Everything is Simple

The Red Ginger

Last day in San Diego and Grandma decides to take me to brunch before my 1:30 flight. This is simply easier due to airport etiquette and the distance from the apartment to the airport. And, of course, my grandma being a little old Jewish lady, she suggests we go to the local Jewish delicatessen (which we’d already been to twice in the past week), for said meal.

We are seated by the host at the same table we were at just two days ago. Out of the kitchen doors, walks a red-headed beauty, with pale skin, freckles, and amazingly straight teeth. She smiles and asks us what we want to order. I detect somewhat of an accent, at first, but she’s quiet and reserved, at first. My guess is that she’s new. Grandma wants pancakes. So, she orders two pancakes. When the waitress repeats the order, she says, “two potato pancakes.” Grandma didn’t hear, so I interjected. Then, the two of them argued over whether or not Grandma wanted pancakes of latkes for brunch, I butted in, yet again, and pointed to the buttermilk pancakes on the menu. It was like pulling teeth. So complicated. And, I ordered the French Dip.

When the waitress walked away, Grandma remarked about her voice. My guess was that she sounded French. Grandma said German. I went to the bathroom to take a photo of myself in the mirror for steviecathryn and returned to the table just before the waitress came back. Grandma, being the shy person that she isn’t, asked immediately about her accent. Before accepting the waitress’ answer, she informed her of our guesses. "I’m Russian." We both lost that one.

A Ginger Russian. A RED Ginger.

I love Russians. My best friend is convinced I’ll get married to a super-skinny, super-hot (way out of my league) Russian woman who knows little-to-no English, but adores me, and will smile and roll her eyes at everything I say.

The food comes out and almost immediately, Grandma identifies the pancakes as “too doughy.” She continues to eat them (God knows why) and almost chokes to death. Her 80-year-old self managed to run to the bathroom and return alive. Remember that communication breakdown earlier about the pancakes? Imagine what happened after the almost-dying situation.

When the waitress came to check on us, Grandma began explaining the pancakes. RedGinger began freaking out. She didn’t understand or know what to do, so she sought out the help of her senior waitress (who’s been there for 25+ years). At this point, grandma didn’t want any more pancakes. She wanted cake. A piece of cake. RedGinger didn’t understand. The senior waitress told us we could get two pieces of cake “on the house” because of the pancakes. Score! I walked over to the bakery with RedGinger to find the cake we’d gotten the other day.

They were out. Turns out, the "Pacific Coast" cake is a specialty cake that they don’t make in their bakery. Added confusion. We picked out a different cake and I explained to Grandma why the cake was going to be different. It was all good.

THEN, RedGinger comes to the table and says, "It’s okay if you get one cake free and the other you pay." Grandma responds, "But, the other girl said we’d get both free." The other waitress walks up and explains that the manager only approved one free cake. Grandma: "Oh, that’s fine. Is no big deal."

Then, we get the check and there’s all sorts of new information. The veteran waitress explained that we got all sorts of shit free and 20% off the entire ticket. Grandma left the RedGinger a very nice tip, because she knew she was being crazy-difficult. It turns out that the dough was actually prepared improperly. I tried a pancake and thought it was off. Grandma has a thyroid problem, so the dough-iness was definitely a legitimate concern. I really hope she didn’t break down and cry. It wasn’t even 11, yet.

There was no way I was going to comment about how hard the roast beef was on my French Dip.