This is one of those days when I just want to end my successful shopping experience by dining at one of my favorite bistros with great French food, a delicious bottle of wine and prime seating for optimal people watching. I love to dine with friends and family but today was not one of those days. I just want to feel the cool refreshing breeze blowing off the gulf coast and be alone with my thoughts without the incessant chatter of a companion. I arrive at my favorite bistro just before the lunch crowed descends upon this little piece of heaven. With this being the ideal weather to sit outdoors, the hostess seats me at one of the tables, under a luscious palm tree, for shading. I breathe a sigh of contentment as I take in the scenic view around me. There is soft music filtering through the restaurant and I sit back to enjoy my own company. The waiter, Jon, brings me the wine list. He offers to take my shopping bags and hold them at coat check but I quickly seared him with a look that indicated that he had taken leave of his senses. He quietly slinks away from my stinging glare, now skittish from my obvious displeasure. To think that he actually thought that I wanted to part with my precious shopping bootie. Pfft! As if!!
As I peruse the menu, in walks (for the sake of this post we’ll name them Biff and Lolita) the couple from hell. They were loud, obnoxious and grating against the backdrop of this fabulous establishment. You could feel the mood of the surrounding tables change as Biff and Lolita decide to make their presence known. She, reminiscent of Peggy Bundy from that series, “Married with Children”, he, a facsimile of Homer Simpson but with freshly grown turf on top. I try not to stare, as does everyone else but it is fascinating, this spectacle they are putting on. It’s like a train wreck waiting to happen. Her screeching tone jarred my teeth, as she dressed down poor Biff. I pretend to be engrossed in my menu as she berates him about his overactive libido. His what??!??! Since when is this appropriate conversation in such a public place? And why, oh why, must they do this now? I try to soothe my nerves by taking a sip of my wine but it goes down like vinegar. I feel unsettled by these two.
Now I realize that I’m quite persnickety about the restaurants I frequent and my standards may seem impossibly high to some but my expectation is that if I’m going to spend an obscene amount of money in an upscale restaurant, I would hope that the individuals who patronize this restaurant will not have been raised by farm animals. Biff and Lolita acted as if they had no concept of proper dining etiquette and worse yet it seemed like Lolita was enjoying this vulgar behavior and the attention she was garnering.
That was it for me. My peace and tranquility shattered, I ask the waiter for the check. I notice that others are doing the same. Honestly, if I want drama, I could be in the comfort of my own home, watching reality TV. And THIS was a bit too much reality for me. With shopping bags in hand, I was out the door without a backward glance. Sigh. I guess I was only meant to have a liquid lunch today.