Just Call Me Grace

Categories: Picklings |

For the next few days, I’ll be attending the Parkinson’s Action Network’s Annual Forum. The indomitable stayed behind in Nashville in order to save money. It’s my first night here, and I’m hungry. Unfortunately, the only friend I’ve kept up with over the past year could not attend. That leaves me in a dilemma-dining alone. I was a champ at being a single diner during my early twenties. I always ate at the bar and befriended the bartenders. Tonight, not wanting to venture onto an unknown street at dusk in our nation’s capital, I decide to muster up some of my old skill at the hotel bar. Of course, when I sit down, I realize the bartender would probably be annoyed by me taking a vacancy at his bar. After all, I can’t drink. I just order water.

I look over the menu. It’s a typical over priced menu, and I’m not feeling comfortable with spending $30 on dinner. I chose the Avocado and Tomato salad for $9. I think it’s going to be small considering it’s price point, but I’m trying to put healthy food in my body so the hamburger and fries is out. Something about feeling my baby kick makes me want to consume nutritious foods. The salad comes, and it’s tiny. Two horizontally cut slices of tomato and four avocado slivers, topped with onions, red peppers, and cilantro. With the exception of the size, it’s quite tasty.

I try to play it cool. With my prenatal acne, I look about 20 years old so playing it cool is essential. I delicately cut my tomato, using my best table manners. I slice the wheat roll that accompanies my salad and slather a tiny bit of butter on each sizes. I deny my usual habit of tearing the bread into smaller pieces and just bite it. For a small salad, I manage to drag out the process of eating it. I really want to prove that I’m a lady and that I belong in this fancy Washington, DC hotel, even if I’m wearing baggy pants and a pink t-shirt.

When I finish, I ask for changes. My dinner was only $9.90, and all I have is a $20. The preoccupied bartender is not get a $10 tip from me. I could have ordered a much bigger meal for that money. He gets the change as I continue to play it cool. I sip on my ice water, which is mostly ice at this time. I tilt my head back to get the final drops. Then the ice shifts, and I completely cover my face, my shirt’s sleeve, and the bar with water.

I quickly leave the bar, walking past people I recognize.  I’m literally too cool to talk to them.


  1. vhefley@comcast.net

    Were you wearing your new pink shirt and overalls? I’m sure you looked better than anyone there anyway. Cool!

  2. mrsmith@gra.midco.net

    I am so sorry you had to break bread in such a manner, But I’m rolling on the floor laughing at such a heroic attempt at eating with such class while ice drizzles on your sleeve. I can’t wait for the next chapter of this epic adventure.


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