Athol: I’m going to Big Steve’s for lunch. Free?
Jennifer: OMG yes. Meet you there in 20? You can order for me if you want.
Athol: What do you want?
Jennifer: Lobster soup, or whatever other soup if there’s no lobster.
Okay first things first. Big Steve’s is in Plainville, Connecticut. If you’re within striking distance, it’s worth the trip for a proper burger. Yeah, yeah I know it involves bread, sorry Paleonazi’s, but if you’re going to have a burger it’s a good, “homemade” burger and no more expensive than McDonalds. I get it with lettuce, cheese, mustard, ketchup, raw onions and a fried egg. I know the egg sounds weird, just trust me on it.
I could have been all Lord Alpha and just ordered whatever and Jennifer would have eaten it because she’s like that. I was actually thinking she wanted a burger and if she texted me what she wanted, I’d not have to remeber it because it would be on my phone. As it was… lobster soup… oh yeah… that’s her Plan B dish here. So glad I didn’t order a burger.
Anyway… I said meet at 1pm because that would have been 26 minutes after Jennifer said “Meet you there in 20?”
You know where this is going.
I was there at 12:58 and ordered the food.
At 1:02…. Jennifer: Traffic on Queen St. Coming!”
Check the GPS app as the food arrives… [Jennifer is 3.2 miles away]
Well seeing the office is 3.4 miles away, I don’t think she even left until 1pm. Meaning, yeah traffic (I believe her there was traffic), but she didn’t even leave until 1pm. Meaning she was always going to be late. Hmmm…. I’m actually mildly annoyed by that. The food is already here.
(1) Tell her off about being late. Be grumpy.
(2) Scamper about finding a cover for her soup and just pick at my
fries healthfood until she arrives because it’s rude to start eating before anyone else.
(3) Pretend everything is fine and make her pay somehow.
(4) Cover her soup with napkins keeping the heat in a little better. Just start eating my burger.
Jennifer arrived about 1:10… to the scene of (4) the soup a little cooled and then we had a fun lunch.
So, let’s analyze the options and why I choose (4)
Once upon a time I probably would have done something even worse than (2), as in not even order until my date arrived, even if we had agreed I would order in advance. The improvement to that anxious behavior being brave enough to order, but then freaking out like a lost minion once the food arrived. (2) Just telegraphs fear of displeasing her, a very low display of value.
(3) Is somewhat of an addition to (2). Having let myself get anxious and freaked out, now I’m just brave enough to sucker punch you somehow on something else. It’s indirect rage and very ineffective. She won’t even have a clue why I got her back either. Passive-aggressive sucks.
(1) Is almost right. It’s better than (2) and (3), at least I’m standing up for myself and demanding to be taken seriously. But it’s also just a little much… it’s a spur of the moment lunch. For all I know Jennifer had to cram 45 minutes of work into 26 minutes to make her date with me. There really was traffic. I might unwittingly punish her for making an effort to be with me. That makes everything a net negative experience = “Lunch with Athol is unfun ” = “Unsexy”
The correct answer is (4). She was late and the natural consequence of being late was that her food was slightly sub-optimal in tempature. I was on on time and my burger was great. Because it was a natural consequence, it’s not me punishing her. It’s low key, straightforward and not me taking it personally. If she had complained, I’d just parrot back, “We agreed I’d order this to be ready at 1pm, you were late, not my fault.”
Anyway… I am of course writing about all this, so it’s potentially also a pot shot at her and potential (3), but jeepers… it’s just soup and I know Jennifer well enough to know that she runs and then she hop, hop, hops and wishes she could fly and I was semi-suprised she could even make lunch in the first place. Besides, I really only wanted a defense for eating a huge hamburger. I don’t have to watch what I eat on a date right?
Jennifer: If I’m late, does that make you the Mad Hatter?