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  • I skipped lunch at work today and was starving. The time of day when my hunger pains became my governing force was way past lunch but too early for dinner, so I decided to head out from behind my computer to a place I had only been once before. I received a gift certificate to a particular restaurant for Christmas, but never used it. I'm not really partial to restaurants with vintage skis and snowshoes hanging on board and and batting walls. Or silly paper wasp hornet's nests nestled in alcoves as decorative elements. Or a fishing pole in the ladies restroom. Or chandeliers made out of antlers, so the gift certificate to this particular restaurant sat in my wallet unused.

    But today was the day when free won over ambiance.

    I wasn't even sure the restaurant was open, since there were absolutely no cars in the parking lot. I checked their hours and they were indeed open. I decided they were about to have a customer. Once inside it was just as I suspected: not a single soul. The hostess sat me at a nice, quiet table for 4 in the corner.

    After reviewing the menu, I determined I was in an overpriced, over-sized hamburger and french fries kind of mood. I didn't need anything fancy or any amplified decoration on my plate, there was quite enough of that on the walls. I left my table, went and washed my hands with a nicely scented anti-microbiaI, and when I returned found an extremely handsome waiter waiting at my table. Since I was the only patron, I felt certain I was about to receive the royal treatment. This was looking better and better.

    Despite the gently-used, vintage artifacts hanging all over the walls, it was a pretty pricey establishment. The type of restaurant that uses linen napkins and doesn't leave a ketchup bottle on the table but usually brings condiments in little stainless steel bowls, possibly white ceramic, which only leaves you asking for more. This was of great concern for me since my condiment requirements are pretty substantial.

    I was the only patron and the only person actually sitting at my table so I decided I would look less lonely if I looked busy. I decided I needed a "working lunch". My "working lunch" consisted of answering an email and cleaning out my purse. From the deep recesses of my big-ass purse I found torn cellophane breath mint wrappers, old perfume tester strips, my Chapstick!, two pens (Bic Pro Exact to be exact), one earring and 3 marbles. I also discovered the entire contents of my change purse had been emptied, providing revelation as to way I sounded so jingly when I walked. While in the middle of all this cleaning and restructuring, my waiter who, not wearing a name tag, went nameless, took my order. One overpriced, over-sized hamburger for me. It was not until I received the bill at the end of the meal that i learned that his name was Server #356, Matthew.

    While I waited on my food and pretended to look busy, I couldn't help but notice that Server #356, Matthew looked quite handsome under the stuffed quail hanging on the wall, his hands perched on the carpet duster he was using intermittently, trying not to notice me. As middle-aged divorcee's go, I'm pretty hot. You'll just have to take my word for it, so it was no wonder that every time I would bat my mascara drenched eyelashes his way, he would divert his eyes to the dried flower arrangement resting on the mantel above the fake fireplace. At least that's what I think he was looking at. He may have actually been looking at the baseball game on the wall mount in the bar.

    My luscious hamburger and french fries arrived, and Server #356, Matthew topped off my water.
    "Well, thank you", I said, attempting to be shameless and innocent all in one breath.
    "You're welcome, the pleasure is all mine." said he.
    Oh, my.

    It's a little known fact that waiters are pretty much the teething rings all divorced women use fresh off the cuff of a divorce to get back in the game. Young, verile waiters flirt with middle-aged women, knowing they need their ego tank tapped off in the hopes of a big tip, and well, we middle-aged divorcees don't put up much of a fight... a true symbiotic relationship in a free market economy.

    Since I wasn't dining with anyone and there was absolutely no one else in the restaurant, I dove in, throwing all polite manners to the curb. I was starving. I had to admit, the burger was awesome. Every square inch of that linen napkin was being used to soak up grease. I was excited about the pickle too until Server #356, Matthew, dearest sweet waiter of mine, came out of nowhere to catch me with my cheeks stuffed to the brim, grease oozing out of the corners of my mouth to inquire if I needed anything. When our eyes met, he seemed a little horrified, even for a professional that does this day in and day out. I could only squeeze out a muffled "No".

    He didn't come back around for quite some time, even though I was the only person in the restaurant. I really needed Server #356, Matthew, for so many reasons. Mainly because I ran out of ketchup. I had 3 and 1/2 french fries left and no ketchup. Those were the worst 3 and 1/2 french fries of my entire life.
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