It is one thing to have old acquaintances contact you out of the blue by e-mail, but when they show up at your door, that is down right spooky.
Well, in this case, not so spooky, we had warning, but still…
A nurse I had worked with in my past life sent an e-mail that she and her husband were cruising the Danube with a stop over in Budapest. They wanted to get together and take us out for dinner. The arrangement was to meet at our place, thinking they would like to see it, which they did. After wine and some appetizers, we ventured off to one of our favorites, Ko Leves (minus the Hungarian accent marks). It means Stone Soup, if you are familiar with the tale for children.
Betty is a dear and good for a laugh. Her husband, Keith was great also. The evening was better than I had anticipated, especially when I realized we were meeting on a Monday, not a Sunday. As much as we are socially deprived, I resist evening activity on nights before a school day the next morning. Betty had not known we ran a B and B, nor did was she aware that I wrote the Frommer’s guide and chapters to two other Frommer’s books. Her excitement was refreshing.
Dinner was lovely as usual. Then we asked for the bill came. Just out of courtesy, I slipped Ron a 10,000 Huf note as I excused myself for the restroom. When I returned, they were determining who owed what. How did my courteous behavior spiral into ‘sure you can pay your own dinner’?
The moral of the story is when somone asks you out to dinner, do not share with them your five week vacation in Australia, the fact you just remodeled your kitchen, you are retiling your entry hallway, or that you have written travel guides. There is something in those words that translate into ‘you must be able to buy your own dinner.
Not being one to hold a grudge, well at least not this time, we did walk them back to their ship. What really enlightened me was the tone of voice they used when they said “We noticed your Obama pins on your jacket.” Earlier conversation pointed to their dissatisfaction with the economy, but who knew our political affiliation would cost us a dinner. The next time we are ‘invited’ out to dinner by suspected Republicans, I want the offer in a contract first.