Yesterday, Ali (http://thelonepanda.com/) nominated me to participate in the ‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ Challenge. Thank you for motivating me with this fun task, and I’m so glad to join the process with all of these wonderful bloggers, their wonderful photos and wonderful stories!
For the challenge, I have to post a different photo for five consecutive days, and include an accompanying story (fiction or non-fiction) along with each. I also have to nominate a new blogger each day to keep the challenge going! If I nominate you, it’s completely up to you whether you participate. The only other rules are to mention the person who nominated you in your first post, and keep nominating others. So, here goes Day 1 (I included multiple photos to better tell the story, which may be against the rules, in which case please forgive me!)…
A few months ago, some friends and I planned a trip to Olive Garden. It started out as a joke, and then turned into a mission–we had to reschedule it so many times, which only made us that much more determined to make it there. It’s like we were Reese Witherspoon and Olive Garden was our Bridge of the Gods–it took forever to get there, we lost a few toenails along the way, but when we finally made it, oh boy was it worth it.
Of course we had to drive an hour to find the nearest Olive Garden, and by the time we got there, (about 8:15 PM on a Saturday), the wait was AN HOUR AND A HALF. I’ve never been so humbled as I was when I was told it was an hour and a half wait at the Olive Garden. “We will have NONE of that!” we said (actually just I said it because I was starving and would absolutely not accept that we could not get into Olive Garden, especially having come from LA, where long waits at hip restaurants are par for the course, and you think that any Olive Garden, let alone one in the boonies (or actually they are all probably in a boonie), is beneath you). THIS COULD NOT BE HAPPENING. WE WORKED SO HARD TO GET HERE. WE WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH GENERAL MANAGER CHRISTINE CHO PLEASE (*see below).
*My beautiful friends Kendrick and Tony and the marble plaque that apparently you get engraved with your name and cemented in the stone column outside the entrance if you’re a manager at Olive Garden?!? Clearly I’m doing something wrong with my life. Also what happens if she quits or fucks up and gets fired (acknowledging it is probably very hard to fuck up at Olive Garden)? It’s a little presumptuous don’t you think.
So, I walked (stormed) into the restaurant, with a burning hunger for terrible food driving my every step, went straight for the bar (yes, there is a bar at Olive Garden), and asked the first person who looked like they worked there (which was also everyone who was there, so just the first person I saw) if the bar was first come, first served. Before they could finish their sentence (“yes”), I spotted what looked like a recently deserted booth, and plopped right down in it. I was pleased to find that the booth actually bounced when I sat in it, so I spent a good 10 seconds just bouncing up and down in my seat and telling everyone around me that the booth bounced and how much fun it was, until it was time for my friend Kendrick to sit next to me. I was disappointed to discover that when he sat down, I did not in fact bounce back up as expected (hoped for). But no need to worry, I was about to cope with my poor body image and disappointment that I’m not light as a feather (light at all) by stuffing my face with endless carbs (and a few pieces of iceberg lettuce MAYBE), as any rational human would. My other friend Tony sat across from me and Kendrick, but his side of the booth didn’t bounce at all–rather, it had two large indents, which we could only assume were from the two cheeks of a person you’d expect to eat regularly at Olive Garden. Tony could fit comfortably into one cheek. But, I digress.
We got on to reading the giant menu and trying to figure out the difference between the three different menus our surprisingly pleasant (drugged?) waitress had given us. I immediately became overwhelmed and said (yelled), “I don’t care what we order, I just want the unlimited breadsticks!” We decided to split one appetizer (calamari), and two entrees (a beef/gorgonzola pasta dish and a shrimp/chicken carbonara dish), which came with the unlimited salad and breadsticks. The cream that the entrees were drenched in had already coagulated between the time the dishes left the kitchen and the moment they hit our table–it was marvelous. Between the three of us, we ate about a quarter of each entrée and were all stuffed. We left happy, ashamed, full, feeling accomplished, and with plenty of leftovers for our poor friend Nic who was supposed to join but had a bad case of food poisoning (hangover)–(nothing like Olive Garden leftovers to cure food poisoning (hangover)).
*Is that not the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen? I’d rather look at those oiled breadsticks over the perfectly sculpted, lathered-in-suntan-lotion body of a male lifeguard any day. Nic’s leftovers are in the paper bag.
We did it! It was everything we dreamed it wouldn’t be and more. Also, I noticed that a lot of the people eating there seemed to be on dates. If a guy EVER tries to take me on a non-ironic date to Olive Garden, I will kill him.
For my first pay-it-forward nomination, I choose Sam (http://www.todowhatwelove.com/)!