Last week Gwenn and I went out to dinner, and things were going well until we overheard a presence of a woman entering the Ming Dynasty, one of the best vegetarian-Gwenn-friendly restaurants in town.

“I want a cocktail!”
“I’m sorry, we do not serve cocktails,” the waiter informed her as the clock struck 7:30 PM.
“That’s not true!  I was here last night and got one.”

The Lady meant wine.  Or beer.  Which she quickly ordered when she found out what was on tap. 

Luckily, she was in the front of the restaurant, we were in the back.  If we played our cards right, there would be no interaction.  As Gwenn and I spoke about something else entirely, the lady belted out, “I’m READY!”

She would have been main character in Sex & The City, had the popular series been based in rural Virginia and reality. 

Here’s where it gets tricky.  We finished our dinner and, figuring she had a few more drinks in her, we rushed to pay our tab by the register that was positioned a few feet away from The Lady.

Of course, we get there and someone immediately walks in the door to pick up a take-out order.  Then our waiter is on the phone with someone, whom I imagines lives right around the corner, that wants the menu recited to them.  You know where this is going, don’t you?

The Lady stands up and stands beside Gwenn, and stares at her.  I’m smiling, because I know Gwenn is doing her best to avoid eye contact with someone who is literally two feet away from her.  Gwenn’s body is positioned at a 90-degree angle from The Lady. 

It is an awkward situation.

The waiter/host hung up the phone, and Gwenn handed him a credit card.  Cue The Lady.
"You’re paying for dinner?"
“Yes, I am.”
The Lady looked at me, with disgust.  “You should be paying!”
“Well, I just bought her a car for her one-year wedding anniversary.”  (I know, it was lame but it was off-the-cuff.)
Her eyes spun around in her skull a little as she processed the information, then she mumbled, “ should still be paying.”

Now, if I could do it all over again, I’d have worked AIDS into the conversation somehow.  Or something more sinister.  Can anybody come up with a better response than I did?

Positively Yours,

CAMPUSPEAK is now booking Shawn and Gwenn for fall college campus appearances, for more info click on “Me & Gwenn”, or email

Check out Shawn’s new CD featuring the Tori Amos cover, “Raspberry Swirl”, and
original 80’s-inspired New Wave/Electronic music... get with the programs!