Don't cry on my turkey!

I just had the weirdest Thanksgiving dinner ever. Can you top this?

Because my father-in-law is very sick, my wife thought it best that we see him this Thanksgiving as it may be our last with him. Radiation and chemo just don’t seem to be working. Nonetheless, we continue to pray for the best. That being said, he has no appetite and all proteins taste metallic to him. Being that he is the family patriarch who is now stuck in bed most of the day, his wife (aka, my (step) mother-in-law) decided we needed to get him out of the house instead of cooking a big meal that he likely wouldn’t have enjoyed. Of all places, we ended up at Cracker Barrell.

We arrived at 2:15PM.

When our table was called at 3:20PM, the hosted wanted to split up our party of eight to two tables positioned in different areas of the restaurant. Well, this threw my MIL in a fit and she rampaged loudly for about ten minutes about how she couldn’t believe that a decent restaurant like Cracker Barrell would even consider splitting up a family on Thanksgiving. (MIL apparently missed the part where they said, “If you give us about three minutes, we’ll clean off the big table and this won’t be a problem.”)

Well, we sat down…together. Our first waitress greeted us. Then, our second waitress greeted us. Our second waitress explained that we needed two waitresses for parties over seven people. Hmmm. Our first waitress explained that she was brand new.

After screwing up our order three times (uhhhh…the standard “Thanksgiving Special”), the newbie waitress starts crying at our table as she’s serving our plates at nearly 4:45PM. Of course, her situation was worsened by my angry MIL who blew a gasket because only half our table was being served. (NOTE: A table that sat down 20 mins. after us received their meal 10 minutes before us.)

I was on the “fortunate” half of the table that received my meal while my wife, FIL, MIL and “grandma” waited an additional 15 minutes before their food came out. Being a good husband, I refrained from eating my food until my wife’s plate was served. When it was, it was wrong.

Now, while all of this was going on, our newbie waitress was handling two other tables. The ENTIRE TIME she was taking orders, she was crying…no…balling!!! She was so stressed out and deathly afraid to re-visit our table. So, what does she do? She walks over to our table, asks if everything is okay, then as my pissed-off MIL is about to speak, the newbie waitress starts leaking like a rusty pipe and squealing to boot!!! Newbie then excuses herself in the middle of taking our follow-up order. We all blankly stare at each other not knowing whether to get upset or laugh…so, we laugh.

Finally, as we were leaving around 5:40PM (it took 20 mins to pay the tab), I stood up and wrapped my arms around our sobbing server, told her everything was going to be fine - she did a great job for being “new” - and that her managers should never have left her to handle a big table on the busiest day of the year. She thanked me with a frown on her face then wrapped her arms around me as she snotted all over my shoulder (I could feel her wiping her nose on my shoulder). My wife was trying so hard not to bust a gut laughing.

As the newbie backed away with one hand still on my back (as though I was protecting her from my MIL who was staring like a lioness in a hunt), I told her I though she did just fine and there was proof in the tip. Well, stand back! She starts balling all over again (from relief this time) while the entire restaurant stared-on in amazement and disbelief. That was the last straw for the veteran waitress, “Sheila”, who zoomed by the newbie like a fighter jet, snatched the newbie by the arm, and then blurts out, “Don’t let people treat you like that!” in front of my family.

HUH? Apparently “Sheila” thought I said something nasty to the newbie. Oh well.

Shaking my head, I simply drove my family back to the in-laws, threw my snotty sweater in their washer/dryer, and put up their Christmas tree.

So, how was your Thanksgiving?

I guess mine was pretty boring, just the usual sibling fights!!