I usually take my mom out for breakfast on Mother’s Day. Most of the local diners and restaurants around here run Mother’s Day specials and are usually super busy because of it. Neither my mom nor I are big fans of loud, busy places with lots of people, so I figured I’d scout around and find somewhere less populated to take her this year. There’s a very pretty little seasonal place not terribly far from where we live – they do local produce, farm to table, all that hippie jazz that I love. I saw a post on the local ListServ that they’d be open for Mother’s Day brunch this year so I pitched it to mom. She liked the idea so I made us a reservation and we spent the next week or so talking about what we might order when we got there (because that’s what we do. We’re menu-holics).
We got to the place and were apparently the first party of the day because there were no other cars around. We were greeted at the door and led to our table by a young woman with very impressive calves – the kind of calves that made me want to ask her what kind of exercises she does. I’m pretty sure she could have cracked walnuts with her calves, is what I’m saying. They were serious business calves.
We sat down at our little table and admired the decor: barn-board floors, funky little pieces of art hung on the walls, wee little green glass vases with two bright yellow daffodils in them at each table. The room we were in had windows along two sides and the third side had French doors that opened out onto a lovely little terrace. We finally tore our eyes away from the rolling sweep of acres of lush green field outside and starter perusing the menu (which, let’s be honest, we already has memorized). Ms. Impressive Calves led another party in and sat them at a table across the room…and that’s when I saw it.
There, not four feet away from us on the tastefully patterned area rug…
…was a dog turd.
I actually did a double-take because I literally didn’t believe what I was seeing. The idea that there was a dog turd on the floor next to us in this fancy restaurant was so preposterous that for about fifteen seconds I fully believed that I was, in fact, hallucinating. I looked across at my mom, who was blithely nattering on about the virtues of sangria versus mimosas. Feeling the weight of my stare, she looked up at me and raised her eyebrows.
I leaned in and whispered:
“There’s shit on the rug.”
She glanced at the rug directly next to her and shook her head slightly.
“Whaaaat? I don’t see anything.”
“It’s right there, LOOK. It’s definitely a dog turd.” I pointed urgently with the corner of my menu, down at the aisle between my seat and the table in the center of the room. She leaned over a little and looked again.
“Ohhh my godddd…” she hissed, her eyes widening as she looked back at me. We both started giggling hysterically.
“What do we DO? Do we say something? I don’t think we should say anything. Oh my god, how embarrassing…”, I wheezed between fits of giggling.
“We HAVE to tell them. What if someone steps in it?!”
Just then our server rounded the corner. A tall, broad and solidly built woman with high cheekbones, a snub nose and smiling eyes, she looked for all the world like she could have been my cousin. She had an assortment of interesting tattoos on her arms and wore chunky Dansko clogs. She asked for my drink order and to my horror, all I could picture was her stepping back a couple inches and landing her heel in the dog turd. I looked back down at the menu and stuttered that I’d like a sangria. My mom ordered the same and then, just as cool as a cucumber, she leaned in toward the server and dropped her voice a bit.
“Hon, does someone around here have a small dog?”
The server looked slightly perplexed.
“Yes, the owners do. Why? Oh no, are you allergic?” Her eyes went wide. My mom smiled charmingly.
“Oh no, not allergic. But, ummm…” She used her menu to gesture at the floor behind the server. The server tilted her head, clearly thinking my mom was daft as fuck, only to then turn around and see the petite ordure perilously close to her shoe.
“Ohmygod NO. Oh, I’m so, SO sorry. I’ll get that taken care of right away.”
Mom and I both assured her repeatedly as she picked up the poop and spot-cleaned the carpet that it was totally not a big deal to us, that we both had small dogs ourselves and had seen our fair share of poop, etc. The server was clearly mortified but our continued commiserations seemed to settle her, and by the time our entrees came out she was able to laugh about it with us. She insisted that she comp us a dessert despite our protestations (not that we sent the flourless chocolate cake back to the kitchen once it showed up, mind you), and when she brought our check she said she’d comped one of our drinks as well. She really didn’t have to do that – the laughs we got were well worth the price of admission in our opinion.
Needless to say, it was a Mother’s Day that at least the three of us won’t be forgetting any time soon!