My waitress had a nose ring and I couldn't help but look at it -- not stare, mind you, but just gaze at it wondering why she'd choose an accessory that took away from what was a rather pleasant face, framed by a generous amount of curling brown hair (she vaguely minded me of Monica Lewinsky) -- while I ordered a cheeseburger ("No redness in the middle, please."), topped with grilled onions, and lettuce and tomato on the side.
She stared me straight in the eyes, as waitresses are wont to do, and said, cheerfully, "I'll get that for you," as waitresses are wont to do, then left me to consider whether the hint of a wink and subtlest of smile she offered after she took a few steps towards the kitchen then looked over her shoulder at me, was an invitation to consider something more from her, or had it already triggered a subconscious (and, now, conscious) decision on my part to bump her tip up from my standard twenty percent.
Unexpectedly, when my order arrived, I found it entirely wrong. Definitely a bit of redness in the center of my burger. Certainly no grilled onions. Not a leaf of lettuce or slice of tomato on the side -- or anywhere else near my plate, for that matter. The mistakes could have, of course, been made by the kitchen. I'd hoped it wasn't my Monica who erred. Unless, of course, it was because that last look over her shoulders towards me left her so flummoxed that I should be thankful she brought a cheeseburger of any kind.
But I didn't bother to point out that my 'order placed' and my 'order received' were quite different. After all, the music was interesting and the burger did taste good. Most importantly, my Monica -- and the waitress who took over her shift, and who could've passed for Michelle Phillips from the early days of The Mamas & the Papas -- let me be, alone at a table in the corner of the bar, to contemplate more pressing concerns.
And maybe that's why I kept any complaints to myself. Because I really didn't have more pressing concerns at that moment.
And that was a good thing.