Aug 01, 2012 0 Share

Commercial Interruptions

Waiter bringing couple meal.

We're taking one last trip to Annie's Steak and Seafood on Maryland's Eastern Shore for at least a little while; our baby is due in a matter of weeks. Even after we've established a bit of a routine with our baby we'll probably need to find a babysitter next time we go because Annie's is fine dining. 

So, this time we haven't made a reservation. When we get there, we allow ourselves some time to walk around and savor the portside ambience—and I snap a few pictures (all right, more than a few) and even take a couple of video clips. (My Droid Pro and I are a team, and just like a pair of dancers we've got our point-click-and-email sequence down to a science!) 

When we finally go inside, we get a table quickly. (They know us—specifically they know us as people who always act nicely to everyone, tip well, and never leave messes behind.) When the waitress first seats us, I ask her: 

“Just an etiquette question, if you would?” 


“Would it cause a problem if I took pictures of the food here, once you bring it out? I might even post them on Facebook or my blog.” 

“No—of course not! That's fine—just as long as you say how great it is.” (Chuckles) 

“Hey, we know it's great—that's why we're back!” 

Because being an Aspie means choosing between asking about something new you want to do, not doing anything new, and risking getting yelled at or worse. 

Then after she leaves, Emily wonders: 

“I thought you didn't like taking pictures of food in restaurants.” 

“Normally I don't. But we aren't coming back here in a while, you know. As for the etiquette, that's why I asked [the waitress].” 

(Our table is right next to the window, which I'm facing. Thus, Emily's the only person who might see the flash. And she doesn't seem to mind.) 

Then the waitress brings us our food. I snap a picture of Emily's entrees, hit the Share button, go to email where the picture's already uploaded, address it to Emily and me, hit Send, then go back to the camera app and take a couple of pictures of my own food, in the same sequence. (Given the number of steps in the process, guess why I started with Emily's food?) 

Emily points out semi-jokingly: “I don't know what kind of monster I created … I tell you, if you want to take pictures during my delivery, you'd better use a real camera. If you take one picture, then go through all those steps for five minutes before taking another while I've got the baby in my arms, I just might throw something at you … I know I shouldn't, but I just might!” 

Being an Aspie means appreciating when your wife gets this blunt—because otherwise you might not get the message. 

We start eating, and the waitress comes by to ask if everything's OK. We assure her it is. 

She comes by again. Everything's still OK. 

The third time she visits our table after having brought our food, I suggest one thing we could use is fewer interruptions. She thanks us, apologizes for any inconvenience and leaves. 

Emily: “That was rude!” 

I say: “What?!? That's a legitimate request. On the other hand, rude is complaining about me in front of everyone here!” 

Emily rolls her eyes and shakes her head. I've always had this insolent, unrefined charm. 

Maybe I should have asked, “Would it be OK if I ask you not to interrupt us quite so often?” Or would that have been passive-aggressive? It's a tough balance between asserting yourself and needlessly upsetting others … especially if you're an Aspie and thus don't always have a very good reading on the situation. 

We finish our dinner, and then go outside where we take a last walk on the pier. I take a few more pictures and a video clip, and then we head home.