Thursday, April 17, 2008

"There he is"

You may recall from this post that Spouse now refers to Scott, the Ledo's Pizza waiter, as my 'boyfriend although he doesn't know it yet'. This is fine, as we both make little comments now and then about each other's secret boyfriends, knowing its all just harmless kidding.

Last evening Spouse was in the mood for pizza so we decided to go to Ledo's. I really wasn't expecting to see Scott there, as I assumed he worked at his other waiter job at night and just worked at Ledo's during the day, but when we walked in the door he was standing right there.

"There he is," I said. Why in the world would I say that? I don't know, I really don't. I guess the Sagittarius in me who likes to put his foot in my mouth simply took over. "There he is" seems to convey the idea that we'd been thinking and talking about him, which is definitely not the idea I was trying to convey.

Scott smiled politely and replied "Hey guys." It was the same sort of distant but polite greeting you'd give to a family of 4 who had just been seated in your section, not the greeting you'd give to the guys with whom you'd shared so much of your self just weeks ago.

Desperate to try and recover from the stupidity of "There he is", I said to Scott "Hey, we went to Pig & Fish (the other restaurant where Scott works) on Sunday with friends for dinner, and he (pointing to Spouse) had the salmon and the bread pudding you said were your favorites."

Okay, that did not help. Now I sound like I'm trying to match Scott up with Spouse, showing that Spouse took Scott's menu recommendations to heart. It seemed everything I said came out wrong.

Scott smiled politely again, then looked at Spouse and asked "Oh, really? How did you like them?" to which Spouse replied "I liked them both a lot." I was grateful the conversation had shifted and did not require me to say anything (wrong) for a few seconds.

Once we'd been seated in a booth, Scott came to our table and announced he would be our server and asked what we'd like to drink. We gave him our beverage order and he disappeared while we looked at the menu. When he returned with our drinks we ordered our food, and Scott walked over to the computer terminal and entered our order for the kitchen.

At this point on our previous visit, Scott returned to our table and talked to us at great length. We learned he was from northern VA as we are, that he'd spent many summers at his relative's beach house here in DE, and that after graduation he began living in one of the many campgrounds until the weather got too cold and the campground turned off the water. He and a friend had moved to an apartment in another town. He told us he worked nights at Pig & Fish, and described his favorite entree and dessert, which sounded so good that they prompted Spouse to order them when we went there. He was delightfully innocent as he spilled his guts to us.

This time it was quite different. After entering our order into the computer, Scott disappeared into the kitchen, filled in condiments on empty tables, and chatted with other servers. He spent no time at our table at all, causing me to wonder "Where did the love go?" He wasn't rude or snarky or anything like that, he just wasn't the same open, sharing, delightful young man we experienced the last time.

He brought our food and got Spouse a drink refill, then left us to eat. Spouse & I quietly discussed the very different way he was responding to us and Spouse kidded me about my "There he is" comment. Playing along I asked Spouse "Do you think that ruined it for us? Do you think its... over?"

We finished our dinner with no more interaction with Scott until he asked if we were ready for the check. We paid using our debit card and when Scott returned with the card and reciept for me to sign, he simply said "Thanks for coming in." The last time he had said "Come back and see me again." A subtle difference to most; a slap in the face to me.

After getting into the car Spouse & I further discussed Scott's distant but polite demeanor. I suggested that perhaps our Fri night dinner group's recent visit there might have had something to do with it.

A week and 1/2 ago our Fri night dinner group (made up of 14 gay men) had dinner at Ledo's. Earlier Spouse had told our friend Rick about our 1st visit there and about Scott, my 'boyfriend although he doesn't know it yet'. When Rick sat down he said "So where's the young gay waiter?" I shot him daggers from my eyes and whispered "He's not here tonight, and we don't know if he's gay or not."

In the car I asked Spouse if he thought our waitress that night might have overheard Rick's comment and told Scott about it. Spouse doubted the waitress had heard, and even if she did, that she would have known Rick was referring to Scott. With that aside, I had another disquieting thought.

When we went to Pig & Fish with our friends John & Marty on Sunday, we asked the hostess if Scott was working. She said no, and I responded "No problem. A table for 4 please." When our handsome gay waiter David introduced himself at our table he joked "I know I'm playing 2nd fiddle for Scott this evening..." to which the 4 of us responded with laughter. Obviously the hostess told David we had asked for Scott, which I thought was odd.

David was a delightful waiter who really took good care of us, but he never missed an opportunity to make a reference to Scott. This made me wonder if the hostess or David might have told Scott that we'd asked for him at Pig & Fish, making our appearance at Ledo's just 2 days later seem like we were stalking him!

Obviously there is no way to know for sure if the waitress overheard Rick's comment and told Scott, or if the hostess and/or David told Scott we'd asked for him at the other restaurant, so I am not going to worry about it. However, I am still curious about why he was so open and forthcoming with his personal information the 1st time, and then distant (though polite) the 2nd time.

I fear it may no longer be appropriate to refer to him as my 'boyfriend although he doesn't know it yet'.

Crush du Jour: Daniel Bruehl


Anonymous said...

I think you outted that kid and now he is scared to talk to you!!!! Also, crush of the day is not that should repost the one I sent you.

joe*to*hell said...

i agree - that little nasty twink is not so cute

anyway....when you started the story, you said spouse referred to him as "boyfriend". then, as i read, i noticed you seemed to be the one into him....and at the end, you said YOU can no longer refer to him as "boyfriend"....

project much?

Mark in DE said...

Michael: This pic doesn't do him justice, but I had a hard time finding a pic that didn't make him look like jail bait.

J*O*E: Spouse refers to him as MY (Mark's) 'boyfriend' not HIS (Spouse's) 'boyfriend'.

David Dust said...

One of two things happened with Scott - either his coworkers started talking shit about his "gay" customers, or Scott himself started figuring out what this weird "connection" between the two of you actually was. Or maybe a combination of the two.

Either way, YOU didn't do anything wrong. But I'd still recommend getting him really drunk and seeing what happens...



Ryan said...

I'm a server too and before I came out at work (I'm out now) there was a couple of gay guys who always tried to sit in my section. They knew one of the other servers there and I was always hesitant to be too chummy with them because of the "gay by association" factor. His distance is just because he doesn't want to be outed at work when he isn't ready. Don't take it personally. If he is gay he would probably love to have more conversations with you - just not at his workplace.

tankmontreal said...

This sort of thing happens to all of us. We believe we've established a certain level of camarderie with someone new but we see them again and it's as if the first meeting had never happened.

Hats off to you for sharing the second installment of the story. I'd prolly have stuck my head in the sand. These things embarrass me terribly and I can't share them even with close friends.

But it ain't over 'til it's over. We await Part 3.

Mica said...

Hey Mark, I know I don't post often on your blog but just wanna let you know that I do enjoy reading your posts.

Keep them up!

Gregory said...

And as a former server, don't forget that when your job is to be everyone's friend, sometimes it just feels like TOO much.

Or he's figured it out and doesn't want to be in a thruple.

cb said...

Ohhhh- I'm so sorry to hear that your non-relationship has ended so soon. And so abruptly!

tornwordo said...

Lol stalkers!