I Have Forgotten How to Eat at a Restaurant

On Sunday, I ate at a restaurant for the first time in three months. Three months! This planet has traversed about 150 million miles of its orbit around the sun since I last ate food at a public establishment. So imagine my great dismay to discover that I have completely forgotten how to eat at a restaurant.

Here are a few things that happened when I tried to gracefully reenter the restaurant-going world:

  • I waited 5–7 seconds for the waiter to indicate to me which chair I should sit in, before remembering that I actually get to choose that myself.
  • It took me several moments to register that there was a separate food and drink menu; the drinks are not listed on the food menu, and the food is not listed on the drinks menu. I turned over each menu at least three times, looking for the other items.
  • I stared shamelessly for minutes at other patrons of the restaurant. I have not seen people eating in public in so long.
  • I accidentally ordered a fucking whiteclaw!!!
  • I accidentally ordered a second whiteclaw, and then a third whiteclaw!!!
  • I accidentally ordered six more whiteclaws!!! That’s nine whiteclaws, ordered by mistake!!!
  • My date asked what an atomic elbow was, so I demonstrated on an unsuspecting patron at the next table! I concussed a stranger, because I have not eaten in a restaurant for so long, and forgot the accompanying social norms!
  • I shit my pants four times! Five, depending how you define a pants-shitting! Did anybody else forget that restaurants have bathrooms?
  • I asked for an affogato made with breastmilk! Can you believe that? How embarrassing that I forgot that many restaurants don’t even keep breastmilk stocked!
  • I tipped my waiter a full 15%, even though he had an eyebrow piercing and I don’t approve of that!
  • I got a DUI on my way home—all because I haven’t been to a restaurant in so long!

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