One of the things I always look forward to over winter break is going downtown and eating at restaurants normally overrun by students. It’s not that I don’t love the UGA students—I mean, what’s not to love about all those kids in tank tops and UGGs who whine at my husband about their grades?—it’s just that I like being able to go out for a meal and find a parking space, and also not be packed into the restaurant like sardines.
FURTHERMORE, my favorite pizza chain in the entire world, Mellow Mushroom, now offers a decent gluten-free crust. The evening plan was clear: Pizza ahoy!
Otto patiently waited for me to finish working, and then we headed out for our fancy evening. Well, okay, not FANCY, but I do get pretty excited about pizza, I’m not gonna lie. I’d have to be pretty stoked about it to abandon our favorite dinner mode when the kids are gone, which is sitting on the couch, eating while watching television, like heathens.
So, we drove downtown. I’d had a long day. I was REALLY looking forward to pizza. You know where this is going, right?
We were seated and immediately began negotiations. Otto is willing to eat the gluten-free crust with me even though their REGULAR crust is far superior, but he’s picky about the things he’s willing to eat ON the pizza. I ASK YOU, what sort of person thinks that portabello mushrooms and artichoke hearts are scary? The sort of person I’m married to, apparently. Hmph.
So then Otto tried to convince me that we could just get two separate pizzas—I could have whatever I wanted on mine!—and we could take the leftovers home. But that just seemed like a lot of food, so no, let’s just pick something we both like, I said. Finally we had settled on a barbecue chicken pizza they make that has bacon on it. Because: bacon! Obviously.
The waitress came to the table and we ordered salads, then told her which pizza we wanted. “… on the gluten-free crust,” Otto finished.
“Oh,” she said. “We’re out of that.”
“Out of… pizza?” Otto asked.
“No, the gluten-free crust. We’re out.”
Otto and I blinked at each other. Otto told the waitress we were going to need another minute. She went away and Otto offered to take me somewhere else. I demurred, saying it was silly to leave, and I could just have a salad. But I was… well… I did not handle this news particularly well.
The thing about whatever it is I’m currently going through is that most of the time, I’m fine. I go places, I do things, I’m happy and/or pleasant, no real complaints. Let’s say that’s… I dunno, maybe 80% of the time. The problem is that the remaining 20% of the time is mostly composed of situations where I completely lose my crap over ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Or, say, over the Mellow Mushroom being out of gluten-free crust.
So, not being able to have pizza is hardly a national emergency. But for whatever reason, I was looking forward to it, and my level of disappointment was high. You might even say it was disproportionate to the situation at hand. And the bitch of it is that even in the moment I know I’m being completely ridiculous, being so upset about it, and yet I feel all HULK ANGRY! HULK SMASH! over the unexpected change in plans.
But I, you know, try not to outwardly have a tantrum in a crowded restaurant.
So Otto said we could go someplace else and I said no, no, don’t be silly, let’s just stay. It’s fine. I tried to stay calm and I looked at the menu some more, and Otto kept saying things like “We could go to this other place” or “How about we drive cross-town to that place you like” and finally I snapped at him to OH MY FUCKING GOD JUST PICK SOMETHING and he looked a little wounded because he may not have gotten the memo that I had apparently decided that all of the woes of the world could be blamed on them being out of gluten-free crust.
Finally, we decided to just stay. The waitress came back and I ordered a salad and Otto ordered a calzone with steak and some other stuff in it and the waitress nodded and took our menus and left.
We sipped our water in silence while I tried to fill the pizza-shaped hole in my soul with happy thoughts of pretty flowers and dancing puppies. And not having to do the dishes.
The waitress came back and turned to Otto: “I’m so sorry, but, um, all of our steak is frozen right now? So it’s going to take a really long time to make your calzone if you still want that.”
We left. I was relieved that they were out of what Otto wanted, too; for whatever reason—in the grips of my ridiculous overreaction—I felt like I couldn’t leave just because they didn’t have what I wanted, but if they were out of what we BOTH wanted, well then, that was okay.
We went for Mexican, instead, and that restaurant smelled good and had everything we ordered and it’s hard to be pissed off when you have a basket of warm tortilla chips and three kinds of salsa. Ever so slowly, I unwound, and it turned out to be a nice evening.
All the same, I think we’ll eat at home tonight.