Sunday in Suburbia


This week marked the inaugural meeting of the Sunday Wear-Yoga-Pants-to-a-Chain-Restaurant Lunch Club, or SWYPCRLC. Four of us convened at the Lynnwood Olive Garden and discovered that it’s true what they say: the diet coke really is excellent. They also have more plastic grapes incorporated into their décor than I’d previously thought possible. Chanda pretty much summed it up when she described it as “way more Vegas than the one back home.”

The whole affair was devised by Erin, who comes from a remote corner of the world where Olive Gardens are an unheard-of treat. After reading a rave review of “the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks,” she proposed a lunch party of bottomless salad and bread sticks. And what a party it was!

Chase, our server and new best friend, was a little overwhelmed by us at times. He may have mistaken Chanda’s enthusiasm for inebriation and we may never know his true feelings about the current controversy surrounding contraception, but nevertheless, there was a profound connection. A real turning point in our relationship was when he apologized for offering parmesan cheese during what he perceived as “an intense moment” at the table. We knew he was hooked the moment he walked away from the table laughing so hard he was on the verge of crying. I think a part of him just wanted us to leave.

Our only regret from our time with Chase—aside from its brevity—was that Chanda never got to tell him her joke about the problem with the current Republican candidates. (It’s that their ideas aren’t very good.) Fortunately she did get to try it out on the rest of us and it went over really well, so you may hear it casually come up in conversation with her from time to time.

Lunch club is about making time for what’s most important—testing out new jokes is crucial, as is kicking around ideas for new business ventures, marveling at Geena Davis’ height, and discussing the main character of The Hunger Games and what our age group’s obsession with this series means for the future of our society.

By far the most confusing part of lunch was when a server other than our own paused at our table to say, “See what we mean when we say, ‘when you’re here, you’re family?’ People are just takin’ bites right off your plate.’” I didn’t know how to respond, aside from inching my plate a little closer to myself. You, my dear reader, have about as much context this quote as I do. I can’t help you figure it out.

What did we learn from our visit to the suburbs? I’ll tell you.

  • It’s far away (not quite as far as Grand Forks, but almost).
  • If you’re looking for a fun lunch date, any one of us would be a great choice—including Chase.
  • Good posture is overrated, as evidenced by armrests that are precisely one inch too short for a normal-sized adult.
  • Don’t trouble yourself with the parmesan-encrusted steak. It’s really not as good as it looks in the picture.
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