Thursday, February 14, 2008

Freak Seats

It was as if someone had yelled FIRE. We were leaving a restaurant Sunday night, and just as we passed a table near the door, a man sneezed. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Four days later, I seem to be okay. It'll be a while before I go into a restaurant again, but the sneeze isn't the only reason.

We went to the restaurant to celebrate my son's birthday. My husband called to explain that we wanted to sit in a corner, as far away from people as possible, and he told them the reason. It was a Sunday night, so we figured it wouldn't be too crowded. And it wasn't. The hostess said she would try not to seat people around us, which was thoughtful but unnecessary since the table was situated in the very corner of the room and I took that corner-most seat. I felt pretty safe. That's when I realized that a sign had been cleverly placed on the wall behind me which said CAUTION: FREAK.

Every five minutes or so, the hostess came over and told us how she was doing her best not to seat people at the tables surrounding us. We told her it wasn't a problem if she needed to. She even offered us a table in a private room. It's set up for a funeral we're having tomorrow, but we could put you in there. No thanks. At one point, she came over and said, so when did you have it? IT. By then, my teenage sons wanted to crawl under the table, I was starting to think the funeral room might be more pleasant, and my husband was apologizing that he shouldn't have mentioned anything about my health. Except, that's how he was able to get the corner table in a restaurant that doesn't take reservations.

We made it through the meal and headed for the exit. AHHHH-CHOOOO. Just my luck. I'm not wearing a mask, and this big guy sprays pathogens all over the place. Shaken, I sprint to the car where I reflexively slather my hands with Purell. Maybe I should drink it. That's when I see the hand-scrawled sign hanging in the restaurant window: NO FREAKS PLEASE.

No more restaurants until Spring, at the earliest. I know when I'm not wanted.


lubeth said...

Hey Pat,
I've been reading your plog for sometime now and finally took the time to register so that I could respond to you. I like you. I like what you say. I feel uncannily connected. My husband is about one month ahead of you in terms of days out of your transplants. He too had AML. He too did 4 rounds of consolidation and then relapsed. We're from NY and he had his BMT at Sloan-Kettering. You guys are the same age. I appreciate how you relate to what you are going through. Not sure if its cause you're a woman, but I learn alot that I imagine Jeff is feeling, but not expressing. Know what I mean?
The real reason I'm writing is to tell you a little anecdote from the other night...Jeff's 2nd time out in a restaurant thus far. We went to a lovely place with many small rooms. Our friends asked for a quiet one (not sure what the maitre d was told) and we enjoyed a leisurely fine meal. At one point, someone at a not too distant table coughed. Our friend picked up his knife. Fortunately his wife said, now Ken, that's just a choking cough...not a sick one. Let him live. We all chuckled and I thought you might too.
Happy V-Day.

pj said...

Thanks for the restaurant story. You have to laugh at most of these situations or you'll weep.

Renee and Sam said...

I'm just curious, Patty, where did you eat?! Renee