So here’s the thing: we all embarrass ourselves once in a while. Like that time I tried to text a sympathetic e-mail to my boyfriend that said “Oh baby, I’m so sorry” but my phone decided to “correct” it to “Ooh baby, I’m do dirty.” That was awesome.
Those ones are our fault. We’ve made the mistake, we pay the embarrassing price. Those are the ones I find easier to get over because really, you goofed and you’ve just got to accept it. It’s the times when you don’t have a choice but to humiliate yourself – those are the epic moments. Like what happened to my brother not too long ago.
My bro is the manager of a local restaurant. He’s one of those super-social, funny, outgoing guys that everybody likes. He’s not shy and certainly doesn’t embarrass easily. On the list of his many natural gifts and talents however, I wouldn’t include singing. It’s not that he sounds like a seagull, but he’s really no Pavarotti, let’s put it that way.
The restaurant at which he works is a fairly swanky joint. You know, the kind where the waiters wear long aprons and even the women wear ties. It’s a great place that I would highly recommend, but don’t expect it to be the kind of spot where the servers to come out with a ridiculous hat to plunk on your head while they screech out some bastardized version of happy birthday that not-so-subtly mentions the name of their establishment. No, this is the kind of place where you have a romantic, candlelit dinner with your lover after you send a suggestive e-mail.
Anyhoo, not too long ago my brother was serving a table of four who requested that he bring out a customized birthday cake for their dessert. When they gave the signal, he was to light the candles and present the cake in a blaze of unexpected glory for the birthday girl. He was ready. They gave the nod. With a flourish, he emerged from the kitchen with the cake in hand and in a loud, clear voice, began to sing.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY To… you…” his eyes darted around wildly. Was his the only voice ringing through the restaurant? Where were his co-workers? “Happy… gasp…” His voice was cracking. Why was no one helping him out? The table of four was scowling at him, mouths pressed firmly into thin lines. His co-workers stared at him wide-eyed, unable to look away from the trainwreck they saw before them… it was clear that he was alone in this.
“Happy birthday dear… dear…” he searched the table’s faces for a sign. Why hadn’t he confirmed her name ahead of time?
“Eleanor,” barked one of the men at the table.
“Eleanoooooooorrr….” quavered the lone voice. “Happy birthday to you.”
Silence. Crickets. The server’s breath coming out in puffs. Hadn’t they asked for this? Why hadn’t someone joined in? He gave a shaky smile and returned to the kitchen to hang his head.
And just like that, it was over. Silverware once again clattered against plates. Someone cleared his throat. Patrons resumed their conversations and presumably, the table of four started to dig into their cake.
Why hadn’t anyone bailed the poor guy out? It’s a mystery for the ages. But for one poor soul (and let’s face it – everyone else in the restaurant that night) it will be a memory to last a lifetime. I wonder how long it will take before rumours start to fly about the singing waiter at the place down the street? Will he take requests?
The moral of the story, folks, is that we all have our moments. And as awesome as it is to laugh at our brothers when they make asses of themselves (and oh, how I do laugh), we have to remember that an embarrassing situation can happen to anyone, at any time. It doesn’t matter if you’re outgoing or not, sometimes you just have to go back to the kitchen and hang your head.
– Love From Sarah