A few years back—when I was living in MI—I took a quick trip to Philly to interview for two jobs.
After a long day of smiling, a hastily eaten lunch of tortilla chips and nacho cheese, catching trains-subways-buses, making sure my hair looked polished yet effortless, and clenching the skirt of my dress to avoid clammy handshakes, I was spent, and in desperate need of warm food and good company.
My friend T and I decided to venture over to the delicious Philadelphia chain restaurant known as Marathon Grill. We were seated in a cozy window seat, and I began telling her all about my day.
A handsome fellow ventured over and introduced himself as our server. I, being single at the time, remember thinking, “Well, this is nice. I actually get the cute, fun server for once. What a treat!”
Server: “Do you have any questions about the menu?”
Me, seeing his name tag out of the corner of my eye read V: “Yes, yes, I do, V.”
Me: “Well, I was wondering—on a scale of bad to out-of-this world amazing—how would you describe your mac-and-cheese?
V: (with a twinkle in his eye) “Oh, definitely out-of-this-world
Me: “Out-of-this-world? You’re serious, V?”
Me: “I’ll take it.”
Throughout the course of our meal, T and I proceeded to ask him 347 questions: “So, how do you like living in Philly? Do know know anyone who works at these places I interviewed, V? Do you like working here? Do you like being our server right now?”
(Now, just to make things clear: I don’t normally flirt with my servers. I used to try to flirt with the Trader Joe’s cashiers, but one time I based which line I stood in on how cute the cashier was. It was the slowest line I’ve ever been in. Lesson learned.)
V seemed to be enjoying himself, and by the time we got to dessert, he was kneeling next to our booth, eye-level, making jokes and, I imagine, hoping we tipped really well.
As we perused the dessert menu, I asked V what his favorite dessert was.
V.: “Definitely the cookie sundae. It’s for sure out-of-this-world.”
Since the mac-and-cheese was pretty darn good, T and I proceeded to take him up on his recommendation…and we were sorely disappointed. The cookies were crumbly, bland, and clearly microwaved—not homemade and buttery crisp.
Despite the cookie missing the mark, we were a little sad as the meal drew to a close. V was so nice. He was handsome. He had tattoos, and was way more interesting than what I had at home (read: no one).
As he delivered our bill, he wished me luck on the job search and -poof- vanished.
He wrote “Thank you!!!” on the receipt. We wrote “Thank YOU” on the receipt.
At T’s house later that evening, we waxed poetically about how cute V was. I liked his intent eye gaze and charm; T liked his tattoos.
We settled in to watched a Phillies game (as all proper Philadelphians do), and during a commercial break, T decided to peruse the Missed Connections section on Craigslist—an occasional pastime of hers. She read a few aloud, very dramatically, and we had ourselves a good laugh.
Then came the great idea: why not write a Missed Connection for V?
Dear V at Marathon on 10th and Walnut,
The mac-and-cheese was fabulous. The cookie dessert could have been better. But you…YOU were out-of-this-world.
You were our serving soulmate.
The next day, I boarded a plane back to Michigan and my unexciting life there. My American Idol-watching, all-my-friends-are-married, I live-with-my-parents life.
A week later, after a lazy Sunday afternoon nap, I checked my phone and found an urgent text from Theresa.
“CHECK YOUR EMAIL. CALL ME. V RESPONDED TO THE MISSED CONNECTION!!!”
** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY — AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY
** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
** More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html
that is too much, i will admit i was blushing when i first found out about this post…and how fortunate, a ‘missed’ connection is not completely ‘missed’.
one of my fellow co-workers pointed this post out to me yesterday and i was more than flattered! im sorry the cookie sandwich was not to be as out of this world as you found me…I could have left but your bright smiling faces attracted me to take one last table before my departure and it was worth the additional time spent at marathon.
you made my night absolutely fabulous, especially after returning the thank you on the signed copy of your receipt.
facebook me, if you do that kind of thing (facebook that is)…next time you visit philly i will be sure to have a table ready for you.
<your serving soul mate>
The moral of this story:
Missed connections are not always so missed.
Mac-and-cheese can lead to a lot.
Ice water helps clammy hands. Better a cold handshake than a clammy one.
Tune in later this week for a cupcake recipe that is (truly!) out-of-this-world.
PS. I got one of the jobs, thanks to the nacho cheese. It aids in brain circulation, I think.