If you’re a longtime reader of my blog (all 2 of you) you may remember one of my first posts, Mini Tacos and Mini Sodas, was me having an entirely awkward interaction while ordering food and ending up with a tiny soda and a huge thirst. Well, for anyone that doubted my ability to frequently screw up simple human interactions, I have another very similar story. I certainly hope somebody else feels déjà vu from this story, because this is pretty much my life on a regular basis.
The story starts out with myself and a couple of friends, Rachel and Josh (because as I’ve previously stated, I’m everyone’s favorite 3rd wheel), going out to dinner at Pita Pit. If you’re not familiar with Pita Pit (which I was not), it’s basically like the Subway of pitas. This would have been extremely useful information for me to know. I even tried to do homework ahead of time by looking up their menu online and deciding what I wanted ahead of time, to make sure that I didn’t end up standing in front of their menu like a slack-jawed moron. I decided on the Chicken Souvlaki because I was excited about Tzatziki sauce and thought maybe if I ordered the most difficult thing to pronounce it might make me seem more worldly and less stupid when I inevitably screwed something else up.
We arrived at the restaurant and of the three of us, I approached the register first; exuding a level of confidence that I would soon learn was absolutely undeserved (why would I ever have thought otherwise?!). I ordered my Chicken Souvlaki (and in my uneducated opinion, absolutely nailed the pronunciation). The next step was to order my drink and I was absolutely prepared not to make the same mistake I had previously made with the aforementioned mini soda story. I scoped out the drink sizes, stealthily glanced at the various sizes of cups on the counter and proudly proclaimed, “And a regular drink!”
Feeling as though I had the monkey off my back, I stepped aside to let everyone else order their food as I waited for my pita to be prepared. This is where my prep work had failed me. See, I had looked at the menu, seen the list of ingredients that made up the Chicken Souvlaki pita and assumed that it automatically came with these various ingredients. But no, the picture was a lie. The only thing I was assured so far was a pita and a pile of Mediterranean seasoned chicken. Instead of my work being done and simply watching my pita being made in front of me, I was now expected to select what else I wanted on it. And through a combination of forgetting the ingredient list I had read online and sheer panic at this new revelation, I had no idea what else to put on it.
It didn’t start off so bad. The girl working the counter asked me what sort of greenery I wanted on my pita and I quickly responded with spinach because I know what is right and what is wrong in this world. I still had some misguided hope that I was simply choosing the greens and the rest would still be handled without my interference. Still wrong. Only, I also didn’t quite understand when the girl asked “What else do you want on it?” And my go-to reaction when I don’t understand what people say to me is to look them dead in the eye, smile and say “It’s good.” This is absolutely the wrong reaction when you’re trying to get delicious fixin’s on your pita because she passed my creation (or lack thereof) on down the line past all the various vegetables that I unwittingly opted not to put on my food. And much like my previous food-related fiasco I refused to correct myself because I was too worried about looking like I had no idea what the hell I was doing (which I didn't).
The chicken was piled on top of my spinach and pita failure and I was now asked what sauce I wanted on my pita. This was actually the moment I had been waiting for as I finally spoke up (because for one split second I knew what the hell I was doing) and declared “Tzatziki!” with more enthusiasm than was really necessary for anything I was even doing at that point. Perhaps this enthusiasm is what emboldened me speak up even further, as I decided to also say “Actually, can I get some cucumber on that too?” To my delight, they complied and I felt a small sense of victory as I undid a tiny part of my previous failure. However, still feeling awkward about admitting how stupid I am and also holding up the line, I refused to ask for the tomatoes and onions that I also desperately wanted to complete my pita. Luckily, I at least knew well enough to ask for the feta cheese.
I watched as they wrapped up the ingredients of my almost-correct pita; much like I roll up my emotions into a little ball and quietly tuck them away. I took solace in the fact that my drink was still okay, meaning that I at least hadn’t made the same mistake as before (instead, a brand new mistake!). I grabbed my grown-up sized drink cup and walked over to the soda machine to put some ice in my cup. When I lifted my cup away from the ice dispenser to select my beverage of choice, the ice lever remained depressed and I stood there helpless watching as ice continued to pour out onto the floor. Before making any effort to remedy this, I looked over at Rachel who was laughing hysterically at my plight and I just shrugged as ice continued to pile around my feet.
This is why I eat at home.