I told myself I probably wouldn’t blog about New York, but I decided this would be a worthwhile story. (Not to mention the fact that I promised a certain person I’d publish this; you know who you are.) Of all the things that happened in New York City, this is possibly the funniest, and the most unlikely to happen back here in MN. Aside from Broadway shows, that is.
Image via WikipediaPicture this: Times Square, a moderately upscale Asian restaurant, and a party of five. Two mothers, three “children” (though none of us were under 14). The age spread for us “kids” was 14, 17, and 23.
I suppose I should explain the situation a little better. We went to New York with friends of ours from Minnesota. The mother was a tutor of mine for a few years back, helping me with the Kumon Reading program. My mother ended up in college classes with Alia (the 23-year-old who has now, with the new year, become a blogger)
We came in reasonably late, after seeing Grease on Broadway. Alia had just gotten back from a trip-within-a-trip spending Christmas with a friend in Connecticut, narrowly missing the Broadway show (unfortunately, I think; it was better than anything I’ve ever seen here in Minnesota). Our table received three wine lists.
Obviously our two mothers got them. However, the third one was given to me. I’m 17, four years younger than the drinking age, but I suppose it could have been an honest mistake. After all, a lot of people offer me alcoholic beverages in restaurants, and I have been mistaken for a college student many times. But Alia didn’t get one. That in itself wouldn’t be too weird, and could even be interpreted as a compliment (“You don’t look old enough to drink, miss.” That would be a compliment, no?) But the fact that I got one is very strange.
And the story gets stranger. My mother, happy-go-lucky Jew that she is (I mean that affectionately), playfully suggested that we try to trick the waitress. So I asked Alia for the wine she wanted and waited.
When the waitress returned and asked me what I wanted, I pulled my best “I do this all the time” act and ordered. She didn’t bat an eye, card me, or even give me a second look; she just took the list and went away. I tried not to laugh too much, but I guess I did, because both parents shushed me so I wouldn’t give it away.
I myself can’t stand alcohol of any kind. I only drink grape juice on Passover, and the one vodka shot I tried one Purim a few years back made my eyes water. Needless to say I had no intention of drinking the wine when it came.
A few minutes later, it did come, and the waitress set it down right in front of me. Throughout the rest of the meal, I behaved as though it were Alia’s drink, and she treated it as though we were, at worst, sharing. By that I mean she insisted on keeping it by my plate, fearful that the restaurant staff would get suspicious if it was moved to her setting. Honestly, I don’t think anyone would have noticed.
This isn’t exactly Abbott and Costello material, I know, but it’s amusing that, even in New York, underage people still get away with ordering alcohol.
Or maybe the waitress overheard our entire discussion and decided to just play along.