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Feb 12, 2021

A Modern Day Valentine's Dinner Reservation

By Mark Abellera


12:17. Friday February 11, 2021

 “Oh, Hi. Yea, I’d like to make a reservation for this Sunday. Yes, for Valentine’s Day. For two, of course, why do you ask? Do a lot of people make reservations on Valentine’s Day for one? I mean, I’m not that much of a loser that I’d go out on Valentine’s Day for dinner alone. I mean, I have, but not this year. No, you’re right, sorry. Just defensive. This is a new girlfriend I met this year on a dating app and we haven’t even really celebrated a ‘special occasion’ together yet during this whole lockdown thing.”

“So, I know I’m calling without a lot of days' notice, but would you happen to have anything around 7pm? No, huh. Figured. That’s Ok, what about 7:30...no? 8, how about 8PM? 9? 10? 11? Midnight?? None? Fine how about 5:30? 5? Let’s try this; what time do you have open? 4pm?? (pause and heavy sigh) Sure, Ok. I’ll take that. I suppose we’ll just eat a late breakfast and this can be a late lunch. OK yea, the name is “Mark”. Last name?  “Abellera” - That’s A as in ‘Abellera’, B as in ‘bellera’, E as in ‘ellera’, double ‘L as in ‘llera’, E as in “era”, R as in “ra” and A as in “a”.  Yea, well, you’d be surprised how hard a time some people have spelling it, so this makes it idiot proof. Not that you are one, of course.”

“Credit card number? For what - to hold it? I mean, I’m not going to cancel, I mean I don’t think I’m gonna break up with my girlfriend by Sunday. She has been kinda distant lately, but I think it’s just her job. Although she seems to be digging her work, in fact she just got promoted and she says she loves Zoom conference calls with her coworkers.... No, no of course, I get it- sure, it’s a busy time and you want to guarantee the table is taken..no, of course, especially at 4PM in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, I mean, once you get that slot taken I’m sure you don’t wanna lose it. Ready? It’s 4920-3941-9090 - expiration June 24.”

“Oh, and do you have, like, outdoor heaters for your tables? You do? Great. They’re in little private domes that make you feel you’re having dinner inside a snow globe under the stars!? Wow, that’s ADORBS, she’ll love tha- Wait, what? You don’t have any outdoor seating available? Really, at 4PM you have no snow globes available outside but you felt the need to tell me about them anyways? I mean, how many other couples do you have eating Valentine’s Day “Lunch” at 4pm? Ok, yea yea, fine. So what’s the indoors situation, do you at least have glass partitions? No...but the tables are 6 feet apart. Ok, well at least that’s some good news. ‘And don’t worry, it shouldn't be crowded at 4PM’? Yea, well that makes sense, because they’ll all be outdoors in heated snow globes lost in each other’s eyes  under the stars! (laughter heard through the receiver). That wasn’t supposed to be funny.”

“One more question: Is it a “pre-fixed” menu for Valentine’s Day? PRE-FIXED, you know like pick one of three from the appetizer column, one of three from the entree column, one of three from the dessert column...yea, that’s what I said. PRE-FEE? Yea, that’s what I said PRE-FIXED. Whatever, “Fixed”, “Fee” is it one of those menus?? Because I’d like to know! Because my girlfriend hates limited choices maybe. Or maybe because I was abused as a child by my parents and they’d punish me by NOT giving me a choice for dinner because they wouldn’t feed me dinner at all and I lost 19 pounds as a 4th grader and developed a rare form of a protein deficiency called Kwashiorkor and almost died! Is that OK with you?? I don’t know, I just wanna know! What, your brother passed away from Kwashiorkor?? Oh, man...Dude, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to….uhm...I never had that, I was just--- It’s ok whatever kind of menu it is, is good. Oh it is a Prix Fixe menu? Oh ok, great! Thank you very much. Again, sorry about your brother.”

“(pause to compose myself) Ok. So...just to confirm: That’s a table for TWO, indoors, this Sunday on Valentine’s AFTERNOON at 4PM, credit card on file ending in 9090, pre-FEE menu, at La Vie en Rose. What -  come again? This isn’t Le Vie en Rose?? Then what restaurant is this? La Belle Vie Cafe?? What the Hell is La Belle Vie Cafe? A VEGAN place?! Screw that! Cancel it!”