My Omelet

I try to be a gentleman. It is not always easy – but I try. So at the restaurant, I let her order first.

“I’ll have the two egg omelet with tomatoes, broccoli and cheese…” she said before vanishing behind her menu.

The waitress’s pencil hovered over the order pad as my wife mulled over her array of choices.

“Do you put peppers in your omelets?”

“Only if you order them.”

The menu came down, revealing a mild look of disbelief.

“I will make a note – no peppers,” the waitress assured her.

“Please, because peppers are gross. I can’t even stand the smell of them.”

“And for your side, which would you prefer: toast, muffin or pancakes?”

“What kind of muffins do you have?”

“Cranberry….”

“I’ll go with that.”

I admit it – both my wife and I are fussy eaters. There are things we love and things we hate so intensily that we cannot stand even being around them – but now it was my turn to order.

“A three egg omelet: with onions…”

My wife stopped me there.

“I’ll have onions too,” she said.

I gave the waitress a moment, “and peppers…”

What happened next was almost magical. Like a ballet of blackbirds or fish darting in perfect synchronicity – without visible cue, the waitress swiveled in my wife’s direction.

“Oh, could I get peanut butter too?” she asked.

“Sure.”

“In a little cup on the side?”

The pencil recorded her latest desire.

“May I continue?” I asked. Perhaps I came off a little perturbed because the looks I got told me that.

There is a rhythm to ordering in a restaurant which includes mild interruptions. I should know this. Etiquette is just another skill that I have yet to master, or perhaps it is the skill of showing annoyance without actually showing annoyance.

(I can’t even wrap my mind around that one).

“Sausage, tomatoes and go light on the cheese,” I said, “and I’ll have wheat toast.”

“What kind of bread: white or wheat?”

“Wheat,” I told her as politely as I could.

It is only after she left that I realized being too polite is far more offensive than being too perturbed.

This delicate balance of knowing just what to say and just what to do frustrates me. I have no idea how my wife navigates the tangled and twisted avenues of social signals while I crash and burn at every turn. I find that women do this better than men and be it nature or nurture, I am clueless as to why.

So I tried to crack the code.

I know how much she hates onions, so I asked her why she ordered them.

“Because you did,” she said, “and since we are going to be in the same car all day, it is the only way I could stand being around you.”

“And the peanut butter?”

She knows how much I hate peanut butter. It is not an allergy or anything like that but the scent of it drives me crazy – just as much as the scent of peppers bothers her.

Uh-oh…..

After a long pause, heavy with meaning, none of which I could decipher, my wife simply said, “Watch.”

Sure enough when the waitress returned with our food, she zipped the top off a plastic container of peanut butter and plucked it down right next to my omelet.

I was stunned.

“How did she know?” I asked.

My wife just shook her head.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

45 thoughts on “My Omelet”

  1. My husband makes such a fabulous Sunday brunch that I can’t order breakfast out. No one can compete. But then again I don’t get all picky except to request mushrooms in my omelet. He abhors them, just as much as I dislike fried eggs.

    Don’t get me started on the fact that he slathers his pancakes with peanut butter. It’s a family thing tracing back to the days of free government commodities when he was growing up in a family with nine children.

    I got sidetracked. Excellent humorous post, Greg.

  2. When the waitress asked what kind of toast, I might have said: “I wanted pancakes” – confusing, for when you don’t want to be too polite. If you order first, the other party has a choice of changing their order, given that they know what they can snag a bite of.

    1. I hear you but all too often she goes first and here is how her conversation with the wait staff ends.

      “We’re sharing, can we get that on two plates?”

      “No, we are not, gimme the meat-lovers special.”

      “Ignore him.”

  3. When my mother, sisters, and I went out to eat, the confusion that ensued as we all talked at once, answered for each other, and requested menu combinations that didn’t exist would make wait staff want to hang up their aprons and run away screaming. One of the funniest requests my mother had was, “I’ll have the chicken quesadilla without the chicken.” My husband and I have a Mexican restaurant we frequent and we review the menu giving lip service to the choice, and then order the exact same thing. We are so predictable!

  4. This reminds me of a story. Two friends, a married couple, were moving to Florida from Pennsylvania. They stopped for some breakfast in South Carolina. The wife had heard about grits, decided she wanted to try grits out. At the end of her order, she said, “Oh, and I’d like a grit please.”

    1. Everyone should work in a resturant for a couple of years. At least then they will know why tips are important and maybe, just maybe, gain a little insight into human nature. It should be mandatory for writers.

    1. You bet I left her a big tip!

      On the other hand, even when I receive poor and surly service, I will still leave the usual tip. I might complain – but when I did a bad job, nobody cut my pay. 🙂

    1. Menu ballets are loads of fun and the best place to watch them is at The Waffle House. BTW, I was reading about how Waffle House does an incredible job prepositioning supplies and generators before hurricanes. They also bring in help so the local staff can attend to their own affairs.

      I hope the Waffle House in Port Aransas fairs well, I loved eating there. Great crew!

  5. My SO and I are similar to you and your wife. He’s low fat…I’m low carb.

    so we order at a restaurant, and spend the entire meal eyeballing each other’s meals – knowing we can’t have what’s on the plate across the table.

    1. Oh, I have been there too. I always keep a fork poised and ready for an opportunity to sneak what I am not supposed to have….and by gosh, things disappear from my plate too.

  6. Peggy and I have similar tastes, which is a damn good thing now that we frequently split plates, but hot is across the great divide. I like it; she doesn’t. The slightest tint of anything beyond mild elicits a guaranteed comment. Food smells? No problem. You and your wife must be more sensitive. –Curt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s