Short List - Thursday, August 2

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:43pm -- Rabbi Shalom Lewis

Rabbi Shalom LewisSo, my daughter Jill and I planned to meet for lunch. We selected a Sandy Springs eatery and set a time. I arrived a few minutes early and told the hostess I’ll need a table for two. She nodded and added my name to the short list.

The restaurant was not crowded. I then had an epiphany. Why stand when I could be sitting? I turned to the hostess and asked to be seated. ‘I’m sorry sir but our policy is to seat only full parties.’ I replied ‘Let me ask you a question. If I was alone would you seat me at a table for one?’ ‘Of course not sir. We don’t have tables for just one.’ ‘Exactly.’ I respectfully retorted. ‘So, seat me at a table and when my lunch date gets here she will join me.’ ‘I’m sorry but our policy is...’ I tried another strategy since reason and logic wasn’t working. I raised my cell phone to my ear and with appropriate theatrics I said for the hostess to hear. ‘Ah. That was my daughter. She decided not to meet me, so I’ll take a table for one.’ I figured this plan was fool-proof, but I was wrong. ‘I’m sorry sir but I still can’t seat you.’ ‘Why not?’ I asked with incredulous drama. ‘I will now be dining alone.’ She replied, ‘Because you already told me there were two in your party, so you will have to wait.’ At that moment, I wasn’t sure whether I was in a Kafka short story or an episode of Seinfeld. Thankfully, just then, Jill arrived, and we were seated - at a table for six.

I understand policy. I get rules, but intelligence must also play a role in life. Happily, and properly at the shul, one may be seated for services immediately upon arrival even if their significant others are not yet with them. That makes sense. It is a paradigm to emulate. I imagine the curious are wondering what restaurant was the venue for this theater of the absurd. I will not say, but I don’t Eggagerate when I say I Harbor no anger for the hostess or management. After all, they were just following orders.

Thank you for allowing me to vent.

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