I was working at La Cave Wine Bar on Henderson and a man called ahead to reserve a table in the back of the room near the cellar. He said he was going to have a flower arrangement sent to the restaurant and he would like it placed on a table along with a champagne bucket filled with ice and a chilled bottle of Dom Perignon. He pre-selected a cheese and pate plate. “I don’t want my wife to have to think,” he said. “No problem sir,” I said. (Whoops.)
That evening the couple showed up on time. They were dressed to the nines. I can still see her silver sequined dress. She’d had her hair done by Mr. Larry across the street. She moved through the room and perfumed the air with the strong scent of Opium. The dapper gentleman pulled out her chair. They sat side-by-side. They held hands across the table. I moved in to open the Champagne. It was then that I noticed the 4X6 note cards on his lap. Pop! went the cork. She sliced a bite of aged Mimolette.
Jump with me.
They toasted each other and I left. When I returned to refill their glasses, the not-so-gentle man looked down at the first card. Right there in front of me, he started to read. I’m paraphrasing here: “Darling, we have had a wonderful 15 years together and this is hard for me to say so I am going to read to you.” The woman grabbed my arm. I was horrified. I was forced to stay at the table while he recited all of the reasons why he wanted a divorce.
Yes, there was another woman. Yes, the other woman was pregnant. And yes, he had already asked the other woman to marry him.
Wifey pooh number one, understandably, started to scream. She threw the cheese plate at him. Smartly, I might add, I pulled the Dom out of the bucket and put it on a side table. The guy stood up and walked out of the restaurant. I had another server take my tables and I dragged the poor woman into the bathroom where she cried for about an hour. By this time, the whole restaurant (like 40 people) was into the drama. Male and female customers came in to check on her. Some even shared divorce stories. Finally, we poured her into a cab. When the door to the restaurant closed behind me, everyone clapped. Of course, it was at that moment I realized that the bill hadn’t been paid. Guess whose paycheck was deducted for the unpaid tab? Yes, mine.
But at least I got a half a bottle Dom and a bitchin’ flower arrangement out of the deal.
Okay, your turn.