Oh my........reading this thread just opened the flood gates to the memories of a meal I really hoped I never had to think about again.
A girl I had worked with for a while was leaving the job and she invited about 7 of us to a meal. I took her aside and asked if she was sure about that, although the restaurant she choose was a very reasonably priced Italian, I knew this was a lot of money to her. She wouldn't hear of it....."I'm buying you guys a meal, you really helped me out when I had a hard time, etc."
So I had a word with the others and we decided, o.k. she can pay for the food, but we are getting the drinks and dessert.
The night came......
Without having discussed this before none of us ordered starters, clearly everyone felt we wouldn't drive up the expense for this girl anymore then necessary.
Whilst we where going over our menu's the host and her housemate where whispering something and called the waiter over.
She said we are having this pizza (pointing at the very cheapest pizza on the menu).
One of the people at the table, lovely guy, but never was any good at taking subtle hints, said o lovely I'll have this pasta.
From that moment on the evening went rapidly downhill, clearly our host intended to order the cheap pizza for the whole table and she got really p****** off when we put in our own orders. Mind you there was nothing extravagant, the difference was just a few dollars.
We decided to ignore her foul mood and actually had a nice meal, until our host pulled her roommate to the side in between dinner and dessert and we could overhear her say. "If they think I'm paying for this, they are not eating what I told them to eat"
When it was time to pay up, she opened her bag and out came a big A4 notepad, pen and calculator (did she actually ever intended to pay, I never just happen to have an A4 notepad in my handbag????). She calls over the waiter and asks for a menu.
Turned out that between them they had memorized exactly what everyone ordered, what and how much they had to drink and even who had asked for some extra bread (never mind that this was for the whole table and they happily munched away on it them self).
This was my cue to get up and visit the ladies room. When I got back I stopped at the bar and overlooked the carnage going on at the table. The waiter, who had been fantastic all evening, came over and said don't worry about it and gave me a drink on the house, making me feel even more embarassed.
But it didn't stop there.....
When the bill was finally paid, we couldn't get one person (who had way to much to drink) to leave the restaurant. Finally with the help of my friendly waiter, we managed to literally shove him out of the door.
We all had to go to the same underground station to get out of the city center, but while I thanked the waiter (again), they all just disappeared, leaving me with this huge lump of a man that could barely stand on his feet.
It took me 20 min. to get him to cross the road, and then we still had to negotiate the stairs into the station. Honestly I know it sounds bad, but after a while I was just thinking about giving him a little push.
I was home an hour and a half later then any of the others, while I lived closest to the restaurant.
Can you imagine my shock when three months later this girl phones me and said "I had such a lovely time that evening, I would like to meet up for dinner"?