My husband and I went to the new California Pizza Kitchen in town on a recent date and it was what I had hoped for, pretty much: mostly good pizza (bizarre, but good: a pizza with pears, cheese, caramelized onions, and hazelnuts, topped with salad with blue cheese dressing). I told the waiter to tell the kitchen their hazelnuts were rancid, unfortunately, but got no offers to make it better. But I was willing to live with that.
My sweetie had something he liked and I liked it too when we traded slices. Everything came quickly and we left a good 30-40 minutes before our movie was scheduled to start, as we had hoped to do when we arrived.
But in the end I was irritated by something about the experience, and I finally realized what it was. A mental image of that waiter appeared, gripping the 20-inch-tall pepper grinder, and smarmily asking if I would like some.
And I sighed and went through the routine. "Yes, please," I told him, "lots."
Mr. Waiter ground until he felt I had enough and stopped. I said, "A little more, please," which he did, cursorily, and went on to offer my husband the pepper, which he accepted.
I don't know about you, but I find I bristle a little at not being trusted with the fresh pepper. I felt it so condescending. Does that bother you?