Let me tell you about the best worst date ever, and it all starts and ends with a tall glass of soft, warm, plump, velvety Merlot.
I was working a double shift at the local Italian restaurant when an attractive woman with long, dark ruby red hair and piercing green eyes was seated at one of my tables during the dinner rush. She sat there alone for almost an hour, waiting for her date to arrive.
When the rest of my tables began to slow down, I stood at the corner of the bar, watching her wait patiently while she sipped a glass of Merlot that almost matched the color of her hair and perfectly matched the shade of her lipstick.
“Can I get that bottle of Merlot?” I asked the bartender since I noticed her glass was nearly empty.
The bartender placed the bottle on top of the service bar without a response or hesitation then I strolled back to her table to offer her another glass.
“Would you like another?” I asked as I angled the bottle in her direction.
She looked up at me and faintly smiled with a vaguely embarrassed look on her face. “Sure, thank you.”
I smiled in return, then tilted her glass and began to pour the silky red liquid from the bottle into the crystal glass that she placed back on the table.
“Can I get you anything else?” I asked when I finished pouring.
Before she could answer, a slightly overweight short man with uncombed hair and an unshaven beard approached the table.
I assummed this was there first time meeting by the look on her face. He was definitely not what she was expecting at all.
She tried not to react immediately and forced a smile after he apologized for being late and plopped down in the seat across from her.
“Would you like a glass of Merlot, sir?” I asked, trying to break some of the tension that anyone could have felt from a mile away.
“Um.. no, thank you. Just water for me.” He replied with his eyes still glued on the beautiful woman sitting across from him that was clearly out of his league.
I excused myself to get a glass of water for the gentleman if you could call him that and returned with it promptly.
“Are you ready to order, or would you like a few more minutes?” I asked while trying not to stare at the man’s joker-like smile that was plastered across his face revealing every single crooked tooth. It almost looked like he had a hanger stuck in his mouth that made me want to reach in and pull it out so that he would take that stupid look off his face.
“Do you need a minute?” She asked him politely.
“No, no. I already ate. You go ahead.” He replied, still grinning ear to ear, making the woman even more uncomfortable than she already was.
I couldn’t believe this guy had the nerve to show up an hour late, and he already ate! I would have gotten up and left right then and there, but she was obviously a kinder woman than me. Although I could tell by the look on her face that she might have been tempted to leave but instead decided to go ahead and order her meal that she had been waiting so long for.
“I will have the chicken parmigiana with a Caesar salad and a side of steamed vegetables.” She said swiftly and closed her menu to hand it to me.
“Right away,” I said with a nod as we exchanged a look that told me that she wanted this date over as quickly as possible.
I put her order in with the kitchen and asked for her salad immediately to help push things along for her if I could.
After I delivered it, she thanked me while he just flapped his gums at her talking about who knows what.
I felt so awful for this woman to be stuck at a table with this obnoxious man, so after I checked on my other tables, I went back into the kitchen and asked the chef to expedite her order if he could.
The minute her order was placed on the expo line, I grabbed it and hurried back to the table to deliver it.
“Can I get you anything else?” I asked her politely without acknowledging him when he interjects, “Wow, that looks delicious. Could I get an extra plate?”
I didn’t even try to hide the look of shock and disgust on my face when I shot my eyes back at her to see she shared the same look on hers. The man didn’t even seem to notice either of our expressions while waiting for me to leave and fetch him his plate.
I stayed at the table while I waited for her to respond before I moved away. I wasn’t going to take his word for it.
After a minute or two, she nodded at me to get one, and I backed away from the table to honor his request even though I hated the thought of her having to share her meal with this riduclously rude man.
When I placed it in front of him, he immediately picked up his fork and knife and waited for her to put half of her food on his plate. This guy was indeed primitive and so disrepectful to this gorgoues women sitting across from him.
I watched him shovel the food she gave him into his mouth from the corner of the bar. It was almost like he hadn’t eaten in a week, even though he announced when he arrived that he had already eaten this evening. I wondered if he didn't order any food so it would force her to have to pay for her own meal. What an asshole!
I shook my head at the thought when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a handsome man wearing a sleek black suit at the other end of the bar watching the same live show I had been staring at. He studied the woman while she ate her meal with this repulsive, reprehensible man.
He caught my eye on him observing her, and he waved his hand, gesturing me to come over to him.
“Can I help you with something?” I asked as I approached him.
“Yes, are you the server for that table over there?” He asked as he pointed in the direction of the woman we both had been surveying.
“Yes, I am.” I nodded with a smile, wondering where this conversation was going.
“Can I please have her bill?” He asked me politely.
“Sure, not a problem,” I smirked as I walked away, thinking this night might turn around for this tremendously tolerant uncomplaining woman.
After he paid for the bill, I went back to check in on my infamous table. The lady's good-for nothing date had wiped his plate clean while hers was merely picked at. He was gabbing away again at her while she sat back in the chair, sipping her glass of Merlot.
“Can I get you anything else?” I asked her.
“NO!” She responded immediately and a little louder than she had intended. “Thank you, just the bill, please.” She smiled.
"Actually, your bill has been taken care of by that gentleman other there.” I pointed at the generous debonair man sitting at the end of the bar.
When she looked over at him, he lifted his wine glass that happened to be filled with the same Merlot she had been drinking all evening, then nodded and smiled at her.
I finally saw her genuine smile and a slight blush come across her face while her nauseating date had a vile look on his as he noticed what was transpiring right in front of him.
“Are you serious? I was going to do that.” He said, clearly lying.
I rolled my eyes and replied, “Well, it's been taken care of.”
“Thank you,” She replied to me and flashed a flirtatious grin towards the man who paid her bill, then grabbed her things to get up from the table.
I backed away and watched her as she walked her date to the door and bid him goodnight. He objected when he realized that she was probably about to join the suave dashing man who paid her bill and then he stormed out the front door.
She took a deep breath before she turned and walked up beside the alluring man at the end of the bar.
“Is this seat taken?” She asked him gently.
“It’s all yours,” He replied with a smile much more appealing than her former date.
He immediately gestured for the bartender to pour her a glass of Merlot and leave the bottle.
I watched for a few minutes as they began to talk and get to know each other then I smiled and went to clean up my tables as it was time for me to close my station and go home.
I could hear their chatter while I cleaned and tried to catch what they were saying without being too obvious.
“Why did you pay for my bill?” I heard her ask him.
“Honestly, I saw your waitress bring you a glass of the same Merlot I was drinking, and that caught my eye” Then he paused and said,” So I guess you could say you had me at Merlot.” He laughed.
I laughed to myself at how cheesy that line was, but it definitely worked, and he said it so smoothly. This guy was a much better match for this lovely long-suffering woman.
After that, I headed into the kitchen to finish my side work and go home. When I returned into the dining room, the handsome man and the beautiful red-haired woman were both gone with only their two glasses of Merlot left on the corner of the bar next to the bottle that the bartender had left for them.
I had no idea whether they had left together that night or if they continued to see each other after but what I did know was that was the best worst date I had ever seen, and it all started and ended with a glass of Merlot!