Anyway, so, Saturday Morning-ish Amber comes around and picks me up. We hungrily make our way to O'Charlies, where I begin to realize the true value of being a Vegan. Every single time I eat out, I am forced to develop a personal relationship with the wait staff, because no matter where it is, I have to ask questions about what's in the food, how it's cooked, etc., and I have to answer questions about why the heck I don't eat meat, why does it matter if the french fries are cooked in the same fryer as the meat, etc. (I believe in the ethical treatment of animals, there's no reason to eat them at this stage of human development. And if you cook animal meat in the fryer fat leaks out into the oil, and cooking french fries in that same oil allows the animal fat to seep back into the fries.)
So there I am at O'Charlies, explaining why I can't have cheese on my salad, why oil and vinegar is the only dressing I can trust, why I can't have sweet potato fries, and would you please bring me sides of broccolli (without butter sauce) and smashed potatoes (without butter) please, and I really get to talking to the waitress, who's got a friend who just recently joined PETA. Her friend used to go to horse races and then one day one of the horses died while she was watching and it freaked her out and she eventually realized how terribly they treat those poor creatures.
So anyway, Amber and I had a great meal. She had the beef quesadillas and sweet tea. I had my usual glass of water. We maintained a lively conversation about, well, everything. I couldn't give you a synopsis because a synopsis is impossible. So we sat and chatted and eventually finished eating. I finished quite a while after she did because I had been talking a lot and I really have never learned how to talk and eat at the same time, or at least to manage my eating time and talking time effectively so that I don't end up with tons of food while the listener is finished like ten minutes ago kind of situation thing. Amber got up and went to the bathroom while I arranged the table in Zen patterns of organization and energy flow while thinking about solar power and windmills. I noted her cell phone in the far corner of the table while doing this.
Amber returns and after figuring the tip she foots the bill seeing as how I had left what cash I had in the car. We got up to leave, neither of us noticing that she had left her phone behind. As we walk out the door, we pass through a large family with children and a baby and wives and dads and probably some uncles and aunts too. Someone comes running out of the restaurant, looks at us, and asks us, "Were you sitting at the bar?" Well, we had been sitting in a booth in the bar area, but neither of us realized this and so our initial answer was "No." We left, wondering what that was all about, and then decided to swing by the new Starbucks, which Starbucks built even though there's a Starbucks inside the Barns and Noble less than five hundred feet away (note, measurements are very approximate). I guess it's a good addition, because there was a drive through, which we used. While in the drive through we came to the realization that the phone had been left behind at O'Charlies. I offered to hop out of the car to go and get it, and Amber refused, quite reasonably, because in the time it would take me to walk there, she probably would have gotten her coffee and made it there before or around the same time as me. So we sat and talked and waited for her to get a mint moca frapaccino, which was a new item on the Starbucks menu. She asked if I like mint, and if I'm able to eat mint, which I am, since mint is a plant. However I abstain from coffee because I don't like the effect of caffeine on my energy levels. So after the coffee was delivered by a nice young man with a very modern accent who made sure we ordered the correct item, she began to pay with her card, but I insisted that the scene wait while I pulled out some cash to pay with instead. That went five dollars or so toward settling the seven dollar debt I had accrued during lunch. I had a twenty, and two of the dollars I received in change I put into her cup holder to finish paying off the lunch debt.
Coffee in hand, we made our way back to O'Charlies. Amber waited in the car while I hopped out and went inside, to the tune of a popular song that I recognized. At the front, I asked the lady who was working there if she knew of a phone that had been left inside. She said yes, in fact, and weren't you the two who I asked if you were sitting at the bar? I said yes, but we weren't sitting at the bar, we were sitting at a booth over there, pointing at the bar, and realizing that she must have meant the bar area. Oh, I meant the bar area, she of course confirmed. She reached into her drawer and pulled out Amber's phone. After a little bit of talk of how I had thought she meant the bar itself, I made sure to tell her to thank our waitress for putting up with my dietary madness and made my way back outside, phone in hand. The same song was still playing as I got back in the car and handed Amber her phone. I explained the entire situation about the bar versus the bar area, and how the girl who had asked us if we were sitting at the bar must have been really confused when we said we weren't.
So then we headed off toward St Martin School in Ocean Springs, where Amber was scheduled to participate in a drama as a part of Family Ministries production on patience. There was some fighting over the radio, and whether it should be on or off. I thought it should be off, and continued to turn it off whenever she turned it on. The conversation continued all the way to the school. We were several minutes late, primarily because of the entire debacle with the phone. There we met the fellow members of the drama crewe, Matt (Tyler), Cammy, and Kyle (Gordo). Amber = Sam.
Anyway, the weekend progressed, it was a really great weekend, and I really don't feel like chronicling the rest of it in such detail. Suffice it to say, I miss Amber and Matt and everyone else.
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