I nodded. I “MMMM’d.” I even threw in a few, “Oh, that sounds delicious.”
All in a blessed attempt to fake him out so he’d believe I even had a prayer of remembering any of it.
Relieved when it was over, I picked up the menu and let out a barely audible sigh of relief. I dove into the comfort of something I could read a million times. And I’ll admit, my heart did a little happy dance now that I knew I could ask as many questions as I wanted without sounding like a boob.
I mean, I was out with the girls. At a nice restaurant. And being a boob was not on the agenda.
But then, I said it.
The most horribly, awfully embarrassing verbal barf of all time.
As Matt, our waiter, returned to take our order, I tried to get a little fancy and ask about several of the dishes. He explained. He went into detail.
And then it spewed forth.
“Oh, I am brain damaged, anyways. I won’t remember a thing you’re telling me.”
“No, seriously, I am. I have had strokes.”
A little more silence.
I mean, who says that? In public? At a nice restaurant?
Well, not to worry, because apparently, I am happy to tell you anything.
Someone whose filter has been unfortunately misplaced, that’s who.
Now just about the time I was about to crawl under the table in absolute and utter shame, he chuckles a bit and says, “ Well, I’m not quite sure what to do with all that. This is the first time someone has so openly said she was brain damaged!”
My kind and witty friend jumped in with, “I know. She actually thinks she’s at PF Changs!”
To which I replied, “I heard you had some excellent Lo Mein.”
And the pressure to not be a boob was off.
But then, it happened…the moment that started it all.
Without even stopping at our table, he slid this in front of me.
And my heart did a bigger dance.
The game was on.
He came back and somewhere in all our witty repartee I say, “You need to be careful. I noticed a fountain in the front. And I might just have to go and dance a la Sound of Music on you.”
“Fabulous. I was a professional dancer for twenty years. I’ll join you.”
More uproaring and once again, he whisked away.
And then my witty and sassy friends hatched a plan.
Upon his return I was to say with serious sincerity, “Now I’ve heard your chocolate bag is excellent.”
(For all you non-McCormick and Schmick people, this is a to-die for mix of mousse and fruit and a blessed bag MADE of chocolate.)
Needless to say we thought we were snort-worthy hilarious.
And I pulled it off.
But HE was the one that took the cake.
We looked at the dessert menu (for real) and ordered something delicious.
But then dessert came.
AND IT WAS A CHOCOLATE BAG FROM MCCORMICK AND SCHMICKS!!!!!!
Funny thing is, I didn’t recognize it. That short-term memory thing again. But on seeing my friend’s reaction, I figured it out.
This guy had a hostess run blocks away to get me my fake order.
I laughed as hard as I could but as I hugged him and said thank you a million times, a lump had formed in my throat.
He had seen me.
He had seen right through the laughing and the covering and uproar.
And he knew I needed a chocolate bag.
You see, sometimes heroes don’t have to be heroic in the literal sense.
A hero can simply be someone who comes to your rescue.
Be it a friend who steps in with a funny right at the moment you want to crawl under the table. Or the other, who says as you lament your barf, “Oh friend, I think he really appreciated that you were so honest.” Or a guy who gets you a chocolate bag to make an amazing memory with your friends even if you forget all about it.
So now you know why I never order from the specials menu.
It seems the most amazing things happen when you don’t.
And as for Matt, if you live in KC, go and see him at Seasons 52.
Ask for him by name, leave him a big tip and remind him that come spring, he owes me a dance.