It may seem a little dramatic for a blog title … “The day they ate all my cocoa almonds and the world almost ended” but it’s the truth.
I was having a bad day at work. I had skipped lunch because I knew we would be celebrating one of our favorite friends birthdays that evening.
My wife on the other hand had the day to herself and decide to get her snack on.
She found a hidden bag of cocoa almonds tucked away in the pantry. A delicious dark chocolate snack I was saving for a day of all days. The kind where you want to eat something deliriously chocolaty for dinner and wash it down with a chilled bottle of wine.
I wasn’t even so upset about it when she text me. She was giddy. Like she found a pot of chocolate wrapped gold coins at the end of a Skittles rainbow.
I didn’t pout when she told me she opened the bag and sampled the goodness inside.
It was alright. Really.
I was focused on making it the rest of my work day and getting to the restaurant on time. I knew what I was having when we got there too; a buffalo fried chicken salad with ranch, a couple beers and a big ole piece of that red velvet cake we bought the birthday girl.
To say I was hangry by the time we got to our favorite lakeside patio and were seated would be pretty accurate. I was both agitated by work events and starving from a lack of lunch break.
I needed sustenance … pronto.
We were seated and approached by non other than the server from our last visit. The one we didn’t like. The one who was slow to fill our drinks or even check on us last time. I was hopeful that this visit wouldn’t be a repeat.
I was so naive.
We did get our appetizer, and our first beer. He did take the cake to the cooler for us and promised to bring it out when we finished our meals. That was about the extent of my hopefulness.
Our friends orders came out wrong and missing side items. Our food never came at all. He never came back to check if everything was alright. I was getting more and more anxious and well … pissed off. I watched other tables get their orders. I watched the sun slowly setting on the horizon. I watched a small child nearly fall into the lake and most importantly I watched my glass empty.
I was getting more and more irate. Have you ever witnessed a professional in the business of customer service be under served? It isn’t pretty. I said bad words. I shot a glare across the breezeway that made the server want to jump right past that unattended kid and into the lake.
Our friend flagged him down and forced him to confront our table. He nodded that he understood our complaints and ran off. A manager quickly came back to smooth things over. She made it all well, apologized for ruining our evening and summoned the remainder of our order.
We finished our meal and a second round before I requested the special item we brought in with us be delivered. The manager looked at me quizzically, she had no idea what I was talking about. Or she did and realized that this meant not only was dinner a disaster but it was a special occasion.
In the end everyone was fed, we shared cake with other tables and the helpful manager. Our bill was comped and we were given coupons to come back, all totally unnecessary as we are regulars and would have come back anyway. It was a nice touch though and I appreciated the efforts.
The end of the night came and I strolled into the house, put down my bag and went to turn out every light in the house so that we could go to bed.
I walked into the kitchen and there it was … my bag of almonds. Or should I say the bag that held my almonds when I left that morning.
It was like the final smack in the face.
One tiny chuck left in the bottom of the bag. The kids had polished off the sweet open bag of goodness like it wouldn’t be noticed.
I took a deep breath. Then another. I turned off the lights and took a shower. I climbed into bed unable to turn to the wife. I just couldn’t make her understand why I was so damn mad. My work, my birthday dinner surprise, now my almonds. My cocoa almonds!
When I was a child I was told once the world wouldn’t end if I had a bad day.
Yesterday it almost did.