Posted by: beansai | August 18, 2007

The awkwardness of awkward people…

My buddies Skunkie, Polyvector, and myself went out to eat tonight and it was….an experience. We decided that we wanted to try a different Mexican Food restaraunt in our town and we had seen a local commercial for this one not too far from us, that looked like it had good food. So, since we were all awake at the same time, we decided we were up for a new experience. Well, the three of us are admittedly awkward and anti-social…. essentially, we’re hermits, but that’s nothing new to us, so we manage well enough, even when we feel awkward going to new places or dealing with new people. This time though, we were the least awkward out of all the employees at the restaraunt.

We got there over an hour before they were scheduled to close and the first thing we see when we get in are a couple of employees adding up the totals for the night and they just look up from their tasks and stare at us. At this point, I think it is fair to say, all three of us just wanted to turn tail and run from those stares, but that seemed a bit rude. This minor hesitation lead me to just ask the ladies whether or not they were still seating for the night. I got a “Yes” as a response and a few more awkward moments of no one saying or doing anything. Then one of the ladies that was tallying the money grabbed some menus and the one that had answered my question told us that she would seat us. Keep in mind now, they never once asked how we were doing, welcomed us, or anything of the sort to make us feel minutely comfortable or welcome there. But at this point we’re wrapped in and don’t have a choice (seeing as how we were all emotionally frozen from the degree of unwelcome and our own social awkwardness).

She lead us to a booth that was just as awkward in its amount of space between the seats and table as the workers there had been so far. Oh, and it seemed as though when we were lead to our seats all the customers there (which was more than just a few) stopped eating and talking and looked at us as we sat down. At this point we were scared shitless of this place and wanted nothing more than just to hurry up and eat and get the hell out of there. Then we get a waiter come by and drop a basket of chips and salsa on our table and inform us that our waiter would be with us in a moment and he was off. Needless to say we crammed chips in our mouths in order to have something to do to cover up our degree of uncomfortableness (is that a word…it is now!). Finally the waitress comes and takes our drinks orders and comes back with them and before we can answer that we are ready to order our food she excuses herself to help another table. She was back real quick, but it was a bit of an abrupt departure. Whatever. She comes back to take our order. Skunkie and Poly were sitting together on one side and then I was by myself on the other and when she came to take our orders she SAT DOWN next to me. I’m sorry, but I have a bubble of personal space that I don’t like being invaded. I wanted to scoot over so bad, but I resisted the urge to show….um…overtly obvious awkwardness. I didn’t want to be offensive, it wasn’t that I wanted to get away from her specifically, I just like my space. So we quickly and efficiently provide our orders and she takes off to put that in.

Meantime we continue to shove chips in our mouths and quietly and nervously discuss the awkwardness of this restaraunt. And then….the chips run out. As a result our waitress came by and asked if we wanted more….I wanted to say yes (I like to eat my spanish rice with chips not forks), but Skunkie instinctively said no. No biggy, I could survive. Then a minute or so later another waiter comes by, just as I was telling Skunkie that I actually had wanted more chips, and asks again if we’d like some more….Poly jumps in and automatically says no, while right behind his response comes my meager “yes”…then there was confusion and I said nevermind….I was flustered by this point.

Well…not too much later our waitress comes by with another basket of chips and says that our order wasn’t ready like she thought. Well, there’s my chips. Besides it gave us something to occupy our hands and mouths with for a few more minutes before our food came. The food got there and it wasn’t bad, nothing spectacular, but not horrible either. After being stuffed on chips though I could swallow down all of my two flautas…in fact I only got down one and a half, plus my rice, and a bit of my beans. I decided not to take it home, because a soggy flauta the day after didn’t sound tastey. Our waitress came by, and when I said no thanks to a box, she made me feel guilty for wasting food by her tone and implications that I had a whole half a flauta left….anyway. Before she left after we denied the need for take home boxes she asked if we wanted dessert or the check just to get rid of her….what in the hell are we supposed to say to that….?!? We were all so full none of us completely cleared our plates, so we don’t want anything else, but the alternative is to look like assholes and say yeah we just want the check to get rid of her? I was amazed at that… So we get the check, yes we took that option and tried not to think of the implications (besides we had decided about two seconds after we were seated that we would never return to this restaraunt), and went to the counter to pay. They didn’t even give the option to write in a tip, I had to tell the cashier (which was one of the same ladies that first stared at us when we came in). I had been so nervous and ready to flee that place that I hadn’t even looked at the total and still don’t even know what it came to. So I made up a tip, which I’m sure they considered way too low, grabbed my receipt and practically pushed Poly and Skunkie out the door. We hustled back to the car as freakin fast as possible and came home and played Guitar Hero to calm our nerves. I’m still reeling from the level of bad humor, indirect insults (they don’t always have to be spoken to be felt), and awkwardness of that place.

Now don’t go thinking this was some normal routine for them…the bigger parties (that came in after we already had our food) got much more polite attention than we did. Granted I am sure our awkwardness and social paralysis did nothing to help the situation, but they didn’t make much of an effort either. We are definitely never going back there.


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