Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has a way of embarrassing herself at every turn. Not something so obvious that it can be seen from space, but something nuanced that makes people shoot her the side-eye.
Yesterday, I met my favorite Gambling Aunt for lunch at the FelineFish Skillet. We love to go there for the buffet, and I hadn't seen Auntie since early December. As we walked in, there was a sign at the front desk telling us to seat ourselves at a table in the right dining room.
"Huh. That's different. I wonder which one is the RIGHT dining room. Haha!"
"I'm wondering more about what a right DINNING room is! Because that's how they spelled it! Didn't you notice?"
We wandered in and saw that the right dining room was nearly full. It's just a big ol' rectangle. Only two tables were open. One all the way across the room by the windows, and one in the corner to our right. We took the corner table. Which came with somebody's mostly-eaten bacon pork rind chips in a white cardboard fry container. We sat down and waited.
After about five minutes, two other old ladies showed up. They stood at the entry of the right din(n)ing room, like they were surveying their kingdom. A waitress walked up to them and pointed out the only empty table in the room. Makes you wonder if they just couldn't read, or were confused by the RIGHT DINNING room, or don't follow directions, or thought they were special.
We waited 15 minutes before that waitress came to take our order. Seriously. It's an all-you-can-eat catfish house. How can they not know what people want? How can they not have the food ready? Anyhoo...she took our drink order of unsweetened tea and (gag) Diet Pepsi. Then disappeared another 15 minutes. In the meantime, we watched those two special ladies chowing down on their platters of fried goodness.
When we finally got our food, the waitress set a bowl of applesauce on the table as one of our sides.
"We didn't order that."
She started to take it back, but Auntie told her she might as well leave it. I wonder if the special ladies were missing their applesauce, heh, heh!
The food was okay. I prefer the chicken strips, which used to be full plump moist breasts. Hope that doesn't get me any pervert traffic! They have a really good sweet and sour sauce to dip that chicken in. Neither of us ate the shrimp. Except Auntie tried two pieces, and pronounced it all breading. It looks like what I buy frozen for The Pony, except that mine has actual shrimp inside. Auntie likes the fish best. But this fish was like eating the deep-fried tail of a perch that you caught off the dock at Grandpa's pond. Tough and thin and chewy. But with enough tartar sauce, it was passable.
Here's where I put one foot in my mouth, and almost another. Usually, Auntie and I take turns buying lunch. Wherever we are, it's just luck of the draw. We don't try to balance out the next trip to the penny. The last time we had lunch, I know that Auntie paid. That's because the time right before THAT, we were at the casino, and I paid. So when the waitress asked how we were doing, and walked away, I anticipated the bill coming, and said, "Is it my turn to pay?"
Auntie said, "Oh, no!"
And I said, "Well, you're not paying for mine! I'll give you the money."
MAJOR SIDE EYE!
Apparently, Auntie had no intention of paying for mine! Oopsie! So I just said I thought it was my turn, since she paid last time, and Auntie said no. So I deduced we were going dutch. At least it was just Auntie, and not somebody whose opinion of me I really care about!
TOMORROW: The myth of all-you-can-eat and my near faux pas concerning proper dining behavior.