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  1. I walked the full two blocks home from the restaurant, talking to myself.  That’s nothing new, what with the seven voices, I'll admit to, vying for attention in my head.  I was just  trying to understand what had just happened.  If my mother (God rest her soul) had done what I’d just done in that restaurant, would I have been embarrassed?

    It was almost 9:00 PM as I made my way off the crowded express train.  I steeled myself for the twenty-two flights of stairs to street level and thought; if I take the stairs slowly, pause at every level and actually make it above ground, I’ll treat myself to a relaxing drink, an appetizer and call it a night.  Outside the subway, the pavement was damp but the Wednesday night’s rain had stopped.  The night was clear and a martini was in my future.

    Kumquat (not the real name) restaurant is one of the new breed of neighborhood eateries with real flatware and not one sheet of plexiglass between me and my food or server.  I’ve got 6 Kumquat receipts  offering a 10% discount on future meals (weekends excluded) stuck on my refrigerator with this magnet:
    It figures mid-week I’d be strolling into the restaurant without my discount incentive receipt.  No biggie. I’ll have a light dinner, and be home in no time.  The hostess seated me and I waited and waited.  The room was noticeably bereft of wait staff. Daylight savings had filched an hour earlier in the week and here in Kumquat, the time was still evaporating.  I did the exaggerated craned neck and index finger at half- mast move and finally got the attention of the hostess.  

    “Are there any waiters on duty?”

    "Yes, she'll be right over."

    "What's the soup of the day?"

    "I'll go find out."

    You’ll go find out?  It’s almost closing, and you don’t know the soup du jour??!!, I thought in bold font.  In reality, I cleared my phone of fifteen emails and decided to forfeit my drink by the time the hostess returned. 

    “Black bean with kale, how does that sound?”  


    “So that’s what you’ll have?”  


    She moved to greet an incoming couple.  Thirty-three cleared emails later my waitress appeared.
    I’m Kira, would you like something to drink?  

    When I came in I did, but now?  

    “No thank you Kira.  I’ll just have soup.  The hostess may have put in my order.”  

    “She mentioned the black bean with kale, I’ll put that order in for you now.”  

    Now was the operative word meaning I was not as close to eating black bean with kale soup as I thought.  So I picked up my phone.  Twelve cleared emails later my soup was on the table.  It was indeed black bean and kale, but huge chunks of chicken were competing for room in the big white bowl.  I’m not complaining because a mass of smoked succulent poultry lurked under every leaf of kale.  If I were still a practicing pseudo-vegetarian (blindly following Gary Null as I had for 10 years) I’d have been outraged by the surfeit of fowl in what had sounded like a description of a hearty vegan potage.  I forged through the meaty gumbo with gusto, as savory bits of chicken continued to glare triumphantly from the bowl.  Sated and sensing a  tryptophan like torpor approaching, I prepared to leave. 

    So what glaringly reminded me of my mother's frugal nature and caused the consternation in Kumquat?

    To be continued...

  2. 6 comments:

    1. don't tell me they have a minimum.

    2. love the magnet, by the way.

    3. She So Funny said...

      Awesome! PS... I almost always have conversations in my own head! ~S

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