HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!
I had a blast of a weekend celebrating my friend’s birthday. We went to the Chinese Cultural Center in Albuquerque to see the Chinese New Year presentation. It’s always such a joy to watch. At one point, one of the guys started waving a flag around and the wind kicked up. It was pretty cool since the wind hadn’t been that high all day and it stopped after he was done with his part in the show. I especially love watching the dragon fly.
Then we went out to play some mini golf at Hinkle Family Fun Center. It was such a beautiful day. I got the highest score which means I won, right?
I love the water hazards around the area. Whatever it is they’re using in to keep the water sanitary creates interesting effects that give me ideas for story locations.
That was a lot of images. It's gonna make this next bit seem empty, but it's a bit of a rant.
So, we couldn’t end the day without an awesome dinner. We headed out to Tucanos Brazilian Restaurant. We expected a wait, especially since our friend who lives in Albuquerque didn’t make a reservation like he said he would and we went just before 6pm.
We waited the hour we were told. Then one hour turned into two. The only people they were seating were couples. Even groups of four with reservations were seated after couples who just walked in off the street.
Table after table was filled with couples. A large group of ten walked out and then they called five more couples. Somewhere in the second hour they started to sit groups of something other than two. They still favored the couples, but they finally started seating the families of say four or more. A group of five here, a group of eleven there, a few more couples and groups of four, but nothing for a group of three.
Somewhere near the end of the second hour going into the third, I finally got up to inquire about our table. I don’t want to be that evil person I used to be anymore, and I’ve been doing very well for about three years now. This situation threatened to throw all of that out the window.
I tried my absolute best to be nice. I told them that I was starting to get dizzy but the hostess just brushed me off saying that they were behind and there were a few tables ahead of us. All I could think was that if there were only two of us instead of three that we would’ve eaten and been on our way already. I was angry that we had to wait so long. I was angry because their stamp is only good for two hours in the parking garage. I was angry that we stayed. And I wanted to strangle that hostess with my bare hands. At least I would get food in jail. It wouldn't be good food, or enough food, but it would almost be edible, and if I got sick they would just let me die because it's cheaper than treating me. I can go off on another entire rant on privatized prisons, but I won't do that now.
So why did I stay? I kept thinking that the next time would be the one, that we would be called to eat any second now because of how long we’d been there. I held out on hope that it was our turn next. By the start of the third hour, I was too shaky and dizzy to drive anywhere anyway. I may have crashed the car. Needless to say, I decided that would be the last time I ate at one of our favorite restaurants.
Somewhere in the middle of the third hour after the lobby looked to be damn near empty of people, we were finally called up and seated at a severely wobbly table. I think one couple claimed someone else’s table for four saying the other two people were late because they had two perfectly good chairs next to them when we finally got in.
I didn’t wait for the waiter to get my drink order. I told my friends to get me a Pepsi whenever the waiter deigned to show himself and I rushed through the salad bar faster than I’ve ever been through a salad bar. When I got back to the table, my friends were gone. I started eating almost before I sat down. Two bites in and there was a Pepsi in front of me followed by one of my two friends coming to sit down.
Finally able to eat, I’m pretty sure I ate it entirely too fast. I went through my salad, ate almost all the meat brought to the table moments after it hit my plate, and seriously considered drinking the lobster bisque straight out of the bowl. The spoon just slowed me down.
During our crazy feeding frenzy, the manager stopped by the table and apologized. I didn’t acknowledge him. I was far too angry and far to hungry to care that he existed. He left and a few moments later came back around to tell us he would comp the table. After he left, it registered in my brain what he said. We sort of looked at each other. The entire table? I thought maybe a discount at the least, one free meal at best, but the entire table for free?! What sort of crazy lunacy was this? He just wanted us to tip our waiter. Feed me good food and I'll be your best friend. Feed me really good food for free and I'll love you forever. All was forgiven. I’ll probably eat there again, just not on a holiday weekend for dinner without a reservation.
The whole ordeal got me thinking about stuff in life. Is it worth the wait? Sometimes you have to wait for stuff to happen. You have to work hard and then wait for the results. In everything you do, in everything you hope for, is it worth the wait?
When I finally started eating that good food, lobster bisque is my favorite, it was almost worth the wait. The fact that eating so fast upset my stomach to the point that I was ready to throw it all up sort of took that love for the place down a few pegs. I suppose two hours is worth the wait, but three is definitely not unless I ate something before I went to the restaurant, and who does that?
Are the things you’re after worth the work that you’re putting into it or are you only after instant gratification?
In hindsight, I sort of wish we added some dessert to our non-existent tab, but we ate too much sugar that day already and after finally getting some food in my belly it seemed like taking advantage of a strange situation. I suppose there are people out there who would have gladly piled stuff onto that bill, but none of us are those kinds of people. It just feels wrong somehow.
Let’s all work together to make a better world. We can be each other’s cheerleader. We all rise together.
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YA Fantasy author and amateur photographer living in New Mexico. A reflection of herself, her characters are timid at first but tend to stand up and push through when times get tough.