|I've been really busy lately and hadn't seen much of Mom so I was tickled when she called and wanted to know if I wanted to take her out to eat. She had a 2-for-1 coupon on select dishes at Ruby Tuesday and if we both drank water we should be able to keep the tab under 20 bucks.
I met her at the restaurant and it seemed like everyone wanted to use their coupon that night--the place was packed. As we were waiting to be seated I noticed a woman behind us that was totally perturbed that she was having to wait. She was fussing about the line, she was fussing about the wait time, she was fussing because she had to wait outside, she was fussing because she didn't have a 2-for-1 coupon.
We were seated after a short wait and we were both glad to be away from that lady. She was trying to ruin our dinner. Mom, who was in charge of the coupon kept waving it around like it was a 1000 dollar bill or something. I told her to drop it but she said she didn't want to forget about it. The waitress took our drink orders, she ordered a sweet tea and I got a Diet Coke. (We forgot to get water)
I needed to excuse myself for a moment and passed the grumpy lady being led to her table as I was walking to the ladies room. I muttered to myself that I hoped that lady didn't end up sitting beside us.
Upon returning to my seat I wasn't too surprised to see the old windbag at the table right beside me and her chair was also right beside mine. Mom was grinning like she had just hit the jackpot at one of her weekly Bingo contests and had grabbed the coupon and started waving it around again. I struggled to get into my seat without bumping her because she had her chair pushed all the way back. I bumped her anyway which set her off about how close the tables were. We had just settled down when the server had taken our orders and said we could go help ourselves at the salad bar.
I went to the salad bar first and left Mom and her coupon guarding the purses. Several people were ahead of me and I waited patiently for my turn. I loaded my plate up with my usual combo which is lettuce, cheese, ham, if available, one small grape tomato, croutons, and ranch dressing. The line was moving smoothly until the lady in front of me said "Uh, oh, they're out of ranch dressing."
Uh, oh is right. "We'll wait," I said. I WAS NOT going back to my table without my ranch dressing. We snagged an employee that was walking by and informed her of the situation. As the moments lagged on and the backup at the salad bar continued to grow I could hear a familiar voice at the end of the line. Bitching, complaining, griping, she was wearing the whole restaurant out. What's the holdup? Why isn't the line moving? What's that big girl (me) up there doing? Why isn't she leaving the salad bar? Did she eat all the food?
Now, I'm not immune to such comments and I had just about had my fill of this woman. They filled the ranch dressing container up and I got mine and headed back to the table. The lady had turned around just as I was about to make a scene. Somebody needed to shut her up.
I was seated enjoying my salad and ranch dressing when she came back to her table. Of course, she bumped me as she sat down and that caused her to look my way. Her brows lifted in recognition and she asked what the holdup was at the salad bar.
"They were out of ranch dressing," I replied.
"Well, good heavens! It goes to figure they would run out as short staffed as these places are, they charge you an arm and a leg for a little bitty plate of food. And don't get me started on what they charge for a drink. Honey, you did the right thing by waiting up there even though you held up the line. Well, I better get to eating now, enjoy your meal."