Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Check Mate

      Some time ago I found myself watching an old movie on TV that starred Jane Curtain and Susan St. James as divorced women, sort of a movie version of their show Kate & Ally.  Anyway, there is a scene in which they are having lunch with their married friend, and when the check comes they both sort of shy away and leave the check for the married friend, who is the only one who is not broke.  Classic.  I have seen that scene played out before a million billion times with college kids and just some cheapass people that I know. 
     Fast forward to tonight, when it was the exact opposite.  I went to dinner with my mom and Dr. B, and I had it in my mind that I was going to pay.  See, she is my mom and as a mom always buys, but I like to do my part once in a while.  I had been to that restaurant before, and I knew how it worked.  There is a table - a two person table - tucked away behind a fake fireplace at which they never seat and customers.  It is at that table where the waitresses always sit down to figure out your bill, with nothing but a pen, whatever basic arithmetic they remembered from grade school, and maybe a little calculator with the logo of a drug company on it.
     There were not many people in the place, and we were seated at a table where I could just conveniently see what was going on over at the math table.  So I saw the waitress sit down and start figuring, and I contemplated my options.  I knew that once that check hit the table I was helpless to get my hands on it, and I was considering in my mind getting up, going to the bathroom, and settling the bill on the way.  See, the math table was to my mom's back, and Dr. B wouldn't have said anything so I would have pulled it off brilliantly.  But I for some reason didn't have the balls to pull off a steal of epic proportions.
     What I opted to do instead was discretely stick out my arm as the waitress came towards the table, as if I were reaching for the check.  And it would have worked too if my mom hadn't spotted it with her mom vision out of the corner of her eye.  So we, two adults, because a physical battle for possession of the dinner check.  Now, I couldn't just full force on my mom, but I figured if I could just sort of keep her busy for long enough I would win.  That was when the waitress pulled an enlightened move.  She gave the check to Dr. B and said "I am going to give it you and let you decide."
     At that point I was done for.  I thought he was going to pull an end around and pay himself, which he tried to do, but my mom put on a sort of half-pissed-off-girlfriend-half-pissed-off-mom face and voice and he turned to me and said "Sorry, I have to sleep with her."  And I don't blame him.  I wouldn't want someone kicking me all night long either.
     So, long story short, I lost my battle for the check, just like I lose most battles with my mom.  Because, well, she is my mom after all.  But that being said, I got to reflecting about it and realized that I am pretty lucky to be in a family where we fight FOR the check, not to get out of it.  Kind of makes me think that things are going to be alright.

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