The Anniversary Dinner Gone Wrong

On November 20th, my husband and I will be married for 15 years. So, naturally, to celebrate this big, important milestone, we celebrated our anniversary at a new Italian restaurant in town. With my two sons. And my mother-in-law. Oh, it was fine. I didn't mind. We can count this as our anniversary dinner. For now. I have my sights on a restaurant meant just for the two of us down the road.

This is real life.

We decided to visit this restaurant because it was referred to us by my sister's in-laws, which happened to be there! They just can't get enough! (They just can't get enough. They just can't get enough... Where's Depeche Mode when ya need 'em?) My parents tried it before us and my dad said it was "very, very, very good". My dad doesn't usually use that many verys. (The last time I can remember him using so many verys was when he said, "I'm very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY surprised you went out to centerfield to play softball and left your glove in the dugout." Truth. Every word of it.) The place is pretty close to us, in a strip center and a not very expensive. We like all of those things. So, on Saturday night, we ate there.

Since we were there to celebrate our anniversary, I asked the waitress for a wine menu.

"We don't have a liquor license, but there is a liquor store next door."

Well, hot dog. It's BYOW.

(That's one lucky liquor store.)

So, I walked over to the liquor store without hesitation and did my best impersonation of a person who gives a rip about the wine she picks. I tend to stick with the "pinot grigio" because I just learned how to pronounce it right not too long ago and it tastes pretty good. I don't get into all of that wine mumbo jumbo, which should not come as a surprise since I once wrote the post All Wine Is Basically The Same, Right?

Seconds later, I was back with my wine in a brown paper bag like I was headed to a street corner by myself. It wasn't a great look, but I don't think the patrons cared or were surprised, seeing as almost all of them had a bottle of wine on their tables, too.

We drank a glass.

Seriously, like one glass, which is why it's CRAZY that as I was lifting my salad bowl up and then setting back down, I broke the wine glass. As I type this, I can't, for the life of me, remember why I was moving my bowl back down. I wasn't pretending I was holding Bowl Weight Lifts. "And up and down and up and down and lift! LIFT THAT BOWL HIGH! HIGHER! Now, breeeeeeeeeeeeathe..." I wasn't doing that. Who knows? All I know, is that the dingdang wine glass cracked. Crazy enough, the wine didn't spill out. The waitress came to take the wine glass from me, but can you believe she took the whole wine glass and didn't pour the remaining wine into another glass? What a waste! I mean, hey, if there had been glass particles in there, so what? What's a little glass going to do to your digestive system??

So, that was sort of a scene.

Everything was made right and I went back to eating my Pasta Bolognese. Now, here's the deal, I loved that restaurant. I did. The bread was OFF THA CHAIN. Off it. Completely off the dingdang chain. The house salad was so, so good. Next time I go, I'm going to ask the waitress to bring me a glass of that dressing and save the tea for someone else. The Bolognese sauce was good, don't get me wrong (don't do it!) but I wasn't a fan of it being over spaghetti noodles. I thought it was supposed to be over penne pasta or something. Oh, I have no clue. It was good but about 15 bites in, I bit into something hot. I guess it was the pepper flakes that hot shots sprinkle on pizza. Why these people can't be satisfied with parmesan cheese, I have no idea. Why the need to scorch your mouth?

Those red peppers I am certain were in my pasta sauce Saturday night.

I can't take spice.

I can't do it.

I go from zero-to-Matt-Foley-sweat in 2 seconds if I eat something spicy.

"I need water! I need tea! OhmyGOSH, this is hot!" and on and on I went as I gulped whatever I could find, except for my restaurant neighbor's unsweet tea. (I am not a fan of unsweet tea.)

"Kelley, it's not hot. It's PASTA SAUCE. You just had too much wine," my husband said to me.

"I've had, like, a HALF OF A GLASS. The pasta sauce is HOT."

"It's pasta sauce."

"It's hot."





My mother-in-law reached her fork over to see if I was a filthy liar and, of course, she didn't get any of the hot bites.

The waitress walked up a second later, though (she said she heard me going on about the spice), and said that she had noticed spice with it, too, so I totally won one that one. My husband won't admit it, but, yeah, I won that one. Me. Winner.

But, that was sort of a second scene.

And then my 10-year-old son burped. And giggled.

"You don't burp like that in a restaurant! Say excuse me!" I hissed.

And the waitress heard.

And giggled.


And, not one to really love only making three scenes at a restaurant if at all possible, I made a fourth one. I wouldn't have made it, except that I noticed the toilet was stopped up in the ONE public restroom at the place. I came out of the bathroom REALLY fast when I noticed that because I wanted no one blaming me for being the toilet stopper upper. I'm really sensitive to people thinking I did something in the bathroom that I didn't. One time my husband blamed skid marks on me in college right in front of all of his college roommates because he thought it was funny. Just so, so, super funny. They thought it was hilarious and one of them actually did it!!

"I'm sorry to bother you again, but the toilet is stopped up. I didn't see a plunger in there or I would've totally un-stopped it up for you. I'm sort of a pro at that. You just stick that thing in there, push down 2 or 3 times and BAM, done. No, no, no...not because of anything I do, but, you know, well, anyway... I'm good at it," I quickly blurted out to the wait staff.

"Oh, don't worry about it, ma'am. We'll take care of it."

Those nice people had to go next door, probably to their BFF's place (the liquor store), and borrow a plunger. Isn't that crazy? They didn't have one of their own. No one has yet to stop up the toilet, but it was stopped up when I got there. Wouldn't you know it? I think they need to stick that thing right smack dab beside the toilet and move on with life. They could dress it up like I suggested in my post, Where Do You Keep Your Plunger?.

I was so grateful that someone else in the restaurant was making scenes of their own. That someone was unknown, but they still were embarrassed inside. I mean, THEY STOPPED UP THE TOILET! I was just grateful that, after my walk through the restaurant with a large brown bag, breaking the wine glass and acting like I needed someone to dump all of the Gulf of Mexico into my mouth so that the spiciness could be conquered, someone else was actually making a scene, too. Finally, it was somebody else's tu--


"Yes, son?"

He leaned over to whisper very, very, very quietly, "We stopped up the toilet. We were playing in there and put too much toilet paper in the toilet."

And, there you have it, my friends.

Scene FIVE.

Next year, we'll just celebrate our anniversary outside the hot dog warmer at gas station. Maybe we'll splurge to make it extra romantic and get matching Icees.

Everyone has a made a scene at a restaurant before, right? Don't make me feel all alone!