Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Very Bailey Birthday

Okay, this entry got a little out of hand length wise.  I cut a bunch out, but I'm leaving a decent amount in.  I can't tell you how thrilled I was to find someone who actually laughed at a joke I made.  I probably should have proposed.

The thing about my family is that we all like joking around and being funny.  And we're really funny.  To each other.  On our own, we're all a little bit obnoxious, but when we hang out together we Voltron our obnoxiousness into something else entirely. In private I'm usually the most vocal, but in public I tend to take the back seat and make sure it doesn't get too out of hand. I am, after all, the responsible one.

The other night my siblings, their respective others, Stacy(Without an e) and I went out for my birthday. I chose P.F. Chang's because I love the Mu Shu Chicken. I don't speak Chinese, but I feel quite confident in my assertion that Mu Shu is Chinese for "Burrito". The fun part is that they come out and make the burrito in front of you.

My brother Josh made sure to let our waitress Bailey know that we were going to be that table as soon as she came and introduced herself.

"We're all celebrating" he told her, "We lost our jobs today"
"Well, as long as you can still tip" she joked back.
"Tip?" I asked as if the word was new to me.
"Whoever runs the slowest gets to pay" Miranda's boyfriend Andrew added.

Bailey was freakishly cute, so I immediately hid under the table to avoid any accidental eye contact. The rest of my family kept up with the "funny", but she handled it well.

"Wow, you're a pro at this" my brother complimented as she wrapped my Mu Shu in to a nice little pocket.
"Don't call me that. I don't want to be a professional waitress" she said with a smile.
"Okay fine" I said, rolling my eyes and holding up my hands to make air quotes, "Actress"

Since she had other tables waiting I offered to help, "Want me to take care of those?  I can't do the fancy fold, but I can roll them in to tacos"
"If you rolled it in to a taco it'd be a burrito" she shot back without missing a beat.
"Yeah, stupid" my ever-supportive sister chimed in.

By the time dessert came around Bailey had been putting up with our crap for quite some time, so I offered to let her have my complimentary birthday dessert.  She declined so I asked her to surprise me with something and got up to use the restroom.

When I returned, the not-professional waitress was standing over my seat and lighting a green candle in a thing of cheesecake. She didn't see me come back so I pulled up a chair from a neighboring table and sat down beside her.

"Oh, it's got green stuff all around the bottom now" she said, referring to the wax that had been melting.
She still wasn't aware of my presence when I responded, "Don't worry, I've got some pills that will fix that up."
"Oh. You're a quick one" Bailey laughed.

After she left I asked my sister, "Do you think I should tell her to hold on to the candle?  You know, for her scrapbook.  For when she tells the story of how we met to our kids."

She returned a few minutes later and asked, "Do you want that last Mu Shu boxed up to go?"

I don't normally take leftovers because I have a tendency to just let them stink up my fridge for a week before finally relenting and throwing them out.  She didn't give me a chance to answer though.   

"I worked hard folding those things up. It's going home in a bag with you, or in your belly."
"You know what.  I think I will take that home after all. It is a lovely Mu Shu."

I felt pretty bad about the amount of crap we had put the girl through, so after everyone left I slipped another twenty on to the table and headed for the parking lot.  By that time the Chang's was empty, and there were just employees left.  

One of the cars in the parking lot was empty but had its headlights on, so I walked back in to let someone know.  The hostess was long gone, and the front deserted, so I walked back towards our table to find Bailey clearing it off.

"You forgot something" she said before I had a chance to speak.  My heart?  How did you..  She held up the doggie bag of Mu Shu.

Oh yeah.  In my attempt to be decent and leave an extra tip I'd completely spaced on the leftovers."Thanks.  Someone left their car lights on by the way.  I would assume it's an employee here since the place is empty."

"Oh, I'll let them know.  You didn't have to leave the extra tip.  Thank you though"

"Well, you didn't have to put up with our shit.  Thank you."

"Happy Birthday"

I told my sister the postscript to the story over the phone while driving home.

"You know," she explained, "if you had grown a set and asked her for her number, worst case, you'd be driving home alone right now."


  1. I bought the whole story except this line: "You didn't have to leave the extra tip. Thank you though".

    Come on, in times of financial crisis, a waitress won't say a tip wasn't necessary...She knows that putting up with your guys' shit garnered that extra 20, no?

    I think you schumachered that line.

  2. Well, when I originally wrote this whole thing it was about 3 times longer. I had to go back and cut some things out to make it somewhat more palatable.

    After the check arrived my brother paid for it and everyone else chipped in on the tip. I did not since it was my birthday. All told she ended up with a 30% tip, which isn't too shabby.

    My brother then took the money and folded it in to a tiny little triangle, which I told him was a pretty douchey move. He argued that it was acceptable if the tip was high enough. I countered that she may have barked like a dog if I offered her a 100 bucks for it, but the Ben Frank doesn't make me any less of an asshole.

    Midway through our discussion she came back to the table so we asked her. She said, "Depends on how much it is". She left with the triangle of cash and came back later and said, "It's totally fine".

    But we both know it isn't "totally fine" Adam.

    So, after the check was settled and I everyone was leaving, I put the extra 20 down. I didn't have any smaller bills, and since I hadn't paid anything for the meal I didn't really care. Stacy actually offered to leave a 10 she had, but I wasn't having it.

    When I came back after the fact there was a little more discussion between me and Bailey. I think she was worried that someone had just left the twenty on accident since she'd already gotten a tip.

  3. Happy belated!
    The fear voice in your head that always stops you will give you a dozen reasons not to approach a woman. If you go ahead and do it any way, you will master that fear and then you will have all the women you can handle. Instead, tell yourself the truth: women want to be approached, they think it's flattering.

  4. for what mory lacks in height she makes up with wisdom. take note.

    also, in situations such as this, they say never let the goats leave the pin during a snow storm, you know!

  5. You should go back in a week or so, order some more Mu Shu and get her number! Worst case she declines & you are too embarrassed to go back for awhile. Since she's not planning to be there forever, you'll only have to wait a month or two until the place is free of awkwardness... Best case, you have your own personal Mu Shu roller...