is. I didn't know the answer to that question, so we hung up.^

I was stuck, and it was coming close to the time I needed to leave. In the end I decided, as Ms. Manners would positively suggest, that I should leave a grammatically correct note on the table, a very polite and sincere one that would cover all possible scenarios - troglodyte sympathy to Italian flirtation. It went something like this:

Hi. Thank you to whoever sent the martini over. It certainly helped with essay marking. Plus, it was a nice thing to do. :) Thanks again, -G

And then I edged my way around the bar, my back glued to the wall in an attempt to be invisible, to the exit and, as it appeared to me, to sweet freedom!

*Admission, Review and Dismissal meeting for parents, teachers and administrators, regarding kids who may or may not need or who continue to need special academic or behavioral accommodations in the classroom.
^ Fie is the probable answer Christine later revealed.

9 comments:

Jen said...

Well who ever it was and for whatever reason that was such a nice thing to do!! I recently had the person in front of me at sonic pay for my order and I was THRILLED!! I don't think it's exactly the same but I am sure it made both our days!!

Annie, eternal coffee girl said...

School marm. Classic.

Pete the Brit said...

Simply awesome! Just enjoy the drink and ditch the analysis :)

rainbow said...

Sounds like you ended up having a decent time grading a tough project. Hope the next grading session can be as much of an adventure. LOVE YA

Christine said...

Dude. It's 'cause you're hawt. For reals. :P

At least that's what the guy who tried to talk to you on your way out undoubtedly thought when he (in all likelihood) sent you that drink.

Christine said...

p.s. a new post! huzzah!

Rummuser said...

Why don't such nice things happen to me? Congratulations. And a great wave of appreciation for the thoughtful sender of the martini.

K A B L O O E Y said...

I think your husband sent it AND planned that comment out. Who whips off troglodyte at a moment's notice. He's trying to Gaslight you! (Without the attempted murder part; I just mean he's messin' with you.)

gaelikaa said...

Oh, God, if someone did that for me I don't know what I'd do. I'd be actually afraid to tell my husband.

I think you handled it very well, for what it's worth! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's the Opposite of Huzzah?

I admit it. Sometimes my great ideas are not so great. Sometimes they're downright stupid. I'm not sure if this is the case in this instance, but it certainly will be logged as one of the most interesting moments in my life.. as interesting as an I Love Lucy sketch can be, anyway.

Christine had an ARD* meeting. That's the excuse I used for not making the usual coffee house stop for grading this afternoon, and for choosing instead to go to Houlihans for artichoke goat cheese poppers and a blueberry martini. OK, so it was more about the artichoke goat cheese poppers than anything else, but I rationalized that on a Thursday afternoon there would be a cozy corner in the bar for me to spread out and grade, plus a martini might take the edge off of what usually is a highly stressful process - marking first draft essays. And hey, wouldn't all of that - goat cheese poppers and a blueberry martini - actually benefit the students' grades?

So I went.

I was finished with my martini and was casually snacking on the poppers when the manager of the restaurant - a small, spunky blond woman - interrupted my careful analysis and asked if I'd "like another cocktail." I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it. The martini was especially lovely, and, after all, I was, as I've mentioned, grading first draft essays. Responsibly, though, I said, "No thank you," and added that I was about to leave. She smiled at me and returned to her duty of being chipper and accommodating. I returned to my task, too, decidedly less chipper and accommodating. A minute later she returned to my table and said, "Actually, you'll be getting another cocktail, after all. Someone bought you a drink. "

"Um. What?" I asked, conveying confusion via the apparent question mark tattooed on my expression.

"You don't have to drink it" she said, obviously amused.

"No. I mean, this has never happened to me before. A stranger has never bought me a drink before."

I could have hugged the manager as she, in her most sincere (but forced) imitation tried, "Really? Never?"

"Nope. Never.. Um. Okay. Thank you. I think."

The manager said something about the fact that this was sort of secret or that she couldn't point out who had bought the drink or something of that nature, but I was too focused on what the appropriate protocol was for receiving a drink from a random stranger in a bar.

The waitress placed the drink on my table and my brain went haywire. I immediately recalled all of the scenarios in movies where this sort of thing happens. The montage went like this:

*Girl receives drink.
*Girl looks around the room to see who sent it.
*Very attractive man - probably an Italian - acknowledges, via either a short nod or by raising his own glass, that he is the "guilty" party.
*Girl takes a bashful sip of the new drink and nods appreciatively in his direction.
*And then, depending on the film, the man approaches the girl and they A. Have a bashful flirtation, the beginning of a new romance B. Leave together for hot, eccentric stranger sex C. Have a confrontation ending in embarrassment on all sides, the man being told to back the hell off, the girl stomping out in stilettos and justification, both leaving their beer goggles on the bar.

That's all I had to work with. I knew my ending would, as my husband would like for me to acknowledge, be minus the last bullet. But in all seriousness I had to do something. So, I went for it. I arranged my face into a less panicked, more pleasant (I hope) expression and began scanning the room slowly from right to left. I was pretty sure it wasn't the couple across the room, but I couldn't rule out the two Chinese business men who, though not conversing, weren't looking in my direction. There were three closely shaved contractors sitting to the left of the business men who were grossly engaged in conversations beginning with "Here's what we're gonna do", and then another couple, and then two, as I had previously determined by their familiarity with the bartender, regulars - one man who was apparently enthralled with whatever sport was on the big screen and a black woman who had just ordered nachos "to go".

My eyes crawled across the room and as I neared the end of the sweep, I was both elated and distraught to find that no one nodded back. There was absolutely NO acknowledgement as to who had sent a drink my way.
"OK," I thought, "look again." Once again, no one even pretended to look my way. I scanned the bill for an extra martini, just in case there was a miscommunication between me, the waitress, and the manager. Nothing.

"Shit! What now?" I thought. And then I did the most obvious thing in the world: I called my husband.

I won't bore you with the details here. Suffice it to say that I explained my situation to him - my husband and soul mate; the man I married when we were both still children; the one who has been ever faithful and supportive of me in all of my decisions and experiences; the one I chose to have a family with and common dreams; the one who nonchalantly commented, "Probably someone saw you hunched over, grading papers and thought, ' Hey, I should buy that school marm a drink. She is friendless more-than-likely and destitute. Plus, who else would take care of such a troglodyte? Sad, isn't it? It's my duty as a compassionate member of the universe to attend to sad cases such as these.' And then that person sighed for you -the pathetic being in the corner - and shook his head, feeling a small twinge of pride for being such an angel to such a lost cause. "

"OR" I countered emphatically, "someone might actually think I'm attractive."

And I hung up and dialed Christine.

Christine suggested that I make a grandiose gesture - possibly I could raise one hand into the air and announce, "Thank you!" in a theatrical tone to no one in particular but also to every one. I asked if I should stand on a soap box of some kind as a make-shift stage, or if i should just project my voice from the diaphragm. She then acknowledged that she too was unclear about what to do in my circumstance. Because she's a great friend, she did acknowledge that my husband is a colossal doofus, and then, randomly, she asked what the opposite of "Huzzah" is. I didn't know the answer to that question, so we hung up.^

I was stuck, and it was coming close to the time I needed to leave. In the end I decided, as Ms. Manners would positively suggest, that I should leave a grammatically correct note on the table, a very polite and sincere one that would cover all possible scenarios - troglodyte sympathy to Italian flirtation. It went something like this:

Hi. Thank you to whoever sent the martini over. It certainly helped with essay marking. Plus, it was a nice thing to do. :) Thanks again, -G

And then I edged my way around the bar, my back glued to the wall in an attempt to be invisible, to the exit and, as it appeared to me, to sweet freedom!

*Admission, Review and Dismissal meeting for parents, teachers and administrators, regarding kids who may or may not need or who continue to need special academic or behavioral accommodations in the classroom.
^ Fie is the probable answer Christine later revealed.

9 comments:

Jen said...

Well who ever it was and for whatever reason that was such a nice thing to do!! I recently had the person in front of me at sonic pay for my order and I was THRILLED!! I don't think it's exactly the same but I am sure it made both our days!!

Annie, eternal coffee girl said...

School marm. Classic.

Pete the Brit said...

Simply awesome! Just enjoy the drink and ditch the analysis :)

rainbow said...

Sounds like you ended up having a decent time grading a tough project. Hope the next grading session can be as much of an adventure. LOVE YA

Christine said...

Dude. It's 'cause you're hawt. For reals. :P

At least that's what the guy who tried to talk to you on your way out undoubtedly thought when he (in all likelihood) sent you that drink.

Christine said...

p.s. a new post! huzzah!

Rummuser said...

Why don't such nice things happen to me? Congratulations. And a great wave of appreciation for the thoughtful sender of the martini.

K A B L O O E Y said...

I think your husband sent it AND planned that comment out. Who whips off troglodyte at a moment's notice. He's trying to Gaslight you! (Without the attempted murder part; I just mean he's messin' with you.)

gaelikaa said...

Oh, God, if someone did that for me I don't know what I'd do. I'd be actually afraid to tell my husband.

I think you handled it very well, for what it's worth! :)