Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Lady

I celebrated my birthday last week. I turned 28 and had a lovely day. Kyle and I went out for dinner at La Chaumiere, a french restaurant on 17th ave. I have trouble with high-class dining experiences. My trouble is that I am not very classy and consequently, quite awkward.

Awkward moment number one:
We enter the restaurant and are greeted by the Parisian maitre d'. Let's call him Jacques. Jacques consistently addresses me as "the lady".
Jacques reaches for my coat but I quickly wriggle out of it by my own power. Not missing a beat, Jacques extends his right hand to receive my coat and give me my coat check ticket. Not understanding what's going on, I reach for the coat hanger in Jacques' left hand. After an awkward tussle, I realize that a lady lets a gentleman hang her coat for her.

Awkward moment number two:
Jacques leads us into the dining room. He pulls out Kyle's chair for him. Seeing an opportunity to avoid having my chair managed for me, I quickly pull mine out and poise myself to sit down. Jacques panics (in a very calm, classy way). He abandons Kyle mid-sit and quickly turns to my chair, pushing it into my legs as I flop down. Our timing is poor and my chair is about 12 inches away from the table. Without standing up, I shuffle my chair toward my plate. A lady does not stand up to move her own chair.

Awkward moment number three:
Before we see our menus, Jacques asks if we would like an "aperitif".
I request a glass of wine. Does that even count as an aperitif? He asks me what kind of wine I would like. Flustered, I ask, "Do you have a house red?". I know they probably don't, but I can't remember the names of any wines. I'm buying time. Jacques asks, "What type of grapes do you like?". I'm tempted to say, "red ones" but hold myself back. A lady does not engage in smart-assery. I flash him a plebian smile and ask him to choose for me.

Awkward moment number four:
The meal consists of a beautiful blue cheese/strawberry salad and beef tenderloin. We finish with a gorgeous creme brulee. As we exit the restaurant, I find my coat ticket and hand it to Jacques. This round, I know what's coming. The lady is prepared. I have always hated having a man hold my coat open for me but Jacques and his fine manners have won me over. Jacques holds out my coat. I twist my head behind me so that I can find my coat sleeves without groping Jacques. After a few misses, I successfully guide my arms through the arm holes and exit the building, biding Jacques a good night.


Avey Christiansen said...

Ahhh! That's awesome Jamie! Mark and I got an $80 gift certificate for there that we wouldn't use because we were too embarrassed to go. Not only is it awkward to be in a restaurant that's too fancy for you, but it's equally embarrassing to pay with a gift certificate letting everyone know that you really don't belong. I don't even know what an aperitif is. I liked the part where you took off your own coat to hang it up. Pretty funny. But it could have gone a LOT worse!

Jamie said...

Funny thing is we also had a gift certificat. I was embarassed to use it but given my manners, I figure that Jacques wasn't surprised.

heather said...

BAHAHAHA! Oh your girls are so funny. I laughed the whole way through this blog. Thanks Jamie!

Dave said...

'A lady doesn't engage in smart assery'?? Funny! How did Kyle manage to keep his 'smart assery' in check??

Sarah said...

I always think it is awkward when they try to put the napkin on your lap!

Dave said...

I love that you took the hanger! I actually don't like it when people help me with my that ever not awkward? Does anyone ever actually get their arms in the right place the first time they try? And, I would like to know who is trying to put a napkin on Sarah's lap...something is fishy about that! Happy Birthday Jamie. Thanks for letting us laugh at you!

Heather M. said...

You are awesome and totally hilarious!

And I'm off to google apertif. :)

heather said...

Will you blog already? i check ALL the time...

Celia said...

So now that you're 28, you don't blog?

Does this mean you are a grown up?

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