Friday, September 07, 2012

PMS Cafe

I walked in to this quaint cafe not quite knowing what to expect. I had never heard about it and there weren't any Yelp reviews to prepare myself for the experience. I didn't pay to much attention to the ambiance or decor so the best way I can describe it was "interpretive." I'm sure it would be different if I were to go at another time during the month.

The place seemed clean and there were other customers spread out amongst the various tables keeping to themselves. No one even noticed when I walked in. I picked a seat by a window and picked up a menu. I wasn't really in the mood to eat which made me wonder why I had come in in the first place. I quickly remembered, however, that I came in because I didn't want to be at home or at work and I didn't want to be anywhere else because everywhere else seemed irritating and annoying.

A glass of water appeared out of nowhere and I took a sip suspiciously wondering which perky waitress I would have to thank graciously even though I didn't feel a bit of gratitude but knowing logically that of course I should. I really wasn't up for anyone being nice to me or anticipating my needs. I put my elbows on the table, covered my eyes with the balls of my hands and rubbed them gently. I let out a deep breath and began to accept the state I was in.

I looked again at the menu and my eyes narrowed as they focused in on my options. Almost every single struggle, annoyance, irritation, disappointment, challenge and item on my to do list , no matter how big or small, was staring at me from the pages of the menu.

"Husband's clothes on the floor."
"Teenage angst"
"Three empty toilet paper rolls on the ground in the kids' bathroom."
"Toothpaste squeezed from the middle"
"No response from company I submitted a resume/job application"
"What to make for dinner"
"Funny noise the car makes when the engine starts."
"Stupid radio commercials that try to sound like actual conversations."
"News stories that aren't news"
"Idiot drivers with no common sense."

Someone came over to my table and gave me knowing nod. Not really a smile or a "hello" but a "this-is-my-job-and-it's-probably-the-best-greeting-I-am-capable-of-mustering-for-you-today-as-opposed-to-almost-any-other-day-when-I-don't-have-this-perpetual-cloud-hanging-over-my head. I recognized the sentiment and realizing I was feeling the same exact way, I nodded back with a weak smile. She seemed to appreciate the intuitiveness and effort on my part and asked if I was going to have anything from the menu.

"I'm assuming everything here comes with PMS?"

She nodded in response, visibly pleased that she wouldn't have to go into a big dissertation about how the place worked.

"I'll have an order of insolent teenage son and a side of abhorrent traffic, please." I didn't look up as I continued reading over the menu one more time and she didn't seem impatient as I took my time with my order.

"We're having a special on messes your boss created and you have to clean up. Today only."

I groaned inwardly. "Oh God... Ok. Does it come with any annoying co-workers stepping on my last nerve?

"Yes," she replied. "But those are regular price."

"Can I get a discount if there is endless drama to listen to or it is the same drama that this person has already droned on and on about but won't do anything logically to make it stop?"

She looked over her shoulder, then over the other shoulder and asked "Have you advised her on what she could do to fix the situation?"


She looked one more time around her to make sure she wouldn't be overheard, "On the house sweetie."

I looked up gratefully at the empathy I had just received. "I probably shouldn't do this but can I get some last available space in the parking garage bordered by two assholes that can't park within the lines? Oh, and if my phone could ring incessantly all day so I can't get any work done... That would be great."

"No problem. Did you want any of those phone calls to be from your kids' school or from your husband who is in a bad mood?"

"I'm gonna pass on those. But thanks for asking."

"Sure honey. You sit tight. I'll put that order in and you can be on your way. Thanks for stopping by."

I recommend this place to anyone with misplaced anger, out of control anxiety caused my temporary hormonal imbalance, or just anyone who could use a sounding board and some well deserved empathy. I will be back for sure.

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