Friday, April 05, 2013

Beautiful Strangers.

Real quick story.

On Thursday I was spending some time with this real sweet girl that I wanted to show a good time. On our walk to Garage Bar, I discovered she had never been to Louisville's Harvest restaurant, which was only a few doors down. Yeah, change of plans.

She didn't see it coming. I didn't see it coming. The next thing we know, we're posturing at the bar in one of my favorite foodie spots being handed seasonal menus of the freshest locally-sourced grub in the city. If you haven't been to Harvest, do so immediately.

Oh, do I see Hoptimus Prime on tap? Is that a peach Old Fashioned on the menu? Wait, did you say your Thursday burger special for the night was a chorizo omelet burger served on a pretzel bun with a side of pulled pork fries? Done and done and friggin' done. Took all of 5 minutes.

As my sweet company and I made ourselves comfy, we introduced ourselves to our surrounding neighbors. To our right sat a nice looking middle-aged couple who were eagerly awaiting their meal as they enjoyed some drinks. Now, one reason I love eating at the bar at a restaurant as opposed to floor seating is because of the freedom to meet interesting people. The mystery factor. Table seating is more formal and is certainly appropriate for certain occasions. Bar seating, on the other hand, is less constrained. You're there on your own time without a server and you can do your own thing at your own pace. You're there in close proximity to others with the same agenda for a more "fluid" evening of fun. Folks at the bar love rubbing elbows with strangers and are eager to get into great convo, solve the world's problems, and even buy a round of drinks for their new founded friend who they may never see again. Some of the greatest things happen over good drinks and a good meal and a good laugh with strangers.

So, we meet Elsa and Bill. Elsa is a pediatrician who was enjoying a dirty martini. Bill never disclosed his occupation, but the fact that he was enjoying a canned beer means he was surely into something manly, like cage fighting. We exchanged names, where we were from, where we worked, favorite foodie spots, what brought us to Louisville, how long my date and I had been dating, and your typical get to know you banter. Their food arrived first, which happened to be exactly what we ordered. They offered us their fries as we waited. I offered them a taste of my peach Old Fashioned. Conversations and questions evolved into deeper matters of life, and I began to explain that I moved here to get a Master of Divinity in Christian ministry, but now work at a bar and didn't go the ministry route. That always makes for a fun excursion. But, with the right people I'm happy to unpack my whereabouts. The interaction was very pleasant. Bill and Elsa were very sweet, even though Elsa at one point offered her wedding ring so I could propose to my date. I blame that on the alcohol.

Our food arrived and my date and I straight crushed our burger. We ate and drank and continued to get to know these folks who turned out to be quite fantastic and funny.

As the evening wrapped up, we expressed our gratitude for having met such a great couple. As they gathered their things, Bill, in a fit of grace and greatness, said,

"And put theirs on ours." 

I put my hand on Bill's arm and insisted, "No, seriously, you do not have to do that."
"No, no, it's okay." He looked back at the bartender who I was waving down, "Yes, go ahead. We got theirs."

No way. I continued to negotiate and try to at least buy them a final round of drinks. Nope. Bill and Elsa bought our drinks, appetizer, and chorizo-omelet burger, which turned out to be a decent bill. "Have a great night. Great meeting you," they said as they left with a smile.

Maggie and I looked at each other. They just bought our meal. I just shook my head and was like, "What just happened?!"

She didn't see it coming. I didn't see it coming. Not sure if we'll ever see them again, which is okay because I've been wanting to meet someone(s) I can always label as that "beautiful stranger." I think Elsa and Bill qualify.




See ya.
E



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