Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lunching at the Zoo

My girlfriend M. and I finally got to meet for lunch the other day. It was a high-end restaurant, with linens on the table and a wine list. It served Mexican food, called itself a cantina, and invested in minimalist decor, with unfortunately, slate flooring and no carpeting or window treatments to absorb the noise, so the sound level was high.

We were seated at a booth, which I like b/c they are more comfortable and apt to be less noisy. But behind us were four of the noisiest people I've ever heard in a restaurant. I was facing them, and I have to admit, they were so obnoxious it was distracting, and I found myself become rather absorbed in studying them.

First of all, it was only noon and they were totally pie-eyed (pissed, to the uninitiated). Two very large frozen margaritas glistened in front of each plate, and they had obviously gone through a third since removed from the table. M and I couldn't drink that day for different reasons, and we both admitted it was a shame. If nothing else, it would've softened their arrogance factor in believing their yelling and screaming across the table didn't bother any other customers in the place. Secondly, the bottle-blonde in their midst had a habit of cocking her head back, showing the world her enormous white choppers, and braying -- I swear, she could've given our dear departed burro, Pompeii, a run for his money. When she brayed, the other three in the group chittered nervously along, a high-pitched vigorous chacahcahiiii-noise, like a group of monkeys might make. Third, they appeared to be playing a game of Round-Robin. They'd pile out of the booth, straighten their clothes and chat animatedly long enough for one to assume they were finally leaving, and then scramble back into the booth, each then sitting in a different spot than before. Maybe it was a new drinking game...or a speed-dating practice or something.

Between the braying and the chittering, it was difficult to hold a conversation. Finally we halfway gave up and ate lunch. Fortunately, we are old enough friends that it didn't matter so much to eat in near-silence, occasionally glancing back at the zoo group. The waiter took pity on us and we left with an extra bag of delicious chips and salsa.

13 comments:

Chris said...

Loud restaurants -- and loud people -- seem to be all the rage these days. I know I'm old school about dining out, but give me a small room with some distance between the tables every time.

Eva Gallant said...

I hate having dinner in a place and you can't hear the person sitting across from you!

Lisa Marie said...

Your description is so vivid that I am annoyed for you! Ugh! I am not as patient as you ladies were. At least you two remained ladies throughout the meal. I can not say the same for the jackasses seated behind you.

Dame Nuisance said...

I've been to the restaurant you're describing. I thought the food was overpriced and rather mediocre. And the place was definitely too loud for a cozy lunch for two friends to catch up on each other's lives. I loathe noisy restaurants, especially the ones that have music blaring at excessive decibels.

Wow, the Chinese firedrill at the table is a new one. Those ladies (I use the term loosely) were a little long in the tooth to be pulling a stunt like that - guess they definitely were more than a little tight. Hope their waiter got a decent tip (although I wouldn't count on it).

Aunt Juicebox said...

Oh I don't handle situations like that very well at all. You are much more graceful than I am.

Jayne Martin said...

WEll, that sucks. I would have changed tables, but then I'm a real pain-in-the-ass when it comes to my comfort level

Leslie said...

Oi, at least you didn't have the ubiquitous hair flipper. Sorry for that and a lot of the reason I don't do restaurants...

tattytiara said...

When I'm dining with someone I always make a point of asking for a quiet table. Sometimes I'll even mention that I'm hard of hearing. I don't have partital deafness or anything, but my hearing isn't perfect so it ain't a lie either!

Oh my. My captcha code is hymen.

wendy said...

I have no idea what you should do in a situation like that. I like to meet friends for lunch, and actually be able to talk to each other without all THAT kind of distractions going on. Everyone should be allowed to have fun ---but once you throw in the booze, you forget about being "polite"
oh dear

Life Laugh Latte said...

Wish you both would of jumped up on their table and screamed out..."body shots!" Well...maybe not. Holly:)

Dame Nuisance said...

I've got a little something for you over at my blog ...

Mountain Woman said...

So sorry about your experience. We really never eat out but I do remember those times when we were seated near annoying people. At least you were with a dear old friend and the food must have been fantastic.

Tam said...

You handled that so well! What a horrible dining experience; I'm always surprised when the staff doesn't do something about it, but then again, I'm not sure what they'd do. You are far more graceful than I would have been!