Thursday, July 12, 2012

sometimes a quiet celebration is best

Why celebrate big when you can celebrate sweet?

Andrew and I had a small but significant reason to celebrate last night, so we made last-minute plans to meet after work at my favorite pizza place (I love their veggie pizza with vegan cheese!)

We both pulled in at the same time and circled till we found somewhere to park. The lot was crowded. As we neared the restaurant, we could already hear the loud music. At first I thought it was being piped to the patio area and that's why it was so loud, but when I opened the door, music and conditioned air blasted us in the face. Ubiquitous uptempo pop music. I saw a sign that read "Wednesday Night is Trivia Night: reservations recommended." Oh great.

The Office
photo © nbc

Neither of us introverts necessarily minds a restaurant with a loud ambiance. That's one thing. But it's another when the people around you are there with the common intention of playing a game together, some of them in big groups, and there are instructions being called out over the loudspeakers. And you're one of the few or only people not playing, just trying to have a normal conversation. I don't know why I even considered it, but to be sure, I asked if they were all full and yes. They were.

We walked back out and deliberated for a minute about what to do instead. On the other side of the building, which we had walked past when we first got there, lives a little family-owned Chinese place. Rather than get back in our two cars and go somewhere else, we decided to play musical restaurants.

We open the door of the Chinese restaurant and it's quiet, still with pop music on the speakers, but at least it's below the decibel level of a normal conversation. And the 'fortune cookies' photo (c) 2011, Beth Kanter - license: are in Chinese. No one else is in the restaurant. We've eaten here before and know it's good, but most of their business is in take-out. People stop by to pick up food throughout our meal. The mom seats us while her teenage daughter helps a customer with their pick-up order. Later the dad comes out of the kitchen bringing ice cream drumsticks which the three of them eat together, laughing at each other trying not to drip out of the end of the cone.

We have a quiet meal with good food, fortune cookies, some hot tea and Chinese doughnuts, and good conversation that we don't have to strain to hear.