Chivalry is Dead in Florida

Now that my Fun Florida recaps are over, I have a bizarre story to tell you. One of the nights we were in Orlando Gigi & I met up with one of her oldest and dearest friends who for the purposes of this story will be referred to Becky. Becky moved to the Orlando area a few years ago so we don’t get to see her often. But Gigi & Becky have been friends for over 20 years. We called Becky and arranged to meet up at Fulton’s Crab House. We suggested Fulton’s only because we didn’t know of any other restaurants around there except the ones in Downtown Disney. So we booked it over to Downtown Disney from the hotel, on foot, me with a gimp leg, trying to get there on time. Then we entered the throngs of humanity who were swarming all over the sidewalks of Downtown Disney and who insisted on slamming into us at every step, criss crossing like weavers in front of us as we made our way around what turned out to be a much bigger lake than we remembered. I was huffing and sweating and limping. A visual delight I’m sure.

We made it to the restaurant and up the stairs where we ran into Becky. She told us that her boyfriend, who we’ll call Dwayne, was at the table and she was going to the ladies’ room. We stopped at a couple of tables and chatted with people we knew on our way to the table. Dwayne remained seated at we sat down, didn’t offer his hand or anything. Weird. Especially because this is the first time we’d ever met him. The waiter came over and the first thing out of Dwayne’s mouth was “I hope this won’t take long cause I’m starving.” or something to that effect. Then he spent about 80% of the meal rolling his head around on his shoulders looking everywhere but at us. He really seemed like he would have rather been anywhere else but there. He joined in on the conversation a little bit, mainly to talk about how successful he is.

He ordered a $60 lobster and a $7 salad. Complained the entire time about how it tasted and in our choice of restaurants. We reminded him that we offered for them to choose the restaurant but they didn’t. While eating Becky remarked that the restaurant was much further from our hotel than she thought, so they would be happy to drive us home. He didn’t say a word. Becky threw back 2 glasses of wine at $12 each. Meanwhile Gigi & I both ordered the cheapest things on the menu (still $40! each) and iced teas just in case they decided to treat.

Then the bill came. Gigi grabbed my visa from me and put it down on the bill. Dwayne sat back in his chair, holding his card with his fingers against his belly and said “I don’t feel comfortable with this.” Gigi: “You don’t feel comfortable with what?” Dwayne: “I don’t feel comfortable with you paying for our meals.” Well, neither do we, Sport. Gigi: “No, we will pay for our own meals.” Dwayne: “Oh, ok.”

So the waiter came to take the bill and Gigi pointed to me and told the waiter to put both our meals on my card. Dwayne piped up and said “Just split it down the middle.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Gigi said “Noooo, put our meals on this card.” The waiter left and we listened to them talk about how they smoke and use plastic bags cause they don’t care about the planet since they don’t have kids. Nice. The waiter came back and handed me my card and Dwayne his. He signed his and split as fast as he could to race downstairs so he could smoke a cigarette. I opened up the little folder and the waiter had split it down the middle!!! I didn’t know what to do! Gigi & Becky were getting up to go to the restroom and Dwayne was gone so I just signed it and left too.

We all met back downstairs after the restroom and Dwayne’s smoke break. Becky told him to go get the truck since they were giving us a ride back. He said “There’s not enough room in the truck. Nice to meet you. Bye!” Now on the way down the stairs I twisted my knee. So by the time I got to where he was standing I was dragging my knee like a dead log behind me. He saw me. We all talked about my recent knee surgery at dinner. But he was perfectly ok with leaving me to walk the couple of MILES back to the hotel AT 10:30 AT NIGHT alone with my mom. Two women. Alone. At night. One of them injured. What a gentleman right? So they hugged us and left us, stunned, standing there facing a loooong walk back.

Here are some things that occurred to us while we stood there shocked and appalled:

1. WTF???

2. CSP & Papa would have NEVER let that happen.

3. Didn’t Becky ride in the truck to dinner? If it were so full wouldn’t she have noticed that there was no room for us before making the offer? Or did little truck filling elves pack it full while we ate?

4. Why didn’t he or Becky offer to make 2 trips if the truck was indeed full?

Maybe the Florida heat has burned the manners portion of their brains. Who knows but I tell you what, we won’t be dining with the Charmings again any time soon!