If you were ever to meet my tennis friends, I guarantee they would tell you about several embarrassing anecdotes involving me being loud and occasionally dangerous. But since you probably won't meet them, I'll out myself and tell you what they are.
The first thing they would tell you is that we have to keep going to new restaurants because I get us kicked out for being too loud. It all started when we were going to a Christmas concert and had dinner at a Chinese restaurant beforehand. We were getting ready to leave and I made a comment about why you shouldn't have sex on the first date a little too loudly, and the owners were not pleased. Luckily, we were already on our way out, so I wasn't officially kicked out, per se.
Later that evening, we went to Starbucks after the concert, and I swear I thought they closed at 11, but they said they close at 9 and asked us to leave. I've often been in restaurants where the staff give you dirty looks while they sweep and put the chairs on the tables, but I've never been told that we have to leave. Of course, my friends said that it was because I was being too loud again. Two establishments in one day. This sealed my reputation as someone who you don't want to take to your favorite restaurant.
The next anecdote involved this Mexican restaurant we often go to after tennis. You know how sometimes the waiters and waitresses will sing Happy Birthday to you and give you a free dessert when it's your birthday? Well at this place they like to startle you by popping a paper bag and smear whipped cream on your face instead. My friends were on a kick of saying it was someone's birthday so they could watch this happen.
I had a couple of friends tip me off that I was their next victim, so when I heard the pop, I knew what was coming. When the waiters came toward me, I stood up so they couldn't corner me. They tried to grab my arms so I couldn't move, but I freed one hand and flipped the plate in the air. It flew across the room, about 10 feet away, and the plate shattered, whipped cream flying everywhere. Dead silence. The waiters were so shocked they just turned around and walked away.
Again, technically I did not get thrown out, but my friends used this incident against me, just the same.
The last anecdote involved a New Year's party shortly after the Mexican restaurant fiasco. My friends were relating this incident to all of the people who did not have the pleasure of witnessing this spectacle first hand. I was trying to defend myself, explaining how the waiters were holding me down, and I demonstrated how I flipped the plate out of the waiter's hand. Well wouldn't you know I was wearing this heavy watch, and that sucker flew off my wrist and hit one of my friends square in the forehead. Hard. From about 12 feet away. It happened so fast he didn't know what hit him until the watch fell in his lap.
My friends had a field day with that one. They joked that the he had 8:30 permanently tattooed on his forehead. He bandaged his head with a fake bump made out of a meatball to show how badly he was injured. Another friend filed a fake lawsuit against me on behalf of the injured party. And even though this happened over 6 years ago, they were talking about it last night while we were at the Mexican restaurant.
There was a time when I would have been mortified by anecdotes like these. I felt like everything about me was wrong, so I scrutinized every interaction after the fact to make sure I hadn't offended anyone. But now I have friends who know that I'm loud and that if you try to hold me down I might assault you with a deadly watch. But they love me, anyway.
Still, if you ever meet me, you might want to choose your restaurant wisely.