Went to see Bad Teacher with Chloe at the Arclight in Sherman Oaks (because you can reserve your seat–totally worth it).
Now I’m not one of those people who decries chains like the Cheesecake Factory as symptomatic of the decline of society. All things being equal I’d probably choose somewhere else, but the food is actually pretty decent. The problem with the Cheesecake Factory is that everyone else in the world seems to think it’s a fine dining experience and that makes the place too damn crowded.
We put our name down and were told it would be a 20-30 minutes wait. I was ready to bolt, but Chloe is more patient than I (by a factor of 93) and said we would wait. Of course, there’s nowhere to sit down, just a massive crowd of people waiting to get seated. So I made the best of the situation and turned to the guy next to me (wearing a Lakers jersey) and said, “I should just wait until they beep me and then sell my beeper to the highest bidder.”
He thought that was a good idea. He said, “Yeah, you could come here every night and auction off your place.”
“Sounds like a great business plan,” I replied. “Like we stand outside yelling, ‘I got a table for 6 in five minutes, table for 2 in ten, who needs a table for 8? I got a table for 8 and it’s beeping right now!'” I acted out the ticket scalper routine which he seemed particularly familiar with.
The bit ended and I turned back to Chloe. She was looking at me a little oddly. She said, “Do you know that guy?” I said no, I was just making conversation. She said, “You know, I’ve noticed that you talk to strangers a lot. Like when we were in Vegas you talked to that guy at the roulette table for like an hour.”
So I made a decision. Over the course of dinner, I told Chloe about the Talk to Strangers project. (I didn’t mention the blog. Baby steps.) She thought it was a cool thing I was doing. Especially when I told her that’s how I met her.