When I woke up this morning, I almost thought I was in another city. What a relief to have a cool breeze in mid-July! And speaking of a cool breeze,I was at dinner last night to catch up with my “cousin”—in town from San Francisco along with other assorted friends and family—and I felt like I was under the actual Polar Vortex because that AC must have been set on the Ice Age setting. Maybe they set it so low to keep the margaritas from melting? It didn’t work on mine. But whatever the reason, you have to eat fast before the cheese gets hard. There’s nothing worse than cold Tex-Mex.
It was fun catching up—even though I was freezing, and I had a hard time hearing. Is it me, or did that sentence just totally sound like something my grandma would say? I think more restaurants should think about acoustics when they are designing the spaces. A table of eight should be able to hear one another. To achieve this, you need soft surfaces to help absorb sound, but I guess when you add tequila to a situation, it’s just going to automatically get louder no matter the surface.
As long as we are talking about food, what about that dust up with John Tesar and food critic Leslie Brenner? I don’t know either personally, although I did meet Tesar at Spoon, and I have eaten at Knife. In fact, I think it was the first week it was open. We took our chances at the bar, and it was fun. We even met the people who were seated next to us. They were asking us what some of the menu options meant. They weren’t what my aunt used to call, “city people.” But I was happy to help explain where I could.
Anyway, I thought my meal was good. But if I say I did not enjoy my dessert, will I be banned from the restaurant? If one can be banned for not liking the dessert portion of a meal, then I will be banned from most restaurants worldwide. And that is not a good thing because we eat out a lot.
On the topic of meeting and knowing people, I am confused on the etiquette of how to greet people you have met (or think you have met) as opposed to greeting people you know and don’t know. My brain tells me you should just be pleasant in any of these situations and greet people the same. Let’s take the people who sat next to us at Knife. Did I want to be interrupted mid-bite to explain to someone I didn’t know what I was eating? Probably not, but I wasn’t going to be rude. They were nice people and just enjoying a night out in the big city. I didn’t want to pull a Lea Michelle and act all Streisand on them just because I was interrupted.
Anyway, I experienced a meet-and-greet conundrum at a recent cocktail party. I was talking to someone I know, and then a person who I had been introduced to came walking up with a big smile and open arms. I thought it rather strange to be greeted so enthusiastically by someone I had only met briefly several years ago, but this is Texas and people are friendly. I thought I better go in equally as enthusiastic.
But guess what? That greeting was for the person I was talking to—not me. Awkward!
But instead of rolling with it and being polite, the greeter’s smile quickly became a frown. Even worse, I sensed some definite disdain as they said, “Do I know you?” I began to feel like the new kid in junior high looking for a place to sit in the cafeteria. I replied, “Well, yes we have met before, plus we have been around at many of the same events.” And to put this in perspective for you, there were maybe 20 people at this cocktail party, so obviously we all know a lot of the same folks.
But instead of saying,” I am sorry I don’t remember your name. It is nice to meet you,” the person chose to spin around and walk off. I was just glad we had additional plans and I didn’t have to spend any more time there.
So what twisting road is Jimbo taking us down instead of talking about decorating? Well I guess what I am trying to say is best left to the words of the late Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
So next time you are in an awkward or unfamiliar social situation and you are not sure whether or not to rely on that manners book from 1862, here is a helpful hint: just try being nice. It won’t hurt. (Not for long anyway.) And remember, one day someone could and probably will be asking if they know you for whatever reason, and wouldn’t it be nice if the reply was, “I don’t know him very well, but I did meet him once at a party, and he was really nice.”