Sometime back, I rashly let a girl choose a venue for a “reunion” she mistook for a date, an impression she may have got from my pledge that it would be my treat. While I was thinking of a casual thing, you know, like two old friends catching up over coffee; Tiffany (not real name) had a completely different impression as would be revealed by her preferred eatery.
“Have you been to The Barn Steakhouse? They have really nice and fairly priced continental dishes.” She suggested.
I hadn’t been there, but I unwittingly asked for directions, committing to hooking up with her later that evening after work. What I would later realize was that Tiffany’s definition of “fairly priced” was pretty divergent from mine.
Reaching the venue—where I found her reclined in the couch, calmly sipping a Club—I glanced through the drinks menu and ordered for the same beer. Having failed to take a clue from the 6000/= price tag on all local beers, the idiot that I am had to wait for the food menu before I could question whether the girl who brought me to this place was in her right mind. Squinting at the menu through her glasses, Tiffany made her order.
“Hmm…I would like to try your Mozambican Peri-Peri Chicken, the 600 grams, please.” She seemed to be covering the menu when she remembered.
“Oh, can I have it served with Cheese and Bacon source?”
“Sure.” The waiter replied.
“Perfect, then I’ll have that along with baked potatoes.”
Crosschecking with my menu, I did the quick math and Tiffany’s order was already 38,000, excluding the desert, the beers we’d taken, and those that I’d now vowed were not to be take, not on my account at least.
What does this girl take me for, her husband? I thought. I came here with 70,000 and we’ve already spent 50,000 before I even place my order.
The waiter then turned to me with their signature graciousness, waiting with a notebook in one hand and a pen in another. I shoved my head back in the menu and looked more intently in search for an item that fell within the 20,000 balance I had left on my wallet. Noticing that making up my mind on my order was taking a while, Tiffany offered to help.
“Hey, I may not be an authority on this, but to my knowledge these guys make the best burgers around town, you may want to try their Bacon Egg and Cheese Beef burger.” She suggested as she gestured to the waiter. I wondered if she had noticed the 35,000/= price tag on the item, but ignoring her, I kept flipping through the pages until I came across an item that fell within range.
“Tell me about this Spinach Salad” I asked the waiter.
“Besides the fact that it’s a salad” Tiffany scoffed?
I knew I’d already lost most, if not all, the dignity there was to lose, but I was also reminded why I’d kept out of touch with Tiffany all this while. So instead of losing my cool and giving her a lecture—in the presence of the waiter—of how me I hadn’t brought her out on a date. I thought it best to be as barefaced as she was and force her into sharing the bloody chicken.
“Well, we could use some salad, you already ordered for 600 grams of chicken.” I retorted. “You can’t possibly eat that alone, unless you plan on taking some home for breakfast.” A chuckle escaped out of the waitress, which I am inclined to believe is the reason Tiffany felt some semblance of embarrassment and reluctantly allowed to share the food. I don’t remember much about the rest of how the catching up went, but I learnt my lesson and I now know better than going to eat out in places I haven’t been before doing a preliminary survey.