For the second time in three years, my Thanksgiving was spent at Old Country Buffet (for all the details on my experience there in 2008, click here). Instead of my high-school friend, this time I went with my life partner. We'd invited another couple to join us, but they weren't too hot on coming. A pleasant surprise was had, however, when they called while I was in the shower asking what time they could meet us there.
I hadn't been back to OCB in the two years since my last visit. Just like last time, the line was (almost) out the door. Our friends hadn't come yet, so we opted to queue and then get a table once we paid for our order. Waiting in line for 20 minutes can be quite taxing, especially when one is hungry (and your money is being wasted if you don't go to OCB almost starving).
Of course, I could talk to my beloved, but really, what is there to say that we haven't already talked about at some point?
The couple in front of us had a four-year old child and were trying to make out how much it would be for him to eat. Not being able to make out the prices displayed up front, I told them that it would be $3.49. They asked if I could actually see that far or if I just knew it. I said that I could see it. Both commented that they should get their eyes checked. I told them not to worry, that I've been known to have good eyes. This was reassuring to me as, having recently turned 40, I was wondering if I still had the eyes of a hawk.
The husband mentioned that his wife would probably only eat half a plate of food (she was ridiculously thin). I said that they really should just charge each person based on what they weighed instead of a set $10.49. My girl, who recently had weight-loss surgery, could've told the cashier that her shrunken stomach would only allow her to eat one plate of food, but didn't want to mess with it.
The teen son behind us was talking to his parents about how good a movie "The Expendables" was. He said it had Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Bruce Willis. When he wasn't able to name some of the others, I jumped in saying, "Jet Li, Jason Statham, a wrestler".
As we moved closer to the front, I saw our friends has made it and both had smiles on their faces; the wife was passing the time playing on her iPhone. From time to time, I took a peek inside the restaurant to see if anyone I knew was there. No dice, thus far.
One good thing about going out to eat with my wife these days is that she is no longer allowed to drink soda; the fizz messes with her stomach. So we save $2+ every time we go out as the only thing she'll drink is water (and the water she can't drink until 30 minutes after she's finished eating).
We finally made it to the front where we paid for our dinners before my girl headed to the bathroom. She told me when she got out that she didn't actually have to go, but that her pants were about to fall down (one of the downsides of losing 40 pounds in three months).
The hostess directed us to our seats where we waited for our friends. I smiled as I saw the Chinese-Japanese waiter that I'd given a $1 tip to two Thanksgivings before. A minute later, I took a dollar bill out of my wallet which I sought to slip to him the moment he got close to our table.
(To Be Continued...)