Monday, October 17, 2011

Basement Seating, Please

Reservations for a party of five?  Right this way, please.

The hostess led us into the large, open dining room,
     where I immediately felt uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable like . . .

     when my kids were little.

And, meeting the in-laws at the country club for dinner. 

That feeling of knowing that my children would not be able to live up
     to the unrealistic expectations of behaving like little adults.

Uncomfortable like . . .

     me, as a child.

And, going to church.

Trying to control my giggles that were immediately induced (like a drug)
     by the sounds of the organ, the moment I stepped through the doors.

And again, when the minister spoke in that holy tone.

My only hope was that the sounds would 
                    put me to sleep.  

The room, where we sat (in a sterile sea of white covered tables),
     was cold and quiet.

SO quiet that I could hear my every breath and clumsy movement
     repeated back to me,
making me too aware of my own self.  

Looking around, I realized that,
     besides for my daughter and my nephew (and the wait staff),

I was the youngest one there.

As the waiter handed us our menus,
                   I leaned into the circular table and whispered to my parents, 
                             "Didn't you say this place has a basement?"

Apparently, there was a more casual eating area DOWN BELOW.

Like the child who felt she may not be able
     to hold back the laughter in church . . .

Like the parent who felt the temper tantrum of her own child,
     at the table, about to explode . . .


                                  I said . . . . . .    


Or, at the very least, the KIDS table.

BUT, I could see that my parents were committed,
      and we had our "good" clothes on.   

 SO . . . we stayed. 

And, we were LOUD.

We LAUGHED . . .  a LOT.   

A glass of wine was spilled.

            RED wine.

On the WHITE tablecloth.

And, we LAUGHED some more . . .

Our waiter loved us.

Our water boy loved us.

He was trying not to show it,
                               but he eventually flashed a guilty smile.

I think they were sorry to see us leave,
     when everything went back to COLD, and WHITE,
              and COLORLESS . . .

                                                       and QUIET.
We may come back, some day.

But, if we do, I think we'll check out the basement.

I really DO feel more comfortable there.