During our last Party of One fellowship meal at Bertucci’s, I planned to introduce a serious discussion topic: “Our Passion and Purpose.” Finally, I thought, we’ve bonded enough to discuss meaty issues. What a momentous occasion this would be! The first of many life-changing conversations!
But before that moment could arrive, we had to address the server and place our order. Seems like a simple task, doesn’t it? Ah, but there were nine of us ordering under seven separate checks.
- “I’ll have water with lemon.”
- “I’ll have decaf coffee.”
- “I’ll have regular with milk.”
- “I’ll have a Coke.”
- “I think I’ll wait a bit.”
Others had questions:
- “Does this have cheese?”
- “Is this spicy?”
- “What are you going to have?”
- “Is this enough to split between two people?”
- “Can I place my order first because I have to leave early?”
- “Yes, may I as well? I want to leave by 2:30 so I don’t miss the kick-off.”
Although I didn’t want to rush into this lofty discussion, the pressure was on now that two people planned to leave early.
Once the drinks were served, I waited for the perfect opening. Figuratively clearing my throat, I opened my mouth to speak. I had to stall just a little longer when two baskets of hot rolls sidetracked our members.
Oops. I should say grace first, I thought, before we get into a deep conversation. I kept it short, anxious to move on to the topic I’d chosen. What was it again? Oh, yes, passion and purpose.
- “May I have butter instead of the oil?”
- “Is that red pepper?”
- “Is his soup coming soon?”
- “Could I get some more coffee, please?”
“A-hem,” I said after swallowing a piece of roll. That’s as far as I got before the server arrived with two large salads. “We have one with Italian dressing and one with sweet vinaigrette.”
- “Could you pass that salad this way?”
- “May I have some butter, too?”
- “What did you order?”
- “Have you ever had this before?”
I waited for a pause, then I said, “Today, I wanted to bring up a new discussion topic . . .”
Apparently I wasn’t quick enough because now the others were involved in their own conversations. I looked around at my fellow Party of One-ers, some smiling and laughing, others teasing and talking, a few busy splitting meals and breaking bread. To interrupt them would be rude.
Maybe I’ll table my talk for tonight and let them have theirs. Besides, theirs looks way more fun than mine.