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Service with a Smile

By Alison Henry

Posted: Tuesday, May. 26, 2009

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Photo by LGray Photography

In "Miles From the Aisle," former CB editor Alison Henry takes you on an irreverent trip down the often rocky road of relationships. She can be reached at alisonghenry@gmail.com.

Read more "Miles From the Aisle."

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A couple weeks ago I did something I’ve never done before: I gave my number to a complete stranger. I’m fairly certain I’ve made it clear that I’m not interested in actually dating anyone at this time, but a “date” is not “dating,” and my waiter at dinner was just too good-looking to pass up the opportunity.

It was another low-key Saturday night in the post-accident period of my life. After an afternoon of letting the limited movement of my left arm subsequently limit my social life, I convinced my male – and very platonic – roommate to break his usual couch potato routine and join me for some sushi.

We headed up the street to one of our favorite spots, and I was looking forward to tuna rolls under what should have been a brilliant evening sky. We put our names down on the waiting list for an outdoor table, and I grabbed a Creative Loafing to pass the time. Our five-to-ten minute wait quickly turned into 15, then 20, and I noticed the clouds outside growing progressively more ominous.

As my roommate and I discussed my usage of the word “ominous,” he interrupted me to say: “You think he’s hot, don’t you?” A waiter had been passing in front of us, grabbing this and that from the kitchen to tend to his tables. “YES. I wasn’t going to say anything, but since you noticed…”

“Oh, no. I knew right away. I thought, ‘Alison is definitely going to think that guy is hot. He looks just like Justin Timberlake.’”

For the record, he looked nothing like Justin Timberlake (although how could that possibly – ever – be a bad thing?), but he did have gorgeous blue eyes, a friendly smile and well… you get the idea. The hostess called our name and we sat down at our table, just in time for the rain. Guess who was our waiter.

“Damn! I really wanted to eat outside! And Hot Guy was our waiter! I don’t want another waiter!” I joked as people frantically ran inside to save their sushi. As we migrated with the masses, a hostess tried to re-seat us, attempting to figure out who our waiter was. “THE ONE THAT LOOKS LIKE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!” my roommate yelled over the crowd.

Mortified.

The hostess looked at him strangely, when suddenly Hot Guy came back in from outside, put his hand on my back and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll find you guys another table.” Mmmhmm. As long as you keep touching me, you can seat us in the bathroom for all I care.

We finally sat down at a table inside, and I could practically feel my naturally curly hair swelling into a ball of fuzz from the rain and humidity. Between my now Afro-inspired ’do and the sexiness of my arm splint, I can’t imagine why my waiter didn’t just throw me down on the table right there. But enough about my fantasies.

At the end of the meal, I was still quite taken by said server, so I left him my card with a little note saying he should call me. I felt like such a dork, having never done anything like that before, but I really had nothing to lose. It mattered little to me whether he called or not – I was just proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone.

And he did call. But after a convincing “I really would love to take you out sometime,” and planning to meet at Mez this Friday, he called back a few days later to tell me that he has a girlfriend. Not wanting to get caught up in a web of lies, he wanted to come clean.

No harm, no foul. I think he was more nervous telling me than I was shocked to hear it. Even if this does prove yet again that I'm attracted to the wrong people, I’m just proud of myself for exercising my assertiveness. Next time, however, I’ll be sure to take my chances on someone without a girlfriend.

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