He Took My Mashed Potatoes
Sooo…because I’m new to LA, a number of friends have generously offered to introduce me to their friends who also live here. As a result, I’ve found myself on a number of “play dates.”
To my kind, considerate, and thoughtful friends, let me first just say, “Thank you.”
Having said that…
“NO, THANK YOU!”
Just because I live within a 25 mile radius of someone you once met during a layover at LaGuardia does not mean we need to know one another.
Here’s what happened:
A friend whom I know from Texas kindly offered to introduce me to his friend whom he knows from college who lives in Los Angeles. (The details have been changed to protect those who meant well.)
“He has some contacts in the industry and might be a good resource for you,” he says.
I think to myself, “He’s done this before.”
We meet. I suggest coffee. He suggests dinner. Fine.
Now, it is my personal goal to be 10% less of an asshole each year. Unfortunately, I’m only 22% less of an asshole than I was when I began down this road 4 years ago. But I’m trying. So I will just say that he wore a windbreaker, pleated jeans, and what I’m going to describe as an “all terrain” shoe. I’ll leave it there. I mean, that’s enough, right?
But, this is the part that I must share. I must.
I was “doing a low carb thing,” as I’m prone to do from time to time. I hesitate to call it a low carb diet because the word “diet” implies consistency. When I’m “doing a low carb thing,” I just mean, for this meal, at this time, I am avoiding carbs. That does not mean, however, that I won’t follow this meal with a trip to Yogurtland.
But for this particular meal, I was doing a low carb thing. My entrée came with spinach and mashed potatoes. So instead of mashed potatoes, I was going to ask the waiter for another vegetable.
I was going to…
But as the waiter was describing my vegetable options to me, dude interrupted him and said, “Actually, I’ll take her mashed potatoes.”
He didn’t order for me. He took my order from me.
When I tell this story to friends, here is the point where someone inevitably interjects, “Oh no he didn’t! What did you dooo??”
Listen, folks, you know how people talk about, say, being robbed at gunpoint or losing the roof of their home in a tropical storm? (Yes, this was just like that!) You have no idea what you would do in that situation.
I was so taken aback.
…I was also fascinated.
When my meal came, I scooped the mashed potatoes that I didn’t order out of my plate onto a side saucer for him. At this point, I just wanted to watch it play out.
I was essentially rubbernecking from inside of the accident.
With no hesitation, he swooped in and snatched the plate of mashed potatoes like he was scared that I was going to change my mind.
Mind you, guys, mashed potatoes came with his meal TOO. So he has the mashed potatoes that he ordered. And also my side of mashed potatoes.
Meanwhile, my side of spinach sat on my plate looking lonely next to the empty space where my side of broccoli should have been.
Fast forward through the small talk about his favorite sci-fi Meetup groups.
Gloss over the lecture he tried to give me on how-to-network because, well, do you know who I am??
Nevermind the fact that it turns out that he knows even fewer people in the industry than I do.
Overlook the time that he reminded himself out loud that it was OK for him to go out to dinner because “sometimes you have to treat yourself.”
This, my friends, is the kicker.
In the middle of the meal, he asked the waiter for a to-go box.
And then he proceeded to scoop my mashed potatoes into the to-go box while mumbling something about them going great with a chicken breast and can of corn he had at home.
Then he tossed the remaining dinner rolls and melted butter packets from the basket in the middle of the table into the box with my mashed potatoes.
Then he took my mashed potatoes home, ya’ll.