PART I: HATE
"Ma'am? Excuse me. Uh, ma'am?"
Surely the mid- to late-thirtysomethings at Table 52 aren't beckoning ME. I look over my shoulder - perhaps there's an older woman standing behind me with whom they'd like to speak? The guy with salt-n-pepper hair gives a little wave. Oh. They DID mean me.
"Um, yeah?" I say.
"Is it okay if we write on this menu?"
No! I think, It is clearly NOT okay if you write on the menu. Do you see little check marks next to each tapas item? Did I supply you with a pen and pencil? Would you walk into No. 9 Park or even the Butcher Shop and start scribbling all over their menu? What kind of animal are you?
"Sure," I say instead, since he has already started sullying it up with red ink. "Of course. Go right ahead."
I head to the service bar to collect their mojitos.
"Dude, Table 52 called me ma'am," I lament to the barback.
"They didn't mean it, Kitty. They didn't mean it," he consoles me.
"I don't care. I now hate them."
PART II: LOVE
"Here are your mojitos," I say, careful to conceal my contempt as I hand them their drinks. "Did you have any questions? Are you ready to order?"
"Hey," the salt-n-pepper guy says, "You look just like that woman in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Know who I'm talking about?" he says. His companions, two men with accents and a pretty brunette woman, nod and murmur "Yes...she does...mmm-hmmm."
"You mean the blonde chick?" I say. "Scarlett Johannson?"
"Yes! Scarlett Johannson," he says.
"That's a pretty hefty compliment," I say, "She's pretty hot. She's also one of my favorite actresses."
"Yup, you look just like her," he says. Then, to his friends: "You know, she's the most beautiful woman in the world according to this magazine I just read." They nod and murmur "Yes...Scarlett Johannson is the most beautiful woman in the world and our waitress looks exactly like her...mmm-hmmm."
And just like that I love them.