Sunday, October 24, 2010

I’ll have the Vegetable Plate, sounds just like The Filet Mignon.

Every once in awhile you meet amazing people that you will never see again, but for a brief moment they are able to touch your life. Yesterday we met yet another one of those people. Over the years we have come across them:

The elderly man in the grocery store who was meticulously picking his groceries with coupons, calculator and store flyers and insisted on teaching us how to get the very best deals in the store that day. He would say: “Who’s a better shopper”? Very loudly for no one in particular other than himself as he put each item into his cart as if he had just won a battle. To this day, whenever my hubby and I shop together and he gets a great deal he says “Who’s a better shopper” in his elderly man voice.

Our first Mom-Van sales lady, Janet, was so excited for us to be moving into a larger vehicle she made sure that we got that van right there that day, helped us move all of our stuff into it and when we test drove it laughed with glee at how we were fascinated with all the features. She gave us an amazing deal too. (Unfortunately for us she retired and we moved far away)

The waiter at the Hard Rock Café in Disney World who told us some insider stories (whether they were true or not) that had my thirteen year old son fascinated and made the trip much more exciting for him.

Whether they are sales people, or just someone you encounter for a brief moment they affect your life. Our newest encounter happened at the furniture store yesterday. As we entered, (we now know the drill: you don’t have to catch anyone’s eye they have an internal rotation system and whoever’s turn it is will approach) Brenda, the kind of lady that is a combination of your favorite Aunt/Mom/ best Co-Worker rolled into one became ours. We told her we were looking for a couch and she began to direct us through the store.

Commercial Break:

When you are dealing with my hubby (sales person/waiter-waitress/attendant) you need to:

A. Have a sense of humor: When you ask at a restaurant: “would you like a box for that” and he says, “Nah, just call it your tip”, you have to think it’s funny and:

B. Not be offended easily: You hand him a plate and he reaches it out for it and then says very loudly “OUCH, that’s hot” and the waiter/waitress jumps out of their skin you have to

C. Realize he has had service industry experience since he was 16. So when he talks about how a box on display would be a great place to store his Glock 36, means he isn’t messing around anymore, or when he starts fishing on their political views by making politically directed statements, so he can really get a feel for the person who is going to potentially change our lives with their help.

Some people fall in love with him and some can’t stand US. So Brenda had to put up with:

“Lets spoon on this one to see if it’s going to work.” (Joke)

“Tell me you’ve never sold that burnt marshmellow looking couch over there” – of course while a customer was looking at it with deep interest. (Serious)

“You take 3rd party checks right” ?–to the no-nonsense financial lady who hadn’t warmed up to him yet. (Joke)

“That lady looks like she means business and isn’t going to take any of your shit Brenda” (Serious) As an elderly co-worker of Brenda’s walked by within hearing shot of us with a perturbed look on her face because it was looking like Brenda was going to make a sale today.

Brenda had to put up with him picking up a table to discover that it fell apart easily and saying it was junk (to which she agreed), sitting on the couches and then checking that he didn’t leave a butt print (because ONE time we went somewhere and the material of the couch was so that when you got up an exact outline of your butt was left on the couch and you had to do a quick swipe to make it go away) Brenda had to put up with all his jokes (politically incorrect) and she loved every minute of it. (THANK GOD)

Brenda steered us away from more expensive couches that were not made well, and really wanted us to buy a well made couch that was the least expensive in the store when we were deciding between that one and another considerably more expensive one. She fought for us to get an even bigger discount than they were offering with her manager (yeah, yeah I know they all do that, but I really believed this one) She stayed with us when we sat with bad-mood-financial-lady, and gave us hugs and was so excited for us when we left with the excitement of getting a new couch on WEDNESDAY when we thought it would take two weeks.

We bought a couch. We felt like grown up people (most of our furniture is hand me downs and we have been to a furniture store outside of this experience like two times MAYBE) On our high of feeling like grown up adult people (the kids were at my brother’s for the day) we decided to go to a restaurant that we have seen but known from the people walking into it, the cars parked outside of it and its location probably wasn’t a place for kids. Turns out, it wasn’t a place for Hubby and I either, BUT we couldn’t tuck our tails in and run, SO, we sat at our table in the middle of the restaurant and ordered big people food. I even got a cocktail. I originally ordered a vegetable plate and the waitress asked me (she was NO Brenda) how I would like them cooked, I was perplexed?? So I said, Medium??? She had a funny look then on HER face and said, “They will be pink in the middle then?” I said, sure……. My hubby and I had a nice giggle about that, wondering what on earth I was getting. Thankfully we did look the part of grown up people who can afford to eat at places like this one because we had been to a funeral pre-couch shopping and were still high on feeling like real adults. We had fun observing the people that were sitting around us, and then our food came and of course I was brought the Filet Mignon. Which was amazingly delicious, but no $14.99 plate of vegetables (still more than I would spend, but one of the least expensive options). A very LARGE bill later, we left and called “Feeling like Grown-Ups” a day. (remind me to tell you about our idea to invite a group of people to The Cheesecake Factory for our daughter’s birthday and offering to pay for it someday, – we JUST recovered from that one recently and it was two years ago!)

We should have looked at this BEFORE we ate there! I'm pretty sure you have to look like that while getting dessert.

Back to Reality, How are You?


Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

What a great post! I love running into people like that (the ones who will change your life and not even realize they're going to). The restaurant sounds like it was pretty scary - I'd have been afraid of the bill, too. But you only go around once in life so I guess you've got to take a few chances along the way (i.e., the restaurant bill). Does that make sense? Sometimes my thought process sounds perfectly sane to me until I see it on paper.

Have a great day and enjoy your new sofa!

FreeFlying said...

Congrats on the new couch and the grown up state! How exciting!

I, on the other hand, totally reverted to high school while at the haunted corn maze this weekend. Surrounded by giggling teenagers, I just decided my husband was my boyfriend and nuzzled in line with all of the other kids. By the end of the night I wanted to get a 40 and drink it in the park, but my boyfriend put his foot down.

Doria said...

Love the post! Congrats on the new couch :) I liked the Cheesecake Factory, only ate there once, but was tasty!

Sam said...

This is a mighty fine post indeed. I love running into people like Brenda (there seem to be soooo few of them)
I would have been totally intimidated by the restaurant you went to-I don't think I'd have the courage to go inside so kudos to you! I have also come to accept the fact that my husband and I will never ever join the ranks of 'Grown-Ups'-oh well.

Kate said...

Your hubby sounds like my brothers. :)

I've never had the customer service experiences that you have, but both times I've taken my kids to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, I've ended up crying (bc one of them was being a horrible little sh**, but my bad parenting isn't the point). Both times, one of the employees came up to me, asked what was wrong, how they could help, etc. Granted, they didn't rescue me from the clutches of the little demons, but just having someone show some concern and offer to help made a big difference.

At Disney (happiest place on earth, my ass), on the other hand, no one seemed to notice. The moral: clearly I should stay away from theme parks with my children. Or stay away from my children. One of the two.

Marla said...

This is such a good post. I often think of the one-hit wonders I have run into that have made a difference in my life. I hope there are strangers out there that can say the same about me.

You guys have the same sense of humor as we do. Bob always introduces me to people as his first wife.