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Today what popped into my head was not a story but a recipe that I created (Though there may be similiar recipes out there they were not my influence). Once you get to know me you find out quickly that I am organized in an unorganized way. This is exactly how I cook- A little bit of that, a dash of this and maybe a few pinches of whatchamacallit. But to my surprise and my family’s liking somehow it always turns out edible and actually quite delicious. You won’t find exact measurements for what I use but if you are anything like me you will make this recipe work.

Here we go…

A bag of your favorite frozen ravioli’s-any will do-cook them according to package.In a Sautee pan put a nice amount of olive oil-We like ours oily so I put more.

Slice roasted peppers (the kind you find in a jar) and imitation crabmeat (or real if you want to splurge-I never do:)). I usually like the peppers and the crabmeat slivered but still chunky-Again your choice. Throw both into the oil and add fresh garlic (as much or little as you like). You can use minced garlic in the jar if you don’t have fresh- A dash of salt a pinch of pepper and a handful or two of parmesan cheese.

Sautee all together for a few minutes, pour over ravioli and serve. Voila gourmet made simple. And if your kiddo’s aren’t into gourmet just butter their ravioli’s and they will be just as happy.

I’m sure you noticed by now this is my first attempt at putting a recipe up and it is not very organized. I apologize for this but I am pretty sure you will forgive me once you tried this dish. Next up my famous portabella mushroom recipe.


Thirteen Things about YOUR NAME

For this Thursday Thirteen I have decided to write thirteen songs I have loved throughout my life. Their lyrics and melodies made me play them over and over again.

1…. Your So Vain (Carly Simon- I love her-This song has always been one of my favorites and when my nephew was younger he would ask me to play him “Clouds in my Coffee” and he would believe me when I told him I was the one singing on the radio.)

2….Cassidy(A song by the Grateful Dead- I always loved the lyric- You were born to me Cassidy-which explains why I named my daughter that)

3…Unwritten-Natasha Bedingfield(My anthem)

4…Don’t A change my brown eyes blue-Crystal Gale (When I would ask my father why I couldn’t have blue eyes he would sing this song to me)

5…She’s Like The Wind-Patrick Swayze(One of the first nights I met my husband this song was on-a few nights later he called me-I could hear him fumbling with something – He played this to me over the phone and it became our song

6…Unknown Legend-Neil Young-(I absolutely love this song and it reminds me of myself-it talks about a waitress, and a girl who now is dressing two kids and gets the far-away look in her eyes-So me except I have 3 kids-but I know that far away look and what I’m thinking about when I get it-My youth

7….Here Comes The Sun -Beatles- (This song will always put me in a good mood. It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel type of song.)

8…Bartender-Dave Matthews- I get such a melancholy feeling while listening to this song, I feel for the person who lost the love of their life and goes to a bar to try lessen the blow of losing the one

9…Home Sweet Home-Motley Crue- (My childhood friend absolutely loved Motley Crue, we would spend many nights in his back yard listening to them. He made me learn every word of this song and to this day twenty years later I can sing every word

10…You Light Up My Life-Debbie Boone(The first song I ever wanted to know every word to. My sisters had a record player,I took my notebook and sat next to the player until I wrote every word and then I would sing the song very proudly knowing I knew all of the words

11… This one is going to be three songs in one- I have a song with each of my children and thought I would list them as one. My oldest daughter -Close to You-Carpenters(I would sing this to her when she was a baby and it became our song) Moon River-My son- He has curly hair and is a boy’s boy sort of rugged- There is a lyric in this song that says My Huckleberry Finn which reminds me of him- and I loved when Audrey Hepburn sang it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You Are My Sunshine-My baby- Her middle name is Rae and this song would naturally come to me when singing to her

12…Seasons In the Sun-Terry Jacks-(Have always loved this song and as morbid as it may sound I have told people that if I die young I would like this song played at my funeral)

13…Coming Around Again-Carly Simon(Again love her)-I love this song even more now that I am a mother-I loved it prior to being a mother but truly appreciate it now. My favorite part is at the end when the children break into Itsy Bitsy Spider

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


The one thing I enjoy the most about getting older is discovering me. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it is that makes me, Me. I’ve taken many tests (color tests, personality tests, numerology-you name it) to try and come up with a sense of who exactly I am. I’ve always been pleasantly surprised at the end of one of these tests. Because they helped explain the person I already knew I was but couldn’t put into words. When you understand who you are and what makes you tick or smile, you live life a bit fuller. Recently, I realized that I am a true competitor. It’s not other people I enjoy competing with, it’s, myself. For as long as I could remember I always competed with myself. I challenge myself with the silliest unimportant things. An example of one of these situations happens while I am waiting tables. When I notice the customer is finished eating, I immediately ask if I could take the dishes away. Partly because I was trained to this (at the higher scale restaurant) and mainly because when they get up to leave the game begins. If I cannot clear the entire table with one swipe I get annoyed with myself. It’s not because I’m lazy and don’t want to return to the table to clear the rest. It’s because I know there’s a system that will allow me to completely clean the clutter in one shot. The cups we use are plastic and are easily stackable. The dishes all place inside each other neatly and silverware can be placed inside the red plastic cups. All seasonings can be placed in the bread-basket. If the basket becomes too full, I can stick a ketchup bottle or salt shaker inside my apron pocket. I bend my left arm and tuck the cups into the inside crease, which acts as a pocket. My left hand balances all dishes and with my right hand I gather all of the place mats, empty straw papers and any opened sugar packets. I throw all extra debris on top of one place mat and roll all of the garbage into a tube, which I then carry away with my right hand. When I see the table absolutely cleared I get a feeling of perfection. I walk away with a grin on my face. I just won the competition. Sometimes I even feel a bit smug. The times I begin to get over confident are usually shattered when one of the dishes fall to the floor turning every person’s eyes on me. I smirk then laugh at myself out of sheer embarrassment. My inner voice taunts me telling me I should have paid more attention to the way I balanced the plates. The funny thing is, I remember stacking the dishes and thinking I should probably fix this but then thought nah I’ll make it. The only thing I ended up making was noise. But I did learn another thing about myself. Sometimes I take shortcuts when really I should be enjoying the drive.  

Emergency rooms are filled with people waiting to be seen. As well as people waiting with the people waiting to be seen. On a busy night the brightly lit room can be the source for all kinds of characters. On Saturday night I observed many interesting people and wondered what stories they could tell. There was a teenager in a very short blue fleece robe. It was decorated with snowmen. Her hair was plopped on top of her head in a floppy ponytail. She struck up a conversation with another girl in interesting attire. The other girl was wearing baggy pants adorned with hot sauce bottles and a man’s loose-fitting white t-shirt. Because you sit in such close proximity of other’s in the waiting room you have no choice but to hear the conversations going on.  The girls talked about children and how many they planned on having. The robe girl said she would have seven. She didn’t care if anyone thought she was crazy. She wanted seven children because she was an only child and hated it. The hot sauce bottle girl explained she was pregnant but lost her baby. She was in the emergency room due to complications from a miscarriage. I listened a bit and played out scenarios for them in my mind. I pictured the robe girl with a screaming baby rested on her hip and another in a high-chair throwing food and wondered if she would really make it to seven. The hot sauce bottle girl had a bit of an edge to her. I envisioned her as the type of girl that ran the show and refused to take smack from anyone. What kind of mother’s will they become? I will never really know but I had fun making up a life for them. My attention shifted from them to an older man sitting by himself with his palm rested against his chin. I thought he looked familiar but couldn’t place where I saw him before. Worry and sadness painted his face. He was obviously concerned for whom ever it was he was waiting for. I later realized he was a customer of mine that frequently visited the restaurant. In front of him was a young couple. The boy scrunched down in his seat, his legs were spread out in a carefree fashion. He didn’t pay half as much attention to the girl as she did to him. She kept affectionately rubbing her hands against his legs. As if she was warning the other girls of his status. My eyes shifted to the floor and what caught my attention surprised me a bit. It was no longer faces I was studying. It was toes. Seven out of nine of the girls in the waiting room were wearing flip flops. There were casual flip flops, sequenced flip flops, flip flops with stripes and flip flops that have seen better days. And if there are flip flops then you know there must be toes. If you are going to wear flip flops I think you have an obligation to your toes or shall I say toe nails to keep them presentable. Don’t put flip flops on if your nails are curling past the skin of your toes. It does you an injustice. Wearing flip flops is like buying a house on an Avenue. You have a responsibility to keep them clean, primped and maybe even decorated. I know, the fact that you are in an emergency room may mean you didn’t have time to focus on what you were wearing. But keep in mind you probably will be waiting for hours. The other people in the waiting room with you have no choice but to focus on the other’s in the room at some point. I will remember the faces and toes of all of the people in the room that night. Mainly because of what they were wearing, whether it was a snowman robe, hot sauce pants or flip flops. They made a statement and didn’t even realize it. I wonder if someone else looked at what I was wearing and thought, what was she thinking? I was one of the two that didn’t have on flip flops. My toenails were not ready to be seen.  They needed an emergency room of their own, preferably one in a salon with a nice comfy chair and deep bubbly foot bath.  

 I am not embarrassed to say I love to waitress. I don’t feel inferior to those who have careers rather than jobs. I have the ability to carry on an educated conversation without sounding like I am pretending to know something. Which I have to say is a pet peeve of mine- A person who knows a little bit about something but tries to incorporate their knowledge of that something into most conversations. All that shows me is, they don’t know much about anything else. I know a little bit about a lot of things. And I have learned from the people I have waited on. They have taught me things I would have never learned in school. Lessons they learned from living life. A sweet man in his eighties instructed me to cherish all moments with my children. He told a story about dates he took with his daughter when she was a little girl. First he would take her shopping for a pretty dress. She would come out of the dressing room smiling. She would twirl around and loved a dress that would fan out and spin. From there they moved on to dinner. I could see the adoration in his eyes as he told the story. What I didn’t foresee was what he would tell me next. At eighteen his daughter was hit from behind by a Mac truck on a highway and she was killed. Remembering those dates with his daughter is what kept him going. When I get mad at my children and find myself annoyed I think of the lesson he taught me. He also advised me that my son will treat his wife the way he sees his father treat me. He said the best thing a father can do for his children is love his wife. I love that, and you better believe I passed that lesson right to my husband. An older woman who comes in solo most of the time educated me on the love a child has for their parents. From her I learned you are never too old to love your Mommy and Daddy. She is well into her seventies and loves to tell me stories of her youth and the time she spent with her parents. Her father taught her to garden and every time she speaks about him she refers to him as– my daddy. At first I thought it was odd that a seventy some year old woman would refer to her father as daddy. But then I saw in her eyes a little girl. The little girl she once was told it. I have waited on well educated people and people with no or little education. I am not knocking education because lord knows it is important to have. But education does not make you a good person or a smart tipper for that matter. I have had doctors tip me less than the men who mow their lawn. I have had teenagers tip me more than two of their teachers. I learned a lot about people from being a waitress. I know when to walk away or approach a table cautiously. When I see a certain glare in a woman’s eye directed at the man across the table. Every once in a while I am still fooled. And it can go either way. The couple who is dressed impeccably and speak so kindly and compliment the service I give hand me the bill with an embarrassing tip. I was sure they would have tipped well. Why you ask, because I fell for the polished well spoken version of a customer. In the end they didn’t pay well. I am ashamed to say I have looked at the man with dark blue mechanics uniform, dirty fingernails and thought “This one won’t be good.” It happened to be the best tip of the night. Most restaurants don’t require a degree upon hiring but I can guarantee by the time you leave a waitressing job you will be well educated in life.I do have a degree but waitressing is what allowed me to be home with my children and that is what is important to me.A friend of mine directed me to the writing below a while back and I loved reading it. It is about a Genius Waitress written by Tom Robbins. I wish I wrote it      

Of the genius waitress, I now sing.Of hidden knowledge, buried ambition, and secret
sonnets scribbled on cocktail napkins; of aching
arches, ranting cooks, condescending patrons, and eyes
diverted from ancient Greece to ancient grease; of
burns and pinches and savvy and spunk; of a uniquely
American woman living a uniquely American compromise,
I sing. I sing of the genius waitress.

Okay, okay, she’s probably not really a genius. But
she is well-educated. She has a degree in Sanskrit,
ethnoastronomy, Icelandic musicology, or something
equally valued in contemporary marketplace. Even if
she could find work in her chosen field, it wouldn’t
pay beans–so she slings them instead. (The genuis
waitress is not to be confused with the
aspiring-actress waitress, so prevalent in Manhattan
and Los Angeles and so different from her sister in
temperament and I.Q.)

As a type, the genius waitress is sweet and sassy,
funny and smart; young, underestimated, fatalistic,
weary, cheery (not happy, cheerful: there’s a
difference and she understands it), a tad bohemian,
often borderline alcoholic, frequently pretty (though
her hair reeks of kitchen and bar); as independent as
a cave bear (though ever hopeful of “true love”) and,
above all, geniune.

Covertly sentimental, she fusses over toddlers and old
folks, yet only fear of unemployment prevents her from
handing an obnoxious customer his testicles with his

She doesn’t mind a little good-natured flirting, and
if you flirt with verve and wit, she may flirt back.
Never, however, never try to impress her with your
resume. Her tolerance for pretentious Yuppies ends
with her shift, sometimes earlier. She reads men like
a menu and always knows when she’s being offered
leftovers or an artificially inflated souffle.

Should you ever be lucky enough to be taken home by
her to that studio apartment with the jerry-built
bookshelves and Frida Kahlo posters, you will discover
that whereas in the public dining room she is merely
as proficient as she needs to be, in the private
bedroom she is blue gourmet virtuoso. Five stars and
counting! Afterward, you can discuss chaos theory or
the triple aspects of the mother goddess in universal
art forms–while you massage her swollen feet.

Eventually, she leaves food service for graduate
school or marriage; but unless she wins a grant or a
fair divorce settlement, chances are she’ll be back, a
few years down the line, reciting the daily specials
with her own special mixture of warmth and ennui.

Erudite emissary of eggs over easy, polymath purveyor
of polenta and prawns, articulate angel of apple pie,
the genius waitress is on duty right now in hundreds
of U.S. restaurants, smile at the ready, sauce on the
side. So brush up on your Schopenhauer, place your
order–and tip, mister, tip. She deserves a break

Of her, I sing.

Tom Robbins

My second waitressing job was in a pancake house. I learned quickly that most of the customers were regulars. Many of them were older couples. There was the woman who was a psychic and her very quiet husband. He hated when she would talk about her gift. It made him feel uncomfortable. She did read my palm once to his dismay. She told me I would marry the guy I was with. I was only seventeen so the thought of marriage was way off. She was right, I did marry him. She also said I would have three children and I do. Even though her predictions came true, I take them very light heartedly. There was the school bus driver and his wife. I loved this couple. We would talk for hours about trains and the Amish country and anything in between. He had the brightest twinkle in his eye and she had the warmest smile. They were the type of people who made you feel safe. The type you could call from anywhere at anytime and they would come to your rescue. When I left the pancake house to go to a bigger chain restaurant they followed. My heart always soared when I saw their faces. My heart broke when I found out the husband died. I still receive a card from her on occasion more than a decade later. Many of my regular customers were older so I had to endure the heartache of losing them forever. I was touched by all of them, but there was one couple that will forever occupy my mind. I called them my grandparents. They were the cutest pair. We had long chats about their life. She couldn’t have children because of a tipped uterus. Back in her day there was nothing that could be done to fix the problem so they had to accept they would be childless. I explained to them that I never met my father’s parents and wished so badly that I did. She offered to be my grandmother and her husband my grandfather. I fell in love with them. They were precious to me as I was to them. We lived in a small town, so when she suddenly died of a heart attack word reached us quickly. I remember going to her wake and seeing him there and thinking how sad he must be. How alone he must feel. No children, no siblings that I knew of. All he had was his girls. We were his girls, me and another waitress. The first time I saw him after his wife died I almost cried. He tapped his heart and smiled. Immediately I thought he was telling me his heart was broken. I was shocked when he pulled out my senior picture. He said “here you are, close to my heart.” I gave him the picture months before and he did tell me he would keep it in his pocket close to his heart but I was shocked to see he still carried it.  He still placed it inside the pocket of his shirt each day to remind him of me. I told him, “We’re going to visit you and keep you company.” I made good on my promise, my husband (boyfriend at the time) stopped for a gallon of ice-cream and dessert and trekked up to his home in the mountains. We spent a wonderful night with a beautiful man. As we pulled up his driveway the first thing I noticed was a Beware of dog sign. He opened his side door and excitedly waved as if he couldn’t believe we actually came. “Come in, come in, I have been waiting for you.” We sat at his kitchen table and talked. He took out my picture and explained to my husband how he always has it close to his heart. I asked where the dog was and burst out laughing when he told me there was no dog they just put up the sign to scare off intruders. He gave us a tour of his modest home. He tearfully told us how he found his wife in the bathroom the day she died. My soul ached for his loss but I admired how strong he was. “I have a surprise for you guys wait right there.” My husband and I looked at each other puzzled. We could hear him in the next room fiddling around with something but had no idea what it could be. “I’m ready,” he called out. We went in to find him dancing in the living room, twirling about. His arms fluttered in the air like wings. A record on an old turn table played a melody from the fifties. I have to be honest, at first I was like-what is he doing. But then I realized he was so happy to have company that it made him want to dance. We ended the night with a big hug and another promise to return. Soon after that night life changed for me. I was a senior in high-school. With less than a month left to graduation my parents house caught fire and we lost everything in it. My priorities shifted, I was busy helping my parents and consoling my family. My already hectic schedule became even crazier. I had class night (a senior skit), prom, senior day, graduation, the all night party and many trips to the laundromat to try and salvage whatever clothes were left. The smell of smoke was so strong even after three washes that we ended up throwing most away. I left the pancake house and went on to the bigger chain restaurant. After everything settled I started thinking of my grandfather (aka-my regular). I couldn’t believe how I forgot about him. When I saw my other regulars walk in to the restaurant I instantly asked them if they knew how he was doing. (They lived close to him). “I’m afraid he died honey,” was not the words I wanted to hear. I was also informed that a nephew (I didn’t know he had) of his was robbing him right before he died. I wanted to throw up. I still do every time I think of it. It’s a heavy stone upon my heart. To think I was the one he carried close to his heart and he died without me telling him how much of my heart he had. It is one of my biggest regrets in life. To honor him, I am letting everyone here in the blogging world know-Once I met a couple- an extraordinary man and woman who offered me a part of their life. And the part I took will be forever incomplete because I never got to say goodbye to either one. I never returned and now I never can. I wonder how long he kept my picture in his pocket and was there a point he took it out and thought she broke my heart.

Tonight I wish to address the people who cannot control their urge to throw another’s drink away prematurely. You know who you are. You’re the neat freaks, the cleaner-uppers, the-I think she’s done with this type of people. I am pleading with you to ask before you dispose. I know, it only looks like there’s a mouthful left, the ice cubes are just about melted and the drink appears to be watered down. The average person may not wish to finish this diluted drink. I am not the average person. I am the person who loves my last sip. In fact I anticipate the last sip. I have to say my favorite beverage to experience the last sip with is fresh brewed iced tea. There is a merger that happens at the end of this drink than cannot be compared to the first sip or anything in the middle. The tea, water from the melting ice and the few small tic-tac size cubes left, creates a perfect encore. Imagine my disappointment when I go to take that last sip and my cup is gone. My eyes frantically search the area. I hope that I simply misplaced it. I check every corner of counter, every table’s edge; I even quickly look atop the microwave. I don’t’ want to ask the question because I don’t want to hear the answer. So again I look, expecting to find my glass in the same place I swore I left it. But more times than not it’s gone. “Did someone take my drink?” I ask. Growing up it was always my mother. She liked a tidy house and hated when glasses were hanging about. If you saw her coming you better grab your drink or kiss it goodbye. Usually she was too quick for me and it was too late, my last sip was gone. It didn’t only happen at home. It seemed to happen at the restaurant just as much. It would be a crazy busy night. In between waiting on tables, punching in orders and trying to stay in the zone, I would pour myself a glass of tea. When my mouth became parched I would whiz up to it take a quick sip and carry on my way. I knew once I got caught up with all of my tables I could enjoy it to the last drop. Yeah, that never happened. Whatever shift I worked, there was always that one waitress who went into her own zone and cleared the clutter. Little did she know my last sip was amongst that clutter. It hasn’t only happened with tea, my coffee mysteriously disappeared several times and I had many glasses of water go M.I.A.. Countless times I found my glass empty in the sink. But there was one drink that never seemed to get thrown away. The soda I got at the drive-thru, which sat in my car’s cup holder for hours on a hot day. I got  distracted before I made it to the garbage can and set it on the counter. Three hours later there it was just as I left it. The bottom of the cardboard cup was now deteriorating from the sweat of the melting ice. A puddle of soda/water circled the cup and dripped down the side of my counter. It’s funny how no one thought to throw this one away.

We took the kids to an arcade/inside amusement park. The place wasn’t too fancy. The game room was typical. Skeeball games lined the walls and car games with the steering wheel and gas pedals were abundant. There were tons of ticket machines, the kind that has flashing lights and a bubble. You hit the bubble and the lights quickly circle the machine and land on a number. Whatever number the light stops on is the amount of tickets you win. In the lobby of this giant play room was a beautifully restored carousel from 1922. My older children and my husband went into an area where they could shoot plastic balls at each other through giant canon like machines. I accompanied my two-year old on her discovery adventure. It was the first time she saw a lot of these games and moving machines. She climbed into the rocket and pretended to take off. After returning from space she noticed an old ice-cream truck jumped in and believed she was actually driving. As I was following her to her next destination I noticed an older couple. They were standing in the middle of the lobby looking around. If I had to guess I would say they were well into their eighty’s. It was obvious the gentleman was a taller man in his youth. But now there was a small hunch in his upper back. The woman was much shorter than him and had the kindest eyes. Their steps were slow and they lingered in the lobby. I remember thinking they must be here to see their grandchildren. I raced to keep up with my very active toddler and forgot about the couple. It wasn’t long before my older children and my husband were running up to us. They grew tired of shooting balls at each other and running around. They wanted to take a break. “Let’s go on the carousel,” my son yelled. Good Idea, I thought. I went over to buy tickets and sent them to stand in line. When I came back I saw the most amazing thing. The eighty-some year-old couple was sitting on horses side by side. They didn’t come in to see their grandchildren. They came in to ride the carousel. Their faces glowed and they looked excited to be taking a trip around the moving platform. I wanted to watch my children’s faces but realized I was more engrossed with seeing theirs. Their eyes were connected and their smiles matched. A moment was being shared and I was experiencing with them. No longer did I see them as old people. I saw them as teenagers on their first date. I lived their life with them in a matter of minutes. I pictured them marrying, raising a family, welcoming grandchildren and lasting the long haul. I don’t know if they were rich or poor and it didn’t matter. They were happy and young at heart. Age is but a number, the child we were forever remains and this couple proved it.  I saw them ride off into the sunset. It was glorious.  

I have always loved being a waitress. I enjoy seeing what other’s will tip me. There is a thrill in the anticipation of receiving the money. I wonder what they gave me. They seemed friendly. The moment comes and you are delightfully surprised when customers exceed your expectations. When you receive less than you should have it’s a bummer of a feeling. It wasn’t worth the wait. That’s where the fun lies. In the wait, in the end a waitress wants to get tipped. There’s lots of funny moments in this career. I could tell you a thousand but tonight I will only tell you about last minute people. Whoever out there worked in a restaurant knows exactly who I’m talking about. The people who walk up to the window check the closing time. They give a quick glimpse at their watch, look at the person joining them, shrug their shoulders and say “We still have time.” They have no idea that you just ran four hours straight, did another sixty-minutes of clean-up and still had silver to roll. You were just about to marvel in the thought of the night being over. Instead you grab two menus, force a smile and attempt to sound pleasant. You would think these people would harbor a little guilt. There are some that know it was probably a bad idea, but stay anyway. There are other’s that become somewhat defensive and feel the need to talk really loud and explain why they came. You know the one’s that yell out, “I know it’s late but I’m starving.” The best ones are the people who take their time ordering. It’s like they enjoy rubbing salt in the wound. You approach the table and ask to take a drink order. No answer. They stay focused on the menu and don’t give a reply until you ask again. You bring the drinks and ask if they are ready to order. “One more minute,” they say. If only they  knew the waitress is thinking, “One more minute, we’re only open for one more minute.” By the time they leisurely finish their meal all of the silver has been rolled. Your purse is on the counter and your jacket is visible. There is no one in the dining room but you and them. You have no choice but to keep looking in their direction. Still, they remain. It’s obvious they are lost in conversation. They are oblivious to the worker mopping the floors two booth away from them. Not even a blink when bright lights are turned on.  At last you see them beginning to stir. You are hopeful this is it. One arm through a coat sleeve is a good sign. They rise to get up. You fill with relief. Trying to appear patient you nod goodbye. You wait for them to exit then run to clear the table. You scan the mess. You mean there’s no tip. Disgusted you clear the plates cursing all types of thoughts. Your mood goes from irked to down right mad. You grab the last plate and discover a folded up ten dollar bill. It was worth the wait.

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