An interesting night Dashing: Play Misty for me

Back in November, in an effort to make a little extra bank, I started doing DoorDash. It made a lot of sense. First, the pay isn’t horrible. But second, and more importantly, I can do it any time I want to. I’m not locked into someone else’s schedule.

Anyway, with the app showing things were busy around Beaufort on Saturday evening, I decided I’d get a couple hours in and earn some extra money. But first, I needed to get food myself.

I tried stopping for a sandwich, but my first choice wasn’t doing anything but online orders, so I skipped it and went to Waffle House and had a double cheeseburger and a plate full of pickles.

While I was eating and reading Twitter on my phone, a woman came in. Probably about my age. Let’s call her “Misty.” Along with the cook and waitress, that made four of us there.

Misty placed a to-go order, and then sat in the seat next to me, despite an almost empty counter.

“Is it OK if I sit next to you?”

“Sure.”

But her next question caught me off guard, though I feel like I rolled with it well.

“Can I have a bite of your cheeseburger?” she asked.

“It IS good,” I said, laughing. “Sure, if you want.”

I was looking at her as I started to slide the plate in here direction.

“No, no, no. I wouldn’t do that,” she said. “I just wanted to see how you reacted.”

But she succeeded in her goal of starting a conversation. And clearly, at least that, was what she was after. Turns out we grew up not far from each other outside of Atlanta.

If I had to say, I think she’d had a bit to drink. She repeated several times that she was married and had a child, and that “clearly” she was not “hitting on me,” and she didn’t make it a habit of “hitting” on people at Waffle House.

That’s sure not how it felt, though. And my server was finding this conversation humorous, letting me know with obvious looks.

At this point, she asked if she could have some of my pickles — I had a whole plate of them.

“Sure,” I said, sliding the plate toward her. She took several.

After the pickles, there was a dramatic shift in gears. She asked me if I was going to church tomorrow and if I wanted to join her and her family at church. I politely sidestepped that question.

Though she had paid for her to-go order, which was now bagged up and on the counter in front of her, she seemed to be stalling. I was finished and was paying my bill, and it sure felt like she was angling to leave at the same time as me.

I wasn’t certain I wanted to be in the parking lot with her, just her and I in the dark, so I stalled, as well. And I did it a little better than her. She left, and by the time I walked outside not two minutes later, she was gone.

Clearly, it’s possible it was a totally innocent interaction. But I’d be lying if I said I believed that, even if I didn’t know exactly what it was.

The next couple hours went well, and there were no strange interactions with unfamiliar women. But I did run into someone who caught me by surprise.

My last order of the night was a chocolate milkshake from IHOP. IHOP closes at midnight on Saturday night and the order came in to me around 11:45 p.m. But when I got there around 11:50, the doors were locked, and there were employees in sight.

I could, however, see the customer’s milkshake sitting with a straw on the counter.

As I walked down the front of the restaurant, looking through the windows hoping to catch the attention of someone in the hope of getting my customer’s milkshake, I was standing near a bench where all the rugs from out front of the restaurant were piled up.

Until I heard the pile snore.

Startled, I looked at what I had thought was a pile of rugs only to realize there was someone sleeping on the bench, completely obscured by a couple heavy blankets and a piece of luggage at one end.

I’m not sure how this person could sleep. The outside speakers at IHOP seemed to be at 11. Playing at the time was Iron Butterfly‘s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, a 17-minute rocker.

I’m not judging anyone from IHOP or blaming them for the loud music. It’s an uncomfortable situation, and I feel for any employees who have to address this person’s presence. And clearly, for him or her, it’s not the ideal place to spend the night.

The least someone could do, though, is turn down the music.

PS. Eventually, someone saw me and got the milkshake for me. I delivered it and headed home.

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