I left straight from work to head South. Dinner with the family for my Dad's birthday. A marathon restaurant excursion that tried everyone's nerves just a little.
Slow from the beginning, we had plenty of time to share stories and scheme for upcoming celebrations. From my sister's upcoming birthday surprise to my sister-in-law's baby shower.
My favorite story was whispered to me by my niece. She leaned in and told me that she zig-zagged all the way down the mountain. Her proud beam was mirrored back at her. I've skied with her a couple of times, but for her to make it down from the top was something.
Of course she's learning on the very same mountain that we all learned on. I don't remember when my brothers started, but I was three, and my sister was not quite when she learned. Quite the tradition.
We moved from our corner of the restaurant to my parents' house. (I say our corner, as I'm fairly certain in the amount of time it took them to serve us that we would have been granted adverse possession in some states.)
Over ice cream and my sister's delicious homemade cherry pie, we watched my dad open his cards and gifts. A few even made him tear up a little.
Then it hit me. The worst part about our service at the restaurant. Not that it took nearly three hours to serve us. Not that lattes ordered when we sat down arrived after the appetizers. But that our waitress, although nice, was completely incompetent.
My request that she double-check with the kitchen on everything we ordered to see if something might cause an allergic reaction was either ignored or not taken seriously. She assured me nothing I had ordered had any, that nothing my mom had ordered had any, since we shared. I even refrained from trying the appetizers, as her answer on those was rather uncertain.
Unfortunately, my twisting and turning stomach and immediate need to spend time with the porcelain goddess instead of my dad on his birthday made me certain. The waitress was not only so incompetent at her job that my entire family ate (but not drank) for free, but she caused me hours and hours of feeling terrible.
At least the time I did get to spend with the family was great. Even if I missed a bit of it, and missed a show I wanted to see later that night. Will my luck ever change?