I didn’t see the message until I unlocked my iPhone. There was a 10 in the upper right hand corner of my messages icon, and when I see that, I either assume someone is dead or realize that a conversation has begun in one of my four group chats that’s been placed on “Do Not Disturb.” It is absolute horse hockey that a person can just put you into a group chat without asking first, but that’s a complaint for a different day.
“You guys want to do tapas on Thursday night? I know a great spot that just opened up around the corner from my house…” Looking at the text, there was mutual agreement amongst the seven other people in the group, and without thinking about it, I replied, “Yeah, I’m in.”
It was Monday morning, I was still hungover from Saturday night, and I had never had tapas before. Internally, several thoughts were running through my head:
“I need to get out more anyway. I just moved to this city and I still eat at fucking Panera all the time. Time to get out of my comfort zone.”
“I’m like 75% sure tapas is some variant of Mediterranean food and I love chicken shwarma so if the menu stinks, I’ll just order that.”
“I haven’t been out on a Thursday in like two weeks, and I’m getting paid on Friday as it is — fuck it.”
Monday afternoon rolled around, and as I started to come out of my weekend haze, I realized the giant mistake that I’d made. Reservations had already been made, so I couldn’t back out. John Mulaney, a man much funnier than me, once said, “In terms of instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin.” And I couldn’t agree more. But I had already committed, and as much as I would love to be like Larry David and just go through life being the consummate asshole, this is a society and my life isn’t a television show. So I begrudgingly told myself that I was going. The rest of the week went by, and by midday Thursday, I was actually looking forward to a night out.
I arrived at Valencia ten minutes early (which I really need to stop doing because being the first person in your group to a bar/restaurant/party sucks), and I began perusing the menu only to realize that I was going to hate tapas. Eight different plates of food, interspersed over the course of what ended up being a few hours. Fuck. Not like I can leave now. I curse under my breath to no one in particular because I see a couple in the back corner.
“How the hell does that sack of shit have a girlfriend, and I’m still on the front lines every weekend? Should have gone out with that Arielle girl from Hinge tonight.”
My buddy and his girlfriend showed up ten minutes later, and we sat around bullshitting in the lobby for another fifteen because the hostess wouldn’t seat us without the entire party present. At that point, my stomach was growling because all I had for lunch was some chicken I made the night prior.
When we finally sat down, the food was actually great. But when it’s served in portions that wouldn’t satiate a small child, it’s exactly like that girl who texts you on Friday night but never seems to want to actually meet up. Just a giant tease. I would get one plate of food that took on average a whopping 3-5 minutes to finish, and then I would sit there for ten to fifteen more minutes while I waited in agony for the next plate. Honestly, I think I left the restaurant hungrier than when I entered it.
If you add in the fact that tapas can be anywhere from thirty to fifty dollars a person (not including drinks), and you’re looking at a pretty steep bill for a casual Thursday night out. And that’s if you’re alone. My buddy must have spent at least a Benjamin on him and his girlfriend because she wouldn’t stop ordering gin martinis.
Eight of us spent the better part of TWO HOURS at this restaurant, and as much as I love my friends, they’re still assholes and I don’t want to be around anyone for that long unless I’m a) drinking heavily, or b) trying to get laid. And I was doing neither, so unless I’m in Spain or the United Arab Emirates, I will not be frequenting tapas restaurants anymore. It’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back, and I’d advise avoiding said eateries at all costs.
I should have just gotten a burger with what’s her face from Hinge. Fuck. .
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