El Torito Goodbyes - Aaron Olsen

I just got back from El Torito with the rest of the IT Gang. Yes, yet another IT-er that we are letting flee off into the world beyond our basement here in Geisel. I love these little going away luncheons. It begins with everyone rolling into the office a little later than usual. It doesn't really matter because when the token time of 11:00am rolls around, everyone's making their last minute runs to the ATMs outside of Price Center to grab cash for a quick and easy payment on the dreaded group bill at the end of our meals. BLAH. Yeah, patience, I will tell you all about the bill later. :)

So, as usual, I hitched a ride with Arley, Grandpa of the department. He's the hard working old man that walks around with smiley faces, grabbing everyone's hand and squeezing them like they're little tykes, when in fact we're mid 20s and early 30s (which I guess is little tyk-ish compare to his age). Arley always offers to drive, he's such a gentleman. Michelle, JoAnne and I all hop in the car also. JoAnne works in a different department, but she knows Aaron, so she was specially invited my Michelle, the Dept AA.

We all make our way to El Torito, sweet! There's a lunch special, buffet for $8.99. We sit for a good 15 minutes, and finally Declan makes it, while there are already 8 of us there. We order up drinks (Arley is the bravest of us to order a margarita at 12p!) and 85% of end up shootin' for the buffet. I was trying to beast up on the buffet like most Samoans usually do, especially at $8.99, what a deal!!! However, after my first fajita, I slowly grew the satisfaction pain in my stomach of becoming full. Disappointed, I tried to sit there and let the food process in hopes that I could complete another round, nope. Wasn't happening. Declan, Michelle AND Arley got up for Round 2 and I was STILL processing. Finally ate what I could, and left a few grains of rice on the place with the last quarter of my fajita uneaten. I was stuffed. :( Downed a tropical tea and I was ready to sit back and relax and let the food coma take over. Of course by that time everyone had grown into it after their Round 2s and a couple more flakes of chips with salsa.

Eating usually consists of good chatter. They all had great things to say, my little end of the table, with Arley, JoAnne, Michelle and Declan. :) What did we talk about? Only what sparks ANYONE's interest at a dinner table... FOOD (and Beer). It was great, we were talking about Japanese noodles, Pho noodles, sushi in Hillcrest and Poway, Todai and Rei de Gado's brazillian skewers of meat! Of course, during our chatter the bill begins to circulate and before I know it, I'm dishing out a dub from my old and worn out Coach Wallet. I grabbed $6 dollars of change from the pile of cash in the check tablet after asking Michelle how much we add on to our total. I hate group outings with dinner tabs, something ALWAYS comes up with the bill. And to everyone's sarcastic surprise... something did. The bill totaled to to $189 and some change, $150 was collected for the bill, and there were two charges to the credit cards... $18 and $15... hmm... that totals to, $183... ? did someone count the money before we handed it back?... No? yeah, no wonder everyone had to dish out singles like we were at a strip club right before we left the table. Michelle, our trusted AA, didn't even touch the bill, so yeah, that is most likely the reason everything went wrong. But not gravely wrong, $7 short isn't too bad compared to $30. :)

Anyway, I wanted to note how sweet Declan was for pulling out my chair. Yes, he's older and very well mannered, but I wouldn't expect the Dept head to pull out my chair for me while I stood up to head to the buffet line. Samoans grow up in very hierarchical families, we know our place on the totem pole, and we respect those above us. Him doing that just let me know that chivalry does exist. Amen!!! :D Boy how that made my day. It could have been anyone to do it, but just that gesture alone let me feel like a Lady. :)

Yeah, well that's it. :D

have a beautiful day, and good luck to you Aaron on your way out to Georgia to save the world. :D