Intersection of Cultures

Couple at restaurant
Couple at dinner

I am sitting in the kitchen in Katie’s apartment. Even though I put on a happy façade, I have anxiety, it was a very hectic day. First, there were three cars in front of me at the bank drive through this morning. The wait seemed like an eternity. Second, I was late getting to work. I had so much work this morning by the time I got to the cafeteria for lunch there was a huge line. I had forgotten, the sales reps from all over were here for the yearly meeting. By the time I order they are out of everything except hamburgers.

After work, my drive to Katie’s apartment was infuriating. It took me an hour when It usually takes about 30 minutes. I am hoping my anxiety does not ruin my evening with Katie.

Katie usually does all the planning for our nights out. She likes to do that but now she seems agitated. Maybe it’s because I am quiet, I distance myself when I ruminate on my anxiety. She ask me to make plans. That’s not normal for her.

I try to calm myself with this breathing technique I was taught, but it doesn’t work. I want to connect with her. I am also hungry. I decide to take her to a restaurant. I have been wanting to go to this Venezuelan restaurant for a while. Maybe a change in venue will help me forget about today.

I call the restaurant. the phone picks up but there is silence. It must have been 10 seconds, I’m waiting again. This is killing me. A man with a Spanish accent starts talking, “Thank you for calling, … … How can I help you?”

It’s 6pm now, I think I can get there by 7pm if we leave now. So, I ask, “Do you take reservations?”.

Silence again, this time about 5 seconds. He say’s’ “No. … … we don’t take reservations.”

I’m thinking, it’s Friday, there might be a line. I abruptly reply, “If I get there by 7pm, will there be a line and how long would it take to get a table for two?”

Silence again, this time it was an agonizing 10 seconds. It seemed like forever. “I don’t know. It’s Friday, … … sometimes a lot of people show up sometimes not. … … “

At this point I am really starting to fume. He starts talking again, “… Tell you what, why don’t you leave your watch behind and come in and have a good time. … …”

My jaw dropped. I sat there with my mouth open thinking, what’s going on. Suddenly my anxiety started to dissipate. Wow!, What am I doing. Now, I am silent. I don’t know how to reply. I hesitate, I say with a soft voice, “OK, I’ll see what I can do and thanks”. And I hang up.

I turn to Katie. “I’m sorry, Would you like to eat at a Venezuelan restaurant tonight? It’ll be fun, it’s on me.” I then proceed to take off my watch.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store