So, it’s another Valentine’s Day and I am — not surprisingly — unaffected by it yet again. I’ve been single for so long now, I can’t remember when I last felt the pangs of fear and self-loathing for being alone on V-Day. Since people who know me will tell you that I have an excellent memory, my lapse in memory can only mean that I’ve been single for a very long time: long enough to not only be used to being alone, but truly relish it. There are, of course, the physical downsides, but, fortunately, I have a very good imagination.
The last time Valentine’s Day affected me was the last time I had to work the evening shift on the night of at the Olive Garden. I know it’s a little late in the evening to be giving this little tidbit of advice, but it’s solid, so just squirrel it away in the recesses of your mind until next year. Here it is: Never, ever eat out at a chain restaurant on the day/night of a major holiday. By “chain restaurant” I mean an establishment that does not take reservations. Doing so just sets you up for a losing situation all around. First of all, no reservations means that the seating timing is left in the hands of jailbait teenage girls who might be hotter than hell, but don’t have a single iota of decision making or conflict management skills between them. No reservations also means that all of the shoddy boyfriends who didn’t make reservations at a nice place – and who were embarrassingly turned away from said nice places with their girlfriends in tow – are now shuffling in, brow-beating the hosts into seating them fast if only to get their girlfriends to stop berating them. This deadly combination of angry guests and milquetoast girls means, the hosts are seating servers with multiple tables at the same time, ruining any kind of groove or pacing the server might have had.
So now the server’s ability to give adequate – forget good – service is crippled, because now he or she has four (or however many) tables that has to be treated as one gigantic table, because of how they were sat, but each table thinks they should be served as an individual table not knowing the people around them sat down at the exact same time.
On top of that, this is a special evening, so expectations are astronomically high. Couple that fantasy with the server’s reality that he or she cannot possibly give good service and any Valentine’s Day dinner experience is going to suck. So just do yourself a favor and either eat out on another night and say it’s for V-Day or make reservations in January for the restaurant that offers payment plans for their bills.
As for me, I stayed in tonight nursing a head cold. I’ll try to blog more tomorrow if I’m feeling better.