Sunday, February 14, 2010

Optimism vs. Pessimism

A couple got engaged last night at the restaurant I work at.

The guy had slipped a ring to his waiter, my friend Diego, and asked him to incorporate it into a special dessert for his girl. Within approximately .003 seconds, every employee in the building was aware of the plan. An hour later, when the couple's entrees were being cleared from their table, about 15 different servers/hostesses/bussers/food runners were finding excuses to be in the general area of table 252.

The dessert was delivered, the ring was revealed, the girl began to cry and kiss her new fiancee, and every guest and employee within a thirty-foot radius began to applaud.

It was awesome.

A few minutes later I was delivering wine to one of my tables, which was occupied by an older woman and her two twenty-something daughters. They asked me what all the applause had been about. I told them, misty eyed,  "A couple just got engaged at a table towards the front of the restaurant."

One of the daughters looked at me and asked, "How was the ring?"

I paused for a moment, confused, and said, "Oh, it was a nice ring." (I hadn't gotten a good look.)

The daughter, noticing my pause, pounced and said, "So what you're saying is, she shouldn't have said yes?"

"Oh, no... they're a young couple... she looked really happy." I said, probably stuttering.

The three women looked at each other knowingly and rolled their eyes.

Oh man... those women left me a generous tip, but they totally spoiled my high.

When I got home, I tiptoed past the bedroom where Jason was already fast asleep, and went straight to the computer. I started to write about the incident at work, still frustrated and angry with those three jaded women. Eventually I leaned back in my chair and drummed my fingers lightly on the keyboard, trying to find a positive note to wrap up my cranky ranting, but all I could think was, "If it's possible to 'slap some sense' into someone, is there a way to slap some optimism into them too?"

Then I heard the bedroom door open, followed by a shuffling noise. I turned and saw Jason waddling towards me in his underwear, squinty eyed and yawning, with a box of chocolates in his hands.

"Happy Valentine's Day," he said, thrusting the heart-shaped box toward me.

I took the box from him and smiled. "Thank you," I said, "I love you."

He nodded, apparently satisfied, and stumbled back to bed.

Readers, this is what I love about my husband - he can be as adorable as a five-year-old but, unlike with a real five-year-old, it is both legally and morally acceptable for me to sleep with him.

I opened up the box of chocolates and began poking through them, searching for one with a caramel center. I found one, and I was so happy. As I popped the chocolate into my mouth and worked my jaw against the sticky, chocolatey caramel goodness, I realized that I wasn't mad at those women anymore.

Those broads have no idea what they're missing.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. I love you.


Rita said...

That's the kind of stuff I long to hear. Give your dino a chocolate

Noel said...

Truer words were never blogged. The ring couldn't matter less. It's the person who's asking you to wear it that matters.

Miss Kolleen said...

you dont even know how many people-- close friends, even-- i know that are materialistic like that. if i had a ring made of tin foil, i wouldn't care. my wedding band is a thin plain band, and people actually scoff at it.

i guess i'm just not lucky enough. i mean, jeff really loves me and aidan, but my ring doesn't have 10 diamonds on it! :(

Lola Cutter Hensel said...

My wedding band is a plain, thin band too, and I think it's absolutely perfect. To me, a wedding band is a symbol, and I think that most symbols are more powerful when they're basic.

In Jewish tradition (Jason and I had a Jewish ceremony) the wedding ring is supposed to be "simple and without adornment", meant to "impress upon all present the singularity of the moment in time, as opposed to the value and bearing of an ornate object in space."