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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Stevens

Reservations or No Reservations?

My superpower seems to be invisibility.

The other night I went to see a friend’s cabaret show at a dank little club in the SoHo borough of London. I’d made a reservation online and well in advance.

I arrived at the club, which was a dreary and dark space where the “stage” was merely a suggestion for a performance space: a teensy area carved out at one end of the room and barely large enough to accommodate the piano and microphone stand, let along a singer, too.

Anyway, the hostess at this place, a tall-ish, reed-thin, twenty-something wearing a black sleeveless dress, black lipstick, long black hair, and too much glitter on her eyelids and cheeks, was behind her lighted lectern chatting with a guy who was probably a waiter. From the way they were sniggering in low decibels they were probably making plans for whoopsie doodle after the show. He was certainly damn cute with his black shirt opened several buttons down!

Anyway, I swear I stood there for at least 15 long seconds without receiving so much as an acknowledgment that I was a tangible physical thing with a rather decent new hair style and lovely Peruvian Connection Silk Road Pima Cotton dress that I’d purchased for the occasion.

I pretended to be patient, but finally gave up. “Hi! Reservation for two, but I’m down to one. My friend bailed. It’s under Stevens. Samantha. Seven o’clock, although it’s only 6:45. I’m always early.”

To her credit the hostess looked at me! But, after scanning her reservations list she shook her head. “Are you sure it’s for tonight?” she asked. “Pretty darn sure. It’s been in my book for weeks. It’s a one-night-only sorta thing.”

She looked at me as if she really didn’t know what the hell to do. I’d thrown a rusty wrench into the ever-so-slowly grinding gears in her noggin. She was utterly perplexed. I’m the type who dislikes drama and always wants to smooth the rough edges of any potentially unpleasant bit of folderol. So I took out my cell phone and scrolled through emails until I found the reservation confirmation number that I’d received.

The poor puzzled thing was still muddled. She couldn’t quite comprehend (nor could I) why I had a confirmation on my screen but I wasn’t on her printed list of expected guests. She literally did not know what to do and said as much, but in a way that suggested this really was more my problem than hers.

I looked to the tacky performance room behind her. It was nearly empty. So I suggested the obvious, that a reservation probably wasn’t really all that necessary anyway, was it? There, I solved our mutual dilemma.

“Any table is fine with me.” I smiled. Not so damn fast, Sam.

“I’ll have to check with my manager,” she said, as if there could possible be a problem seating one single solitary body, in a room as vacant as the U.S. President’s head, for a performance that definitely wasn’t going to attract anyone from The House of Windsor.

She walked away but rather quickly returned with a half smile. She picked up a menu. “I can seat you this time.” As if I must never let this happen again.

NOTE: The show was terrific. My friend is very talented. But really, this cloak of invisibility thing didn’t work when the bill came. Darn!


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