Macaroni & "Excuse me sir, but could you please go away?"
So much bunching, I do apologize fair friends, far and near. Unfortunately blogging is not my job, nor kate or karina's job and somedays you have time for writing and others you do not. And when it saddens you to let one day's tears and triumphs disappear from record, then you find yourself recapping on wednesdays and fridays and multiple posts referencing lunches present and past. It is a certain, unmistakable mess.
I would have been happy to leave Emily's gracious "field correspondence" at the top of the page but today's lunch was too noteworthy, in a cringeworthy way, to keep to myself. I'm sure that Kate and Karina would agree that today's lunch must be spoken about, at least to get it out of our heads.
At long last, lunching was going to Midtown III. Macaroni and Cheese, the kind that is baked to a golden crisp and served in a bowl and covered in cheese the consistency of mashed potatoes, was on the menu. The weather being so dreadfully cold and wet sent us seeking refuge in this cozy little diner in the center of town. Perhaps you'll note that this establishment is one in a series; they are peppered like salt in Center City and open 24 wonderful hours a day.
I've visited number three a few times before. Often late at night, and I'll admit, out of my head with spirits. The food is good. At Midtown III, as oppposed to Midtown IV, the waitresses remember what you ordered and it is centrally located to provide for the greatest convenience after leaving Oscar's at two. The waitresses are gruff but attentive and one night before quizzo, John and Emily and I got egg and cheese sandwiches here that were absolutely to die for.
And on this day of days, the food certainly didn't disappoint. The macaroni and cheese was just as I'd remembered it. Karina's salad was as good as an iceburgian diner salad can be. And Kate's fish and chips platter was crispy and amply tartared. Coffees were enjoyed all around and the discussion was lively.
The checks were delivered. We were preparing to leave. The busboy began to idle near our table and then our waitress came over and asked us our names. And then left us alone with the busboy, who was nice enough at first. But the conversation soon deteriorated into flattery and probing into whether we had boyfriends. I believe the low point occurred around the time when he singled me out and told me to stop playing with my hair because it was turning him on...
We awkwardly sat looking at one another, helpless to shut him up and blocked by his standing in the way of our exit. Help! Waitress, why hath thee forsaken us? Scrambling, we grabbed our things and all but ran for the door. He met us there and continued to ask us not to forget what he'd said. Over and over. It is one thing to encounter such persistant attentions on the street, but in your place of lunching! How awful! I finally got outside and exclaimed to my companions, "That was so mortifying!" when I noticed he'd followed us outside. and then he proceeded to trampse down the street behind us. Kate departed hastily to go back to work, and Karina and I ducked into an alleyway when he wasn't looking. He wasn't in fact following us, it seemed he was running an errand to the bank, but the continued proximity was unnerving.
Even now, in the comfort of my swivel chair, I don't feel quite rid of the experience. Some time must pass before I enjoy the comfort of their comfort food again. Sexual harrassment has an unpleasant flavor, when added to lunch. In the future, I'd like to keep these two parts of my life quite separate, thank you very much.