Many years ago, after my children were grown and gone, I decided to treat myself to a posh night out, with dinner at one of the priciest restaurants in town and a play at the Fox theater. I knew I was in trouble the moment I crossed the threshold into the dining room, for I had never seen so many forks on a table before.
Trying not to embarrass myself, I acted as if it were my natural habitat. The music was beautiful, with the sounds of silver lights, as the pianist tickled the ivories. A little anxious, I ordered scallops as my appetizer, never having tasted one in my life. The waiter brought my dish, and there was a little bitty fork sitting next to my plate, but I had no clue what it was for.
The scallops arrived in a beautiful dish and surrounded by mashed potatoes in a pretty design. I picked up the nearest regular-size fork and started eating the scallops. The poor waiter gasped and looked as though he was witnessing a murder. He very calmly walked over to me, took the fork I was using away, and placed another of the little bitty forks next to me. To his credit, he did not embarrass me. He did not even look at me, just corrected the situation to his liking.
When the scallops were done, I started eating the mashed potatoes, assuming that I was supposed to do so, considering the price of the dish. The waiter stepped up and removed the dish, looking at me with an “Are-you-for-real” look. I saw in his face what he thought of me, and I just wanted to get up and leave.
But, I was paying good money, and although I may have seemed like Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady before she was taught by that dishy Rex Harrison (Yes, I have read too many British books lately!), I was staying. Another clue to the waiters that I was out of my depth was that I said to the waiter pouring water, “Could you not keep pouring more water after every sip of water. I don’t want to drink a lot of water.”
In the kind of restaurants I usually patronized, you almost had to run the waiters down to get more water or beverage, but not in the posh places. By then, I think they wanted me out of there, so the waiter came pretty quickly with my entree. I had ordered duck a l’ orange, and when it came, I realized that I did not know how to cut the meat.
I tried using a knife and fork, but I was not being successful. I looked up and saw the waitstaff looking at me with smirks on their faces. I started to just admit defeat and leave as gracefully as possible. But, the entree was nearly $20, and being someone who had to eat everything on my plate or get punished and being frugal, I was not leaving that meat there.
So, I said under my breath, “Sorry, guys,” Then, I picked that whole duck up, and I went to town on it. I must have looked like Friar Tuck assaulting a roasted boar in Sherwood Forest. My barbarian soul was so happy, for the meat was good. I used my napkin a lot, but I did not stop until there was nearly no bones to throw away.
I could see other diners looking aghast at me, but I did not care. When I finished my entree, the waiter came over and did not even ask if I wanted dessert. I had already decided that I was full, for the duck had been sweet, so I did not need a dessert. I believe I set a record on receiving my check. I paid my bill, and I left a huge tip, trying to save face.
As I walked to the theater, I got angry, because no one has a right to make another human being feel like they are dirt. We are all made in God’s image, no one better than the other. Some may have more money, but it does not make them better human beings, yet, we live in a culture where the poor are denigrated and viewed as dangerous, while the rich are seen as virtuous. But Proverbs 18: 12 states, “Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.”
So, I avoid posh places. I am more a carnival person, for nearly all of the foods there are meant to be eaten with the hands: cotton candy, hotdogs, fried everything, and funnel cakes. There is grease and sugar galore, and no one judges you for the stains on the front of your clothes.
Written for the September Writing Prompts by Putting My Feet in the Dirt: the sounds of silver lights. Ragtag prompt is Posh. The Word of the Day Challenge is Carnival. Daily Addictions prompt is Anxious.