Outside the restaurant
I don’t like restaurants. Admittedly, there is some degree of food snobbery at work in this dynamic but, I swear it’s not only because I’m pompous enough to believe I can make it better (or at least healthier). For example, there is the small fact that I have absolutely no money, no job, and a credit score that would make the ex-CEO of Enron pity me.
Given this, I hardly ever eat out, unless there’s baked falafel involved, and, if you live where I do, you know there’s none of that to be found. But the other night, my friend and I decided to go for a walk, eat dinner and walk back. So, after a
long short walk to the closest shopping center, we found ourselves in a little Taiwanese restaurant by the name of Apple Jade.
Normally, I don’t like to eat Asian food. If I am eating out, it’s usually going to be at one of two types of places: a place with good hummus or a place with 100-calorie soup. Asian food fits neither of these criteria, but I had vowed to myself before leaving that, no matter what happened, I would let my friend pick the place this time. No matter what happened.
So I did.
Emmie, enjoying her soup
Little did I know this meant an unexpected guest would be joining us for dinner. Unknown, uninvited, and, most definitely, unwanted. If any outside spectator were to have looked at the two of us eating our dinner, they would have seen two friends enjoying a meal together. They would have been right up until a point. I enjoyed taking a few pictures while my friend and I ranted back and forth over random, inconsequential topics. I enjoyed watching her eat her soup, slurping away at it while trying to avoid letting her laughter get in the way. I enjoyed almost knocking my water glass over when my friend said something about raising goats. I enjoyed being stupid and childish together in a way that you only can with a good friend–I really did.
But I should have known better…I knew there were three the minute my giant bamboo steamer full of vegetables arrived.
Just look at the grease dripping off of them...
Me: *takes bite*
ED: I think there’s grease in this.
Emmie: Why would there be grease in it? There’s no grease in mine and I didn’t even say no grease.
I should have gotten the stuff without grease
Me: I don’t know.
ED: But I’m getting that greasy feeling.
Emmie: Mekkie, relax. If you told them not to put grease in it, why would they?
Me: I don’t know. *pause. take bite*
ED: Do you want to try some?
Emmie: *clearly unaware of what was going on* Sure! Want to try some of mine?
Me: No thanks.
*pause while Emmie chews*
ED: Well, is it greasy?
Emmie: *pause, clearly for thinking* I don’t know. I really can’t tell.
ED: Oh, great. It’s greasy. I knew it!
*awkward silence, chewing*
Emmie: Do you want to try my camera for pictures?
Me: Yeah sure, why not. *a few minutes of picture taking* Make sure you email them to me.
ED: I swear this has grease in it.
Emmie: Just eat it, Mekkie. You need some fat, you know.
Me: Right, besides, how much grease could it really have?
Emmie: You know, vegetables have some grease in them naturally. Especially the green, leafy ones.
ED: *secretly, to Mekkie* Great, now you can’t eat green, leafy vegetables anymore.
Mekkie: *hoping she can invent a counterattack to ED because she really loves arugula* They do?! Are you sure?
Emmie: Yeah, but it’s good, natural fat. You need some fat Mekkie!
Me: Right, that makes sense.
Me: So is your stomach feeling better?
Emmie: Yeah, a little.
*Mekkie manages to suppress ED for a bit, resulting in idle conversation about life*
Mekkie: God, what am I going to do when you’re gone?! Who’s going to make me eat my grease then?
Emmie: I’m not just going to drop out of your life forever.
Mekkie: Please don’t. I don’t know what I would do without you. *pause. takes final bite*
The grease trap (picture taken after the fortune cookies)
ED: (referring to the empty bamboo steamer) Maybe the bamboo has grease.
ED: And it comes out when they steam it.
Emmie: Well probably! Wouldn’t you sweat grease if you were about to be put in a hot oven?!
Mekkie: *laughing* (with a sigh) Oh Emmie…I’m really gonna miss you.
Waitress: *seeing we are done* Do you need a box for that?
Emmie: No, we’re good.
Waitress: *places check on table with two fortune cookies*
Mekkie: *pulls out nine dollars, making sure to avoid lucky five dollar bill with words “DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY” written on it)* I hope this is enough.
Emmie: *pulls out credit card* Should be.
Mekkie: *hands Emmie money* Ok. So I guess just put it all on your card then?
Emmie: *confused. hands waitress bills and card, ignoring the fact it’s a single bill* So here’s nine dollars. And put the rest on the card.
Waitress: *confused* Uhhhhhh
Mekkie: *takes bills and card. gives card to waitress* Just put it all on the card. *looks at Emmie* It’s simpler.
Mekkie: *hands bills to Emmie* Wow, we are out of it today.
Please be something good. Please be something that gets me out of here...
Mekkie: *cracks open cookie, reading fortune out loud* An unexpected event will soon make your life more exciting. What could that mean?
Emmie: I don’t know.
Mekkie: *excited* Maybe it means one of the internship places will call?!
Emmie: *eating cookie* Yeah, I bet that’s what it is.
Mekkie: How do you know? Maybe it’s something bad.
Emmie: Well, we’re interpretating
Mekkie: *raises eyebrow* Interpretating?
Emmie: You know what I meant.
Mekkie: Well, what does yours say?
Emmie: Oh! I keep forgetting to read it.
Mekkie: *laughing* Wow….
Emmie: *reading, through laughter* An unexpected adventure awaits.
Mekkie: I bet you’re going to get that job!
*Waitress returns with check. Confusion ensues while Emmie, who has suddenly lost the ability to do basic math, calculates the tip. Mekkie, left to battle ED, contemplates designs on rice bowl*
Is that an eggplant?
(7 minutes later)
Mekkie: Ok, let’s go. I have to pee.
Emmie: Me too.
*both rise and walk toward the door*
ED: I swear those vegetables were really greasy. I can just feel the grease adding to the blubber.
Emmie: *sigh* Oh, Mekkie. Let’s just go pee.
ED swears Emmie ate way less calories