Monday, March 13, 2006

Musical Tables

When I was younger, it was not usual for my family to go out to eat. It’s not that we could not afford to, it just wasn’t something that was in our norm. My mom is a phenomenal cook. On the rare occasion that we did venture out, it was always a spectacle.

You see my dad has an aversion to air conditioning. He did not have that luxury growing up so he is extremely sensitive to drafts. A typical dinner outing would go something like this:

Family Wicked would be seated in the restaurant; our drink orders would be taken. Commence with the draft patrol. My father would raise his hand in the air testing for the dreaded draft that would inevitably cause him to have a headache.

Dad: (hand raised in the air monitoring wind shear) Do you all feel that draft?
Mom: No, but we are not as sensitive as you are. If you don’t like this table then we should move.
Dad: ( now up and strolling throughout the restaurant standing near empty tables doing the draft test) ( Myself and Brain Surgeon – Selfish Countessa not born yet- are hiding behind our menus by now) Hey honey, this one seems ok.
Mom: Are you sure?
Dad: Yes, this is much better. (Now there is an entire family waiting to be seated at the perfect, draft-less location)
Hostess: Can I help you sir?
Dad: We prefer this table, less draft.
Hostess: (rolling her eyes) Fine sir; let me tell your new server.
We have now made the move to the new and improved table. Our new server greats us, the other family gets our original table. We place our orders.
Dad: (performing the dreaded draft inspection again) Wow, it is really breezy here. Do you feel the breeze?
Mom: (ignored the question entirely and is no doing her lip smacking maneuver which indicates she is not happy) (Me and BS are furiously stirring our drinks with our straws)
Dad: I am really worried that the kids will catch a cold in this atmosphere. (Keep in mind he is a physician and knows full well that air conditioners generally do not cause one to catch a cold)
Mom: The kids will be fine. If you are not happy with this table, then you need to go find a table that is suitable and sit there for a few minutes. Then we will move, otherwise we are staying put.

As I got older, this routine became highly embarrassing for me. I would let my dad know that before I sat down with him he would have to find the perfect location. This would explain the minimal dining out experiences. As years past, my dad took to wearing a hat in less formal eateries or simply dealing with the gusty conditions.


Phillip said...

Wicked, I thought that was an urban legend, draft testing man. It makes sense that he would be related to you!

No wonder you all didn’t go out much, hope it didn’t scar you too much!


Weary Hag said...

At least your dad was content to GO out to eat. Mine would walk into the door of a restaurant and lo and behold, if there were any children present (children younger than 5 or so) that was it ... out the door we went to restaurant-hop till we were all about to drop dead from hunger.

His theory was "If I want to hear whining and crying while I eat dinner, I'm not going to pay restaurant prices ... I'll just stay the hell home and get it from my own kids."

Sadly, I have now BECOME my father.