Yesterday was Aaron’s birthday, and as I usually do, I made a big deal about it. The big deal/celebration is not yet over (there’s a party tomorrow night) but I thought it would be nice to take him to his favorite restaurant for a nice dinner on his birthday. He thought so too. It is just too bad that it was the worst experience we’ve ever had there, by a lot. I tried, but failed to give him the perfect birthday. At least we were able to laugh about it.
It started out with the most apologetic waitress on earth. The restaurant is a Japanese steak house, kind of like Benihana, but local. The food and service are typically incredible. The staff are foreign and sometimes hard to understand, but usually we manage to communicate enough to get just what we want. Last night was definitely the exception to all of this.
We were seated and then waited 10 minutes before the waitress came to take our drink order. Aaron wasn’t going to drink, but because we had waited so long and he was annoyed he decided on a large Sapporo (his favorite). Another 10 minutes later the drinks came with an accompanying “I so sorry” from the waitress – the phrase that was to become the chorus for the night.
Another 10 minutes later and she comes back (with an “I so sorry for taking so long”) to take our orders. The family at the other end of the table ordered with strict instructions on how the food has to be made for the elder of their two small children, including no eggs or peanut products. The younger of the two kids is excitedly jumping around because the table next to us just shot up a flame and he was impressed (i.e. screeching loudly, but he was pretty cute, so we all chuckled at his screeches of delight).
Then the waitress brought us our first course – soup. Our second course – salad – came out pretty quickly, but I had been hungry so my soup was already gone. As she leaned over to take my soup bowl, she knocked over Aaron’s beer and spilled about a quarter of it.
“I so sorry!” Aaron was annoyed, but dealt with it and she cleaned it up right away. Then our chef came to the table to start cooking. This is when the kids got really excited. As the flame shot up from our table, the screeching from both kids was so high pitched, I’m surprised that we didn’t hear dogs barking, but again, they were cute kids so they were automatically forgiven. They were having a great time and it was fun to watch them watch the chef. At this point everyone at the table begins to wonder why our sushi hasn’t arrived (which usually happens before the chef starts cooking). Cue the waitress, with a tray of sushi and another “I so sorry!” and we ate our tuna maki while watching the chef’s show.
The kids at the table were jumping around having a great time. When the chef was done we all settled in to begin feasting on the enormous amount of food that makes up every order. The younger of the two kids was jumping up and down on his chair, clearly wound up from everything, and when he was finally calmed down he started shoveling the food into his mouth. I really didn’t pay too much attention to what was going on down there though, because Aaron and I were doing our usual chatting and eating off each other’s plates. At one point I glanced down to the other end of the table and saw the dad wiping off the younger kid’s mouth. The dad caught my eye and then hurriedly took his kid to the restroom. I didn’t notice anything off, and Aaron and I continued eating and chatting.
About five minutes later the dad came and tapped me on the shoulder, and said “I’m so sorry about that”.
Huh? “Um, okay?’ I replied. I had no idea what he was talking about and neither did Aaron or the young couple sitting next to us.
“I just think he got a little too excited”, the dad said. I then informed him that I had no idea what he was talking about, just as the rest of us at the table figured out what had happened. The kid puked all over the table and floor. Thankfully he did it quietly and discreetly because none of us noticed.
Since we couldn’t see it from where we were sitting, it didn’t really bother us, and we all assured the dad that it was fine, and that we just hoped the little kid was okay.
We waited for another 10 minutes after we finished eating, and the waitress came again with an “I so sorry” and the bills. The manager came and took our cash pretty quickly and brought back our change – well, what was supposed to be our change but what was about ten dollars less than our actual change. Aaron was beginning to get a little more annoyed with the evening, so he went up and worked it out with the manager to get our correct change. As he came back to the table, the waitress brought a large platter of pineapple for us as an “I so sorry” for spilling the beer.
That’s when Aaron lost his annoyance with the situation and we both started laughing because the whole thing was pretty absurd. We went out for a nice dinner, had a cute kid puke on our table, and a waitress that had one phrase in her vocabulary. It amused us the whole way home, and we were just thankful we had gotten out of there alive and home in time to catch America’s Next Top Model (I totally have him hooked on the show and it is so great!).
He says he had a great birthday. Hopefully the party tomorrow night makes it even better!