About 3 times a week I enjoy a lovely chef salad for lunch from the deli across the street. ½-sized in one of those shiny, plastic clamshells with ranch dressing on the side. And most of the time it’s stable. Dependable. It’s iceberg lettuce, some purple cabbage, a little shredded carrots. Toss on that some cubed meat, usually ham and turkey, and shredded cheese. Lovely. Simple. A chunk of French bread on the side and a sweet, little red-and-white mint at the bottom of the bag. When I go to that deli every few days it’s exactly that which I’m looking for.
Is that really so impossible an expectation?
Because starting at the beginning of this year suddenly it’s salad chaos all the time. One day the lettuce is leafy green instead of iceberg. The next week it’s cubed cheese instead of shredded and then, just when I think the world has come to it’s senses and I can count on my chef salad experience BAM!
What has the salad world come to???
And if onions weren’t bad enough then poof! Tomatoes. Nasty, gooey tomato goo that gets all over everything. (everything that doesn’t already smell like onion, that is!) So now I’m digging onions and tomatoes and this massive spiral of cucumber out of my pristine, simple little salad. But I deal. I make my peace with this need to clean out the clutter of my lunch, and that’s fine. I can do that.
But today was the last straw.
I go to the deli, practically a regular at this point. I make my order and it all goes crazy. This girl – we’ll call her “New Girl” because I’ve sure never seen her back behind that photo-covered counter before – New Girl hands me salad in one hand and dressing cup in the other.
No bag. No napkin or fork.
Did she ask if I wanted bread or crackers? No, she did not.
Did she give me my sweet little starlight mint? No. No mint of any star or light.
And when I get back to the office and take a closer look I realize that the salad and the dressing are both half full. HALF. Yes, there I stood with ½ a ½-sized salad, ½ a cup of dressing, onions and tomatoes and stupid, stupid cucumbers all over the tiny amount of leafy green lettuce AND NO STARLIGHT MINT!
Did I go back and freak out? No. I’m not that chick. I’m not crazy, flip-out-in-the-middle-of-the-deli girl who lets onion but no mints make her the whackadoo story of some poor girl’s day. But the next time I go in? There will be stern looks. Stern, bordering on glaring, looks. Oh yes there will be. You mark my words.
See those words? Seriously, you mark them.