May 9, 2016- Maria (Book #327 and drawing titled “Victorian Characters”), Berlin
On our way to the opera, we stopped for a quick bite to eat. It was a German-style buffet. If you don’t already know, Tim is a vegetarian, so before he accidentally tasted meat, fell in love with it, and renounced his eating habits, or more likely, before he ended up choking on a sausage, we asked the waitress for advice. In the middle of a busy shift, she kindly took the time to go through every item on the buffet and announce which options were vegetarian-friendly. She was very helpful, and everything was easy to understand, except for the last item. I heard, “And this tray has bacon potatoes, which of course, are also vegetarian.”
Now, I’m not a vegetarian expert, but I pride myself on having an open mind, so I tried to imagine some kind of a pig-plant that grew from the ground, with four pink stems and a large bulb-like belly that was swine in every way besides genus. “Did I hear that correctly,” I asked my friends. “Did she just say that the bacon potatoes are vegetarian?”
Being the only one at the table who didn’t speak German, my friend from Berlin said, “Oh, that’s funny. It was her accent. Often times when Germans are speaking English they pronounce the ‘e’ in ‘ed’. She was saying, ‘Bake-ed potatoes.’ Until now, I never thought of it that way.”
We had a good laugh. Too good of a laugh, because the waitress had heard us. “I am very sorry. I realize my mistake,” she said.
“No, please don’t be sorry. It’s not your fault. It’s ours.” I tried to make it up to her, but it’s hard not to sound like an asshole, when you’re an asshole. I felt horrible. It was the only thing I could think about through dinner. Finally, I decided that I needed to talk to her again. “Excuse me, miss. I wanted to apologize. You apologized to me, but I’m the one who should be apologizing. You are one of the kindest, sweetest, waitresses I’ve ever met, and I just wanted to say that you never need to be sorry for who you are.”
“Thank you,” she said. “But it’s really okay. Actually, I think it’s quite funny. I’m going to use that as a joke in the future.”
We continued talking. She asked what brought us to Berlin. Tim and I told her about our show.
“On Tuesday? That’s perfect. I think I can make it after work. I would love to see the show.”
Here’s to our wonderful waitress, Maria. The drawing titled, “Victorian Characters” and book number 327. Thank you, Maria.