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Yes,This Really Happened

by nicole posted April 30, 2012 category nicole, philly

Dear Friends,

A few years back, when I still lived in Michigan, I made a quick trip to Philly. The reason for the East Coast visit was threefold.

1.  See a college friend

2.  Bask in the glory of the city I loved.

3.  Interview for jobs.

After a long day of smiling, catching trains-subways-buses, making sure my hair looked polished yet effortless, and clenching the skirt of my dress in my hands to avoid clammy handshakes, I was spent.

In desperate need of some warm food and good company, my friend T. and I decided to venture over to the delicious Philadelphia chain known as Marathon Grill.

Seated at a cozy table, we waited for our server.

A handsome fellow ventured over and introduced himself as V., our waiter for the evening.

I, being single at the time, thought, “Well, this is nice. I actually get the cute, fun server for once.” And, relieved after a day of interviews, I was also feeling a little bit, shall we say, flirtatious.

Which proceeded to set the mood for the whole evening.

V.: “Do you have any questions about the menu?”

Me: “Why, yes, yes I do, V.”

V: “What can I answer?”

Me: “Well, I was wondering, on a scale of bad to out-of-this world amazing, how would you describe your mac-and-cheese?”

V: (with a twinkle in his eye) “Oh, definitely out-of-this-world.”

Me: “Out-of-this-world? Seriously, V?”

V: “Definitely.”

Me: “I’ll take it.”

And then, I found, I could not stop, I repeat, could not stop talking. Shooting off questions questions that ranged from his thoughts on the city to his personal life, I was totally charmed by his twinkling eyes and impeccable wit.

Stress can do funny things to a person.

But, by the time we finished our main courses, he was kneeling next to our booth, eye-level, pointing things out on the menu, making jokes, winking and, probably, hoping that we tipped really well.

Now, just to make things clear, I do not normally flirt with my servers. I used to try to flirt with the Trader Joe’s cashiers, but one time, I based which line I went to by how cute the cashier was. It was the slowest line I’ve ever stood in. Like, we’re talking snail pace. I pictured God laughing from the heavens as the other customers whizzed on through with their less attractive, but very efficient cashiers.

Anyway, I attribute all actions and over-chattiness that night to the interviews and load of stress that rolled off my shoulders.

As we perused the dessert menu, I inquired, “Hey V. What is your favorite dessert here?”

V., ever the server-in-waiting, replied assuredly, “Definitely the cookie sundae. It’s for sure out-of-this-world.”

Since the mac-and-cheese was pretty darn good, Theresa and I proceeded to order the dessert our stallion of a server recommended. But, we were sorely disappointed. The cookies were crumbly and microwaved, not homemade, crisp with butter and warm from the oven.

Despite the poor cookie quality, my heart still became a little sad as the meal drew to a close. I liked this waiter. He was nice and he had tattoos and was a little more interesting that what I had at home (read: no one).

As he delivered our bill, he wished me luck on the job search.

He wrote, “Thank you!!!” on the receipt.

We wrote, “Thank YOU on the receipt.

And then – poof – he had vanished.

T. and I waxed poetically about how cute. I liked his intent eye gaze and charm, T. liked his tattoos.

A most delightful evening.

Later that night, T. and I watched the Phillies game, as all proper Philadelphians do. During a commercial break, T. decided to peruse the Missed Connections section on Craigslist, an occasional pastime of hers. She read a few aloud and we chuckled and moaned over at the hilarity of it all.

And then came T’s really funny idea: She would write a Missed Connection for V., from the both of us.

She wrote:

“Dear V. at Marathon on 10th and Walnut,

The mac-and-cheese was fabulous. The cookie dessert could have been better. But you…YOU were out-of-this-world.

You were our serving soulmate.”

We laughed really hard, and then promptly forgot about V. and Missed Connections that funny night.

The next evening, I boarded a plane, back to Michigan and my not-so-crazy life there. My American Idol-watching life.

A week later, after a lazy Sunday afternoon nap, I checked my phone. A text message from T.

“CHECK YOUR EMAIL. CALL ME. V. RESPONDED TO THE MISSED CONNECTION!!!”

I rushed to my computer and here is what lay in my mail…what are the chances?:

From: v. <v.@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 5:02 PM
Subject: …v.from 10th & walnut…!
To: pers-w6sdf-1448895027@craigslist.org

** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY — AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY

** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home

** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping

that is too much, i will admit i was blushing when i first found out about this post…and how fortunate, a ‘missed’ connection is not completely ‘missed’.

one of my fellow co-workers pointed this post out to me yesterday and i was more than flattered! im sorry the cookie sandwich was not to be as out of this world as you found me…I could have, left but your bright smiling faces attracted me to take one last table before my departure and it was worth the additional time spent at marathon

you made my night absolutely fabulous, especially after returning the thank you on the signed copy of your receipt.

facebook me, if you do that kind of thing (facebook that is) …next time you visit philly, i will be sure to have a table ready for you.

<your serving soul mate>

signed, v.

WHAAAA?!

The reason we knew it was really him and not a random person who decided to reply for fun?

The receipt. Only he would have known that we wrote him a thank-you note on the restaurant’s copy of the receipt.

Such detective skills.

Oh, V., what a gentleman.

So, the moral of this story…

1.  The Internet is a very, very interesting place.

2.  Mac-and-cheese is delicious.

3.  Icy water helps clammy hands too. Better a cold then clammy.

Stay tuned this week for a cupcake recipe that is, truly, out-of-this-world. Think loads of whipped cream, coffee and chocolate ganache.

Love,

Nicole

PS. I am in no way endorsing or supporting Missed Connections. This story is based on a total fluke that ended in nothing more than a few laughs with T. and nothing more.

PPS. I also don’t flirt with Trader Joe’s cashiers because I have a boyfriend. He beats out all of them, even the one who gives out free food samples.

PPPS. The photo is of a vegan cheesy pasta dish gone very wrong. No recipe will follow.

 

 

40 Responses to Yes,This Really Happened

  1. I love you Nicole. That is all.

  2. Even if you won’t, I’ll endorse ‘Missed Connections.’

    Seriously though, did you go back to Marathon?

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