Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Waiting Game

So there I was, sitting by myself at a table for six. Have you ever experienced this? You make plans to meet people for lunch, and you're the first to arrive. So you get the table, and then you wait. The waiter/ess comes by to fill your water glass and leave some menus. Then he/she comes by again to see if you want something to drink. At this point you're thinking that the rest of your party is probably just running late. Time passes and you start to wonder if you've got the right restaurant. You are very aware of the fact that you are sitting by yourself at a table for six. You want to somehow reassure the other patrons that, yes, you will be joined shortly, and no, you did not just get a large table to make it seem like you have a lot of friends. (Or family, as was the case this time.) Now almost 30 min have gone by and you start to wonder if you ever really had plans to meet them at all. Maybe the plans were changed and you just forgot. But surely not. You go over the phone conversation in your head - yes this is the right restaurant and the correct time. By this point you've read the menu, and the kids menu, and your drink is half gone. You anxiously watch the door, thinking that the next person to walk in will be the one you're waiting for. After all, you don't need to the entire party to show up, just one more person. And that will validate your sitting and waiting, because it means that the others will soon materialize. (Have you ever noticed that when you're waiting for someone in a restaurant, you are acutely aware of the door opening and closing?)
At last, you spot that familiar face, and you breathe a sigh of relief. (As does the waiter/ess, cause you know they've started to feel sorry for you, thinking that you may have been stood up.) And one by one, everyone else arrives, unaware of the "waiting game" that's been going on....

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