I had a VERY interesting situation last night. It was just like any other Wednesday night – my husband, daughter and I go to the same restaurant to play trivia – we have been doing this for over two and a half years, and have probably only missed about 6 Wednesdays throughout that time. My daughter was not there yet as she was still at a sporting event, but my husband and I sat down with our menus and the same waitress we have had for the past few months (others have quit over time) came over to take our drink orders.
Now, last week, we started out with another waitress and of course it was incredibly easy (a no brainer) to order my club soda with cranberry juice withOUT adding on a glass of chardonnay, which always turned into 3 or 4 glasses. What was kinda funny last week was that when our regular waitress started taking care of us mid-way through the evening, her first question to me was if I wanted a glass of chardonnay. “No thanks” I said. “I’m hitting the gym at 5:30 AM so no wine, but thanks!” And all was fine. We got the check (which DID ironically have a glass of chardonnay on it which we got taken off) and still tipped big as if there was still an extra $20 on our tab because we like our waitress a lot.
Until last night. She came over to take our orders. My husband ordered the water that he has each week. I ordered my club soda with cranberry juice. She said “no chardonnay as well?” And I said “no thanks – still hitting the gym.” And then – from HER – “I don’t like the new sober you.” I do believe my jaw dropped and my husband had the same look. I mumbled something about the gym again, and she left to grab our non-alcoholic drinks.
That was when I took myself out of myself and thought things through. This is a 22 year old (or so) young girl who has absolutely no idea of the impact of what she just said. She did not mean it personally and I KNOW that I am just as fun (if not funner) by not having alcohol. She may have simply seen it from a financial standpoing – $20 worth of wine equals an extra $4 in tips – so she was just being practical. Maybe the rent was due.
I did of course go back and forth between being PISSED OFF and wanting to cry. But I decided to make it a learning experience as well. Friends of mine might say something similar, so I’m going to be working on witty comebacks if it happens in the future so that I am not caught off guard with my jaw dropped. It made me realize that people say things they don’t really mean – and I HAVE TO brush it off. Turn the other cheek. If it were to happen again, I would definitely address it, because I am now armed with that possibility.
When we got our check ($20 less than with my wine), my husband was working out the tip. We have ALWAYS tipped HUGE, again, b/c this place is not known for its service, and we do get good service with this gal. But last night was different. He truly wanted to punish her for what she said. We went back and forth, and we did still end up tipping her over 20%. I figured let’s chalk that up to ignorance, and if it is an issue in the future, we will determine how we want to act.
This is a bit of a babble, but I guess the bottom line is that my feelings were truly HURT by this flippant remark – HOWEVER – I was able to not get worked up into a frenzy over it. Honestly, a few weeks ago, I think I would have ordered a shot just to prove her wrong. This time I KNEW she was wrong. I am a happy and fun sober person. Each experience out in the real world helps me gain extra confidence and I was not going to let this isolated event change my mindset.
Tonight is my book club and I am already armed with my plan. It’s not that book club is a bunch of binge drinkers, but wine will be served. Seriously – no biggie. My choice is to indulge myself in club soda with diet cranberry juice. That is what I CHOOSE. I will be ready for any kind of remark that comes my way, realizing and knowing that anything that is said is NOT personal. I am responsible for myself.
One last note. Our AA meeting today talked about the word “powerless” which is part of the first step, but I gotta say, I have a real issue with that word. I understand that there are some things that I have little to no control over; however, I feel like I can’t ONLY sit back and give it to God and pray about it. It is also my responsibility to use MY power to do something about it. For instance, getting my brother out of the facility that he signed himself into is proving to be MUCH more difficult than I ever imagined. He has been there over 72 hours now and we both want him out. In ADDITION to my prayers and my semi-surrender to God, I also need to take the steps I need to take – making phone calls to the doctor and case worker. Keeping in touch with my brother. Asking the right questions. I may not have ALL the power, but I do have my own power.
Same with being powerless over alcohol. I’m sorry but I don’t COMPLETELY agree with this. I do agree that to a certain extent I don’t have power over alcohol; however, I can take the necessary steps to build power over it. This includes blogging here, emailing with sober buddies, going to AA meetings, calling/texting my AA buddies, confiding in my husband, exercising, praying, listening to music. These are all activities that help me to GAIN power over my enemy, alcohol. I get it – I really do – once I do drink, that’s when I have no power. But if I use my tools to NOT drink, am I truly powerless?
Food for thought – all input is welcome. And tip your waiters and waitresses big. I was in that industry for over 10 years and it is hard work – even if they are young and naive and uneducated on the dangers of alcohol. They will learn a lot of life lessons by serving…some good, some bad, some they don’t even know they learned.