THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: On Long-Ago Embarrassments - Part 1

Monday, April 17, 2006

On Long-Ago Embarrassments - Part 1

Events today conspired to remind me of a couple of quite pathetic and embarrassing episodes from my teenage years. Both of the events shared in this post occurred at or relate to chain casual dining establishments located in Des Moines, Iowa.

If you're wondering what events these might have been, the only thing I'm willing to tell you is that just today, I have listened to the song Faithfully by Journey fifty-three (53) times. So far.



In the first place, I remembered when Bennigan's restaurants first became popular. Or at least when I first started hearing about Bennigan's restaurants. It was the 1980s. It was also the period when I first starting making the trip from Grinnell, Iowa, where I lived during high school, to Des Moines (the "big city").

I never ate at a Bennigan's during the 1980s. I have still never eaten at a Bennigan's.

I never ate at a Bennigan's during the 1980s because I was too intimidated. Their commercials made Bennigan's seem like such a classy place. And I just knew that I was not up to the test. I was completely convinced that I would do something so thoroughly wrong at some point during the waiting for the table and the ordering and the eating and the paying for your food and leaving phase that everyone in the restaurant would stop what they were doing to cruelly humiliate me with their mocking. And that I would probably be so startled and embarrassed by the suddenness of their rebuke that I would spontaneously urinate. In my pants. Sparking another round of laughter from the haters.

So I never ate at a Bennigan's during the 1980s.

But I did eat at Baker's Square - more than once.

In the second place, my technique for seduction was beyond repair. And my results accurately reflected this situation.

With regard to the specific technique I'd like to discuss today, on more than one occasion, I left handwritten notes for waitresses at restaurants thanking them for the gracious hostessing and offering them, for the cost of a long-distance phone call (yes, I included my phone number), a chance to become my girlfriend.

I can remember sort of generally how this played out one night at the Baker's Square on Merle Hay Road. Because I was understandably embarrassed to be leaving these notes for these waitresses, I generally had to try to orchestrate some diversion that would distract the other people I was with so they would not see me leave the note on the table. This was frequently difficult.

The other difficult part of the transaction was that I was desperate to see the waitress' reaction to being blessed with this opportunity of a lifetime. When I tried this trick at Baker's Square, I was driving. So I just sort of didn't leave the parking lot for several minutes after everyone was in the car. I can not remember my excuse. And of course the whole time I was trying (and probably totally failing) to watch the table we'd been sitting at through the window of the restaurant for that moment when the waitress first picked up my note. Fantasy-life Garrett thought for sure that she would read that note, be flattered and flustered and in love with me for the charming words I'd written on the wrinkled napkin and run, at once, out of the restaurant into the parking lot, desperately hoping we had not yet driven away and that she and I could begin at least the sexual part of our relationship immediately right then and there, even though I was with a reasonably large group of people.

I did see her pick up the note, in this particular case. The Baker's Square caper. She read it. She looked around, puzzled. She showed it to other people working in the restaurant. She put it in her pocket. And she never called.

* * *

Photo Credits: here (Bennigan's) and here (Baker's Square).

12 Comments:

Blogger The Velvet Fog said...

53 freaking times?!?!?!?!?!?!?
That isn't going to be good for business.

2:00 PM, April 17, 2006  
Blogger Chris said...

I am good friends with two girls my age who were waitresses at that very restaurant while in high school.

Hmmm.

7:03 PM, April 18, 2006  
Blogger garrett said...

Chris, I would welcome being amused to know whether either of those lucky lasses were my unwitting victims.

That's what they get for being friendly, cheerful, and good looking.

A stalker ...

;-)

7:56 PM, April 18, 2006  
Blogger Truth Girl said...

Somewhat related, it was at Bennigan's that a waiter informed me that Princess Diana had died. Later, the woman next at the table to us fell out of her chair in shock when the waiter gave her the news.

2:45 PM, April 19, 2006  
Blogger garrett said...

And did the waiter later become "the tenant"?

(How was Germany?)

(Just guessing.)

2:53 PM, April 19, 2006  
Blogger Chris said...

Rest assured, I will ask them about said stalking at my earliest convenience.

7:08 PM, April 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Garrett, don't forget about the poor gal in Ankeny who's house you used to sit in front of in a very weathered white Subaru. It was nice of you to leave balloons for her. It's a shame she didn't marry you or know your name. Yes, you have a gift for seduction!

10:54 PM, April 19, 2006  
Blogger garrett said...

I thought that sitting was mostly done in a smokin' fast maroon Ford Escort. I don't recall that my 1978 Subaru DL station wagon with the glass pack muffler could make it from Grinnell to Ankeny.

Bano.

10:56 PM, April 19, 2006  
Blogger Truth Girl said...

Waiter did not become the tenant. The waiter enjoyed spreading sad news a little too much for me to take an interest...

9:10 AM, April 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you piss your pants because the Monte Cristo is just that damn good?

A stalked of Monte Cristo

11:39 AM, April 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dant dant dant

11:39 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger The Velvet Fog said...

This new photo is much less creepy.

8:50 AM, April 21, 2006  

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