Friday, January 13, 2006

Specialty cocktails and Grinchy smiles

The restaurant that I used to work at served a few different specialty martinis. Because of my overexposure to them for two years, I now think that the concept of ridiculously fruity and overpriced drinks is bogus, and usually make fun of them when a place serves them. Give me a highball anyday. However, I was not always so haughty...

My friend Jessi had just moved to the city, and for one reason or another we ended up cozying up to the bar at the my restaurant one night. We started drinking some of these dangerous cocktails - which definitely packed a punch - and not much later were fairly toasted.

Every restaurant has a lurker. Tim was ours. Middle aged, silver-haired, socially awkward, lonely and totally harmless. He came in a few nights a week, sat alone at the bar, had a few drinks, chatted with the staff, and then left. Never got drunk, just wanted to go where everybody knew his name. We all were polite, but kept a reasonable distance.

He was there the same night as Jessi and I. We waved and then went back to our conversation. A few minutes later, a round of drinks appeared in front of us, from Tim. We downed them and thanked him with a wave from afar.

I remember this next sequence in slow motion. Picture it: Tim was sitting near the area of the bar where the waiters pick up their drinks. I was getting up to leave and would be passing him on the way out. Now, I am nothing if not polite, and realized that Tim deserved more of a thank you than I had given him. So I walked (stumbled) over with my arms out wide. (Did I also mention that I get very affectionate when I drink?)

Out of the corner of my eye I looked over at the service bar and saw two of my closest friends, Michael and Haydee, standing there watching the whole thing go down. Each of them separately were incredibly smart, bitchy in a loveable way, and had acidic wit. Separately they were that way. Together, and having witnessed a situation like this, they had the potential to be completely unforgiving.

But it was too late to stop. The momentum of my steps forward practically threw me into Tim's arms for a big 'ole thank you hug, complete with slurred words and a wet kiss on the cheek. Again, in slow motion I saw the look of horror on each of their faces, and then watched that horror turn into evil delight when they realized what they now had on me. Think of the smile the Grinch takes on in the beginning of the movie when he concocts his plan...

Yeah, that's the one.

Let's just say that I'm still living it down. Yes, yes, I accepted a drink from Tim, the creepy bar guy, and then decided to bestow on him what I considered at the time to be the appropriate thank you. But don't listen to them - I absolutely did not flirt with and then make out with him at the bar with the whole restaurant watching.

Give me a little credit. Geez.


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