Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again, bitch.
When I first met Sally, I thought she was a classy, friendly, well put-together lady of old Los Angeles money. She dressed as though she were having tea with Jackie Kennedy. She smiled and laughed generously, and I truly enjoyed our time together.
And then, after hours of compliments, good manners, and even her wine-driven declaration, "You've really lifted me up on a bad day," she left me $4 on a $53 tab. My. Jaw. Dropped. I didn't have the chance to register my displeasure in front of her personally because she and her companion skedaddled before I picked up the credit card slip.
Time moved on, I moved on, and I'd forgotten about Sally until this week. She reappeared, this time with two uptight, patronizing, pig-fat-to-the-face stricken fossils with Sally's style but none of her fake charm.
"Hello." I said icily as I met the new bitches' glares with a glare. "Drink?"
"Oh hi!" Sally chirped.
"To drink?" I asked, eyebrow raised.
"I'd like a coffee please," Sally said.
The other two made vague face and finger gestures that, if I wanted to be easy, I could have just read as "I'd like a coffee as well, please." But I didn't feel so easy.
"Does that mean you also want a coffee?" I asked wide-eyed as if I were playing restaurant with a small child.
I returned with three coffees, and the ladies put their menus to the side collectively, the universal sign for "We're ready to order."
"What may I get for you?" I asked.
"A few more minutes, that's what!" Bitch 1 snarled.
"Until we meet again," I said, also with a snarl.
Thirty minutes later, I checked back in, and Bitch 2 shoo'd me away.
Thirty minutes after that, as I was mid-sentence with the ladies' much nicer neighbors, Bitch 1 waived me down as if I was a departing fireman who'd overlooked her. I shot her a dark glare, flashed her my one-minute finger, rolled my eyes, and continued my sentence.
"Uh huh?" I said once I sauntered over.
"We NEED to order!" Bitch 2 said, agitated. "We have a movie to get to!"
"Yeah? And I have eight other tables who also need my attention," I said, agitated, "and you didn't tell me an hour ago when you arrived that you had a movie to get to so why don't you go ahead and order?"
They pursed their lips, shot downward glances at one another, and ordered their simple salads. The food later arrived without incident, and the ladies needed nothing else. When the bills -- the SEPARATE bills, of course -- arrived, Bitches 1 and 2 each tipped 18%; not great, but not bad. Sally, however, tipped $2 on her $21 tab.
This time I made sure to gather the signed receipts before the ladies left. I approached shortly after collecting the slips, a visit that was met with three raised eyebrows.
"Thanks again," I said chipperly. "Oh," I smiled and stared straight at Sally, "...and I just wanted to say, you've really lifted me up on a bad day."
It made no sense to anyone, not even Sally, who clearly didn't catch the reference. But I felt victorious as I pranced off to my concealed cocktail.