Thursday, August 8, 2013

text me if you can

A few weeks ago, on a Monday night, I met two of my friends for dinner in the East Village. I arrived to find them waiting on the sidewalk outside the restaurant.

"We're on the list," Jess informed me. "She's going to text us when she has a table."

The three of us hovered by a lamppost as we waited, my lime green t-shirt gradually and patchily turning forest green in the awful evening humidity.

After no more than five minutes, Jess received a text: "may be a bit longer for your table, but would you like to sit at the bar for a drink?"

Now, this restaurant is a small, intimate joint, the kind of place where you have to turn and slide by behind the bar to get to the bathroom. There could not have been more than 20 people in there at any given point. (All of this, of course, is probably part of its appeal.) It's not as though this hostess was so overrun that she couldn't have just peeked her head outside and conveyed this information to us with her voice. Additionally, the door of the restaurant was open, and we could actually see her through the opening; so, in all likelihood, she had made the choice to write a (long, sentence-y!) text to Jess (one which necessitated a response, at that!) while she was staring directly at her.

Jess turned to us, somewhat perplexed. "So do I, like, text her back?" 

David grunted. I tossed my hands in the air. Finally – in spite of our (I think I can speak for all three of us here) palpable fear of confrontation – we sighed, channeled our collective inner Vin Diesel and decided to just barrel our way inside.

The hostess greeted us with an almost malevolent, Aubrey Plaza grin.

"Um, we got your text," I said.

"Cool," she said. And then, after a pause, she repeated the twenty words of her text message, verbatim, verbally. As we followed her to the bar, I briefly contemplated making a clunky "Should we text our drink orders to the bartender?" joke, but I thankfully made no such attempt. My "outrage" at her texting maneuver was clearly borne out of some identification; in fact, in her shoes, I probably would have added an overzealous emoticon (":D" or even ":P") at the end, which would of course only have aggravated the situation.