By: Chrysa Smith

butler-965333__180I’ll admit it. I can be a bit neurotic. Not certifiable, but a tad bit. Enough to feel a bit like George Costanza—the neurotic, insecure friend of Jerry Seinfeld—on the show named for the same.

I’ll assume you’ve seen it, since most folks have. In fact, I have not only seen hundreds of reruns, but also saw Fish in the Dark—the play about and with Larry David, producer of the show and the real man which the character of George Costanza is based on. So I know from where I speak. And I am speaking about my Costanza-like moments over the past several months.

George always thinks people are pulling one over on him, singling him out. And so it was during the last several dining experiences I’ve had with my husband. We sit down for a nice meal. The ambience is nice, wine is good, table is inviting and then it happens. Over comes the waiter who greets us and tells us the specials. We mull them over, digest them and look over the menu. Like clockwork, we’ll overhear the waiter from a nearby table following suit. Only this time, the specials will be slightly different. And darn it, there’s almost always something on the other list of ‘specials’ that I’d prefer.

Never fails, but I’ll hear about the tuna or salmon special, when the other waiter is telling others about the crab or shrimp special. Sometimes we’ve already ordered, so out of luck. So the other night, we heard our specials, then tuned into those spoken of behind us. I’ll be darned–different again. I heard a crab stuffed flounder. Sounded perfect, but not mentioned by our waiter. So, when he returned to take our order, I asked about a flounder special and was told that the special was salmon–when I mentioned the other waiter telling customers about it, his answer was simply: “I hope not, because the special is salmon.”  When the table on the other side of us heard the special, flounder was mentioned again.

Am I nuts? I sometimes feel like we’re being singled out. Why the flounder for them and not for us? Do we not look like flounder eaters? Was the waiter holding back for some reason? Or was he misinformed? Why is the misinformed waiter always serving us? And how many times could I have better enjoyed my meal if I was able to order what I heard was available at the other table, but not at ours.  Do you see my dilemna?  Do you see why I feel like Costanza?

Next time we eat out, I think I’m going to plant a recording device at the next table. Then, when we don’t hear the same specials, I’ll retrieve it and play it back for our waiter—aha! That’ll show them. And the nice people in the white coats that sure–I’m just a tad neurotic.