So this happened: On our way home from a craft thing at a friend's house, Joan and I stopped at an Indian restaurant in Richardson to have an early Valentine's dinner. As often happens, about six more parties followed us in (we draw crowds wherever we go, what can I say). One of the parties was seated right behind us; a couple, evidently from around town, and some friends from out of town (they didn't have Texas accents; if I had to guess I'd say South Africa). Anyway, we'd just put in our order when the guy of the couple started opining, loud and long, about transgender people and "men using the women's room". I distinctly heard him say, "I feel like a woman today, I think I'll use the ladies' room." Among other things, using some words I haven't heard in better than 20 years. Meanwhile, we got increasingly uncomfortable. No, neither one of us is transgender (though I wouldn't tell you if I was, so munch on that), but we know people that are and, well, I'm just not happy about people dissing other people in public. In general. And in particular. Are you?
Anyway, Joan leaned across the table and said, "Let's go." And I said, "We just put in our order." So she flagged down the waiter and asked him if he could box up our order to go. And then Mr. Opinionated said something else--I actually didn't hear it, or didn't understand what I did hear, and Joan said, "Let's go. Now." And we did.
We left a nice note for the manager, letting him know it wasn't his fault, and some money for the appetizer that had already come. And on our way out the door, Joan leaned over and announced to the table, "Thank you for ruining our dinner."
Lemmee back up and say that again. Joan leaned over and announced to the table, "Thank you for ruining our dinner."
I mean. I just. Wow. Those of you who don't know Joan, she is a quiet and nonconfrontational type of person. She has a temper (who doesn't?) but it doesn't come out very often. So she must have been pretty pissed. I was just really uncomfortable and wanting to leave because I was listening to a person who plainly understands nothing of what he speaks and has to say it loudly, but it wouldn't have occurred to me to actually confront the table. I mean that was ballsy. Oops, I just referred to Joan with the wrong genitalia. My bad. You see how complicated this sort of thing can get?
A couple of minutes later, as we were getting into the car and driving away, I said, "I've never walked out on a check before. Are we going to jail?" Joan said, "Relax. I left some money." So I relaxed. A little. But if you guys hear anything about the Richardson police looking for two fat ladies who walked out of a restaurant Sunday night, I'd appreciate it if you'd pretend you don't know us.
This ends happily, sort of. We drove over to Afrah, my favorite restaurant, which not only serves great Lebanese food, but is really warm and friendly and welcomes everybody. We got a great meal and if anybody was talking loudly about transgender persons, they were doing it in Arabic so I didn't understand them. (I can say a few things in Arabic. Hello, how are you, he'll be out in a minute. I thought I was going to get a job with the Holy Land Foundation Defense Fund there for a while, so I learned a little Arabic just in case. I've forgotten most of it, though.)
So I guess the moral of this story is, you never know who might be seated next to you in a restaurant. So don't spew your prejudices about, loudly, to a room where you don't know who might be hearing them. Or that people will be assholes sometimes. But I think the real moral is, don't ever, ever piss off Joan. She can be fierce when roused. I'm going to take her a nice iced coffee now. Cheers.