I arrived on time only to discover an unread text message “running 10 minutes late” funny how people could be late when the restaurant is a stones through from their home. I sat at the table he had requested – the first table in the restaurant next to the door. Why would anyone request that table? The maitre’ D said it offered a great view of the entire restaurant – “terrific for people watching”. Why would my date want to watch other people if he was with me?
Expecting an old-fashioned sort of guy I wore a rather conservative toasted wheat colored fine gauge sweater with an appropriate low-cut neck line with a alluring sash at my cleavage, wheat fitted pants and chocolate colored boots. My date came in twenty minutes later like a fireball dressed for the disco. I didn’t love the black silk shirt or his gaudy black pin stripe suit. He looked like a cross between Clive Davis and an Atlantic City gambler not the old-fashioned, well dressed and more conservative man I had in mind when I accepted the date.
We nestled into the tight corner banquet-for-two, he had requested, looking over the entire restaurant and got acquainted. There was no real conversation. He was like a one man show and I was the audience. He knew everyone in the entertainment world – the entertainment world of your parents or grandparents not the current world as we know it. As he was babbling about the stars of a gone by time like Liza Minelli, Richard Harris, Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Jimmy Connors, Steve Rubell (of Studio 54 fame), Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw among a long list of others I noticed he was moving about in his seat. It continued. I wondered if he had restly leg syndrom, ADHD or as my mom would say, “ants in his pants”. I tried to ignore it and focus on the short ribs and heavenly polenta with almonds on my plate but it was so distracting that I needed to address it. “Is everything alright?”
“My back is bothering me.”
“I can see that. If you’re uncomfortable would you like to get up or move to a chair?”
“Can you take it off?” I whispered.
“Can I help?”
The guy was clearly VERY uncomfortable. I was ready to jump into action to help him out even if it meant going under his jacket and shirt to his lower back to do it, I would. From his maneuvers with his belt, undoing his pants, our hushed tones and him squirming about in his seat. I suddenly noticed that EVERYONE in the restaurant was watching us in total digust. Not only did our table have a great view of the entire restaurant, the entire restaurant had a great view of US! I think they thought I was giving him a hand job under the table. He finally yanked the damn patch off his lower back and threw it on the floor.