My Father leaves me in charge of booking the restaurant. I pop over to my friend’s house to discuss my options. (She is not invited to the dinner. Some people might think this is tactless. Those people would be right, but it’s too late). ‘You could go to the River Café,’ she says doubtfully. ‘Is it good?’ I ask. ‘Wait. Is it the one run by two fat ladies? I like those ladies a lot. I’d like to meet them. Are they the ones on motorcycles? Oh no, that’s Meatloaf, isn’t it?’ My friend looks startled. ‘It’s very good,’ she tells me. ‘But it’s expensive and hard to get a table.’ ‘Oh perfect!’ I say. ‘Let’s call them.’
I call the River Café. ‘Hello!’ I say cheerily to the lady. ‘I’d like to eat at your restaurant. Tonight. With my Father. I’ll be there about 6.30pm, because we’re off to the theatre at 8pm. Thanks!’ I try to hang up but the lady is speaking. ‘Hello? Hello?’ Reluctantly, I reply, ‘Hi.’ ‘I’m afraid we don’t open til 7pm,’ she tells me. ‘Let me just check if we have any cancellations.’ I wait. This is exactly why I wanted to hang up before she got a chance to speak. I glare at my friend to let her know I think this is all her fault. ‘We can seat you at 7pm,’ the lady tells me. I stop glaring at my friend. ‘Great! But I’ll be there at 6.30pm. You know, because of the theatre,’ I tell her helpfully. The lady is silent. ‘Why don’t you come at 6.45 pm?’ she says finally. ‘You can have a drink and look at the menu before we seat you.’ ‘There’s a bar!’ I whisper excitedly to my friend. ‘I mean, sure, yes, sounds good,’ I say to the lady nonchalantly. I hang up, and text my Father.
I pop home to get changed, and spend 10 mins frantically searching for a dress I saw last week, possibly relaxing casually against my bathroom floor. It is lost. I wander around in my tights wondering why I don’t have any other clothes. I wonder if it is still warm enough to wear an artfully draped towel. I decide to leave my bathroom and look in my wardrobe. I hope the River Café realises the efforts I am going to. Especially as I won’t even get to meet Meatloaf. Though naturally I will ask if he’s there. Just in case. He seems like the kindof chap who’d eat dinner at 6.30pm. I wonder if I should call the lady at the River Café and add an extra person to my reservation? She didn’t really seem like someone who was particularly adaptable. Probably best to just grab an extra chair. I imagine I can just casually take one from the bar to our table. My Father will be so impressed with my restaurant booking skills.