Monday, October 17, 2011

Shake It Up...

If you ask me, I’ll say that I lead a fairly ordinary life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very blessed, but no one’s going to make an action picture based on my life any time soon, if you know what I mean.
That said, every now and then I like to shake things up.
It was not my intent, however, to shake things up at lunch this past Friday.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a bug lover. Being a gardener, I tolerate them, but life without them works just fine for me, too. Yeah, I know they’re part of the ecosystem and as such necessary, blah, blah, blah and all that. Even so, I just can’t get excited about them.
Last Friday I had lunch at La Madeleine – a French-ish cafe with locations in DC, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland and Virginia. I rarely eat out, especially for lunch, but I was meeting a colleague who is leaving the agency where I work. It was a rainy, cold day that capped off a really stressful week, so lunch out felt “right.”
And it was. The fellowship was terrific; the food – potato soup and spinach salad with strawberries – was yummy; the restaurant was warm and cozy, complete with a roaring fire in the fireplace. Mmmmm!
It was all good ... until I got ready to leave.
In addition to my purse, I was carrying a shopping bag with a book and a few other things in it. One of the things in it, of which I was unaware, was a stink bug. Ick!
For some reason, as I approached the door to the restaurant, I opened my bag and saw the stink bug. I started shrieking and swatting at it like a crazy woman … just as a group of young professionals walked through the door into the restaurant.
All eyes were on me, as several staff members rushed over worriedly inquiring whether everything was okay.
“Yes, yes,” I said. “ I've got a bug in my bag. It’s no big deal.”
No big deal, for me, that is....
Reflecting on the situation a few days later, I realized the ramifications my actions might have on business. I’d guess that when it comes to projecting the image of their atmosphere or “ambiance” for prospective customers, the restaurant staff probably doesn't favor wild gesticulations and loud discussion about bugs in bags…. 

Written for The Writers’ Post weekly blog hop #18. Theme: Atmosphere


  1. Hee hee.I can just picture that. I totally am with you on this one. I hate bugs and probably would have reacted the same way. I try really hard not to do it, because I don't want it to affect my kids, but it's REALLY hard!

  2. I hate bugs and do not tolerate them at all. I would have been asking the staff to get it out of my bag! LOL

  3. awesome. I've done similar things over a horrible fuzzy/ halloween prop/ fake mouse /rat creature. My sister strategically places it when she comes to visit - I KNOW this, and yet, it never fails to freak me out. great story, and look- it gave those around you a great story too. :)

  4. This is funny!! OMG!! I'm sure those people walking in maybe thought twice about ordering.

    I have a really good story about bugs in restaurants I should share sometime. Don't let it freak you out--but sometimes doors open and those darn critters fly in!

    Cheers, Jenn.

  5. LOL!!! I have this mental image of you freaking out in the restaurant. :OD

    By the way, do stink bugs stink? I've heard of them, but don't think I've ever seen one.

  6. Beth,
    My understanding is that if squashed, stinkbugs let off a powerful odor. With that knowledge, I've never tested the theory... :-)

  7. OMG! I would have screamed too... I HATE stink bugs! Ugh!