I’ve gone on record saying that there’s nothing better than a good sandwich and that eating a good sandwich can transform your entire day.
Now, maybe there are things better than an amazing sandwich (you’ll have to prove it to me though), but I still maintain that a good sandwich — of any kind — is completely transformative.
A good sandwich… is completely transformative.
Every Thursday I go to my favorite breakfast sandwich restaurant and order their frittata on an english muffin. I order the same thing every week because it’s that good. I’m not saying I haven’t tried their other sandwiches, but I am saying that once you’ve had their english muffin frittata you’ll wonder why you’d order anything else.
Last Thursday was a crap-shoot, for whatever reason that is — probably because it was Thursday, but anyway. I knew this sandwich would redeem my day, but for some reason I thought to myself, let’s try the sausage breakfast sandwich instead. It’s not what I’d call a mistake, but it’s definitely where my ship started to go off course.
Ordering went fine and waiting went fine. When I’m waiting on food I’m the epitome of patience. If you could win at being patient, I’d be Michael Jordan. Patiently waiting is important because someone is making you food. Always respect people who make your food. Additionally, isn’t being un-anxious better for digestion? Probably.
In the meantime a young woman came in to order (it happens at restaurants). So far so good. As the owner comes up to take her order he brings a nicely wrapped sandwich with him.
I started getting excited.
I’m just standing there salivating.
Started. Who are we kidding? I was excited on the walk to the restaurant. I’m just standing there salivating. If I was a cartoon character my eyes would have shot out of my head and my tongue would have rolled out the door while my heart beat wildly from my chest into the cash register making it chime.
He puts the sandwich down next to her and I am slightly annoyed. We look nothing alike. Why is he giving her my sandwich?
But I’m a go-getter, a do-it-yourselfer. I’m an American. So I reach over her and get my sandwich. At which point two alarmed pairs of eyes take me in and I hear “That’s her sandwich. She called ahead.”
Mortification really sweeps over you in a succession of waves. It starts small with a “oops, my bad” and then it just grows by leaps and bounds as you replay the incident the rest of your day, into your next week, find yourself cringing during an unrelated conversation five days because you are STILL THINKING ABOUT IT.
I’m sure its been forgotten by everyone but myself, and for some reason I still can’t let it go. Even now, picturing it from her perspective, Seeing myself invading someone else’s space — a total stranger — to take their sandwich with all the authority of someone stripping away your constitutional right to a sandwich who then says, “excuse me, thank you” as you’re mentally thinking “why is that woman taking my sandwich? What’s happening here? Is there some kind of sandwich exchange program? Is this a tax? Am I being pranked?”
No, no, no. I just feel that all breakfast sandwiches are mine. It’s that simple. If I see one, I believe I should get to eat it. Please and thank you.
Also I’m considering the novelty of this whole “call ahead” thing. Space age technology to be sure, but also convenient because the next time I need a frittata english muffin breakfast sandwich I can call ahead and send a proxy so I NEVER HAVE TO SHOW MY FACE THERE AGAIN.
I spend the next five minutes melting into a puddle of humiliation…
I spend the next five minutes melting into a puddle of humiliation over the minutia of embarrassment as I wait for my sandwich.
Now, with hindsight, I’m reconsidering how to appropriately handle this situation. Not that there’s anything wrong with returning someone’s sandwich to them and apologizing. I guess that’s okay.
But I’m wondering now if instead, when the owner said “She called ahead” there had been that long awkward pause as I clutched the sandwich closer to my chest. And then if I had offered a sheepish grin, chuckled a little so that we all began to laugh at this awkward moment, waited for that delightful perfection of bonding to really come to fruition as comedic tears come to our eyes and the owner doubles over in laughter and I and my victim share friendly pats on the back, wait till it bring us closer to each other as flawed and fallen humans, and then if I had darted out the front door at a full sprint, madly unwrapping the still hot sandwich and cramming it in my mouth as I go, laughing maniacally and wheezing and panting and choking and…
I feel like my lack of interest in athletics and innate physical ineptitude really took away my ability to steal sandwiches with flair, is what I’m saying. And I’m a little upset.
Time to put on a mask and go get a sandwich.