Land Down Under – Part III of V


The following evening Chris and Alli took me out for our annual Melbourne event. Each summer they pick a fantastic restaurant, and we dress accordingly. That night Alli descended the stairs and I emerged from the guest room to find that we were each wearing a black skirt with a red top. Since she had a closet full of clothes at her disposal, Alli asked if she should change. I told her that it didn’t bother me, but we should be prepared if other diners thought Chris had ordered us from a University of Georgia escort service.

The meal was superb. They had chosen a restaurant called Silvestro’s that required a 45 minute drive, but the food was well worth the tire tread and the liquid plutonium we put in the gas tank. I was infatuated with the triangular dishes, but the homemade linguine pushed me over the edge into a full blown affair. The evening was going perfectly until the check arrived.

Chris slid the bill his way, and I looked for my separate check. After having pointedly informed the waiter with perfect teeth that I was on my own tab, there should have been two little, black ledgers with credit card holders on the table. I started to put up a fight, but then the manager came over and tried to instigate a full-blown brouhaha.

“Did the two of you and your daughter enjoy the meal?”

I turned my head slowly, so as not to excite the poor man obviously suffering from a nasty case of senility. He was looking at me through glasses thick enough to function as safety goggles for space shuttle welding.

Alli started laughing first. “Oh, she’s not our daughter; she’s our friend from high school!” Thank God I have the good sense to adopt friends with enough confidence to withstand the verbal bumblings of a man with Coke bottle lenses.

“Yeah,” I piped up. “These two were my friends for twenty years up until about ten seconds ago.” I looked at Chris. “You want me to pay for my meal now?”

The manager started backpedaling so fast he could have landed a job with Cirque du Soleil. This was probably the same guy who walked up to slightly pudgy women in the grocery store check-out and asked them how far along they were. You’d think a man in his 50’s would have learned a thing or two along the way. Sure, I was the only one at the table not drinking wine, but did that mean I was under 21? Shoot, as long as he was making assumptions about my lack of alcoholic consumption, he could have slipped me an AA card to really put things over the top. We walked out laughing and spent the rest of the night cracking jokes.

“Hey, when I decide to get married, are you guys going to pay for the wedding? It’s tradition, you know.”

“You just watch yourself back there or you’re grounded when you get home.”

“Think Dad’ll mind if I take the Porsche out for a spin?”  No comment on that one.

Well, the three of us have always said we’re more family than friends. But thanks to low lighting, myopia, and my refusal to imbibe, it now seems that I am the next generation.

© 2012 – Traci Carver


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