Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sticking My Hand in the Tip Jar

I'm a big Seinfeld fan. I love the show and the antics of the characters crack me up. George Costanza is Jerry Seinfeld's bumbling friend. George doesn't always make the wisest decisions, but he is somewhat lovable anyway. One episode, George is at one of his favorite cafes picking up a calzone. On the counter by the cash register, there is a large tip jar. Every time George goes into the cafe he drops a few bucks into the tip jar. The problem is each time George drops in the cash, the guy behind the counter has his head turned and doesn't see George dropping in the money, leaving George feeling disgruntled because he wants credit for the tip. It isn't good enough for George that he did the right thing and dropped the money into the jar if no one witnesses it. On one of George's visits to the cafe, he drops in a nice tip, and of course the guy behind the counter doesn't see it. George wants a do-over, so he reaches into the jar, pulls out the money he had just put in, in hopes of dropping the same tip in a second time and having the cashier witness his act of kindness. The only problem was that the man behind the counter caught George with his hand in the tip jar, thought he was stealing, and proceeded to kick George permanently out of the cafe.

That is kind of how I felt tonight. I wanted to stick my hand back in the tip jar so I could get a do over...minus getting kicked out of the restaurant. Since our town isn't very diverse, I have to go looking for diversity. I decided this week I was going to take the kids to a fantastic restaurant in town that is famous for their Memphis style hot wings. My son calls their hot wings a "celebration on a bone." Even better, the restaurant is owned and operated by an African-American family. I've never been in this restaurant when there wasn't a crowd. The husband is usually in the back cooking, his wife is usually at the cash register, and their kids are serving and bussing tables. Bring on the diversity, baby!

Keep in mind...I'm there for dinner, but I'm also there because I want to make our lives a little more diverse.

Well, we got there and the husband was behind the counter. It would have been nice if the wife were behind the counter, because she interacts and banters with my daughter, but that's okay. As food starts to come out, the restaurant owner's daughter is delivering food to every table but ours. We are waiting patiently. All of a sudden, I see this man...a white man...headed our way with a tray full of food. The white man sets the food on our table and walks off. Seriously?! I have never seen a white person working in this restaurant...ever! And when I am there for the purpose of diversifying our lives I get a white man! No offense white man, but that wasn't really what I was hoping for.

If I hadn't been so completely stuffed I would have pulled a "Costanza," drug the kids back up to the counter, reordered, and sat at a different table in hopes of getting a new server. I wanted a do over! I know it is the thought that counts, so maybe I should just add points to my mama scorecard for taking my daughter to a somewhat diverse restaurant, but I somehow don't feel like I get credit for the "tip" if I didn't get my full dose of diversity.

I guess I could have wait...demanded my food be delivered by a black person. But that might have led to my permanent expulsion from our one diverse restaurant. Not that I would have blamed them for kicking out a crazed woman demanding a black waitress. However being somewhat prudent (and sane), I chose  to pack up our leftovers and pledged to return another day. By the way...I left a nice tip!