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Embarrassment & Money aka The Most Awkward Experience of my Life

This post was not supposed to happen this way. This morning when we were about to head out, I asked the front desk for coupons and Steve suggested I write a post on getting over your embarrassment to save money. I was the hero of this story, asking for coupons and ultimately having to use a hotel printer to save four bucks. Then something else happened…

Let me set the scene: After three full days in Canada, my blister count was up to seven and I had to catch up on freelance work. So we decided to stay out of the city for the day as our hotel is in Mississauga. We spent the morning at the African Lion Safari (this is what we used the coupons for, still ridiculously overpriced) then headed back to the hotel so I could get some work done. Around 8, we were both starving and frantically searching for restaurants in the area. We asked the front desk where to go and we were pointed in the direction of a restaurant.

So we walk into the restaurant that must not be named and immediately feel weird. The host was rather old and wearing a suit, Steve was wearing jeans and I was wearing shorts. The only other person there was applying for a job. Steve wanted to leave but the host (who is also apparently our server) had already brought us water and bread and I felt weird. We opened up the menu to find dinner ranging from $35 – $115 which was not gonna happen. Trying to be frugal and also save face, I ordered a Caesar salad and lobster bisque and Steve ordered fettuccine alfredo — the cheapest things on the menu adding up to about $16 each.

Our host/server looked at us weird and said, “Is that all?” “Yes”, we replied. Then he walked away. Then he came back. Repeatedly. As we were the only customers that he had, he refilled our water glasses every time they got below 75%. All this is awkward enough. But let’s make things more uncomfortable.

Remember the assault of the Cheddar Bo biscuit from hell? I WISHED for that biscuit once I tried the food.

The lobster bisque came out first. I think it came out of a can. It was the worst soup I’ve ever had in my life. The lobster was gummy and weird and it was just terrible. Steve tried it and agreed. I set it aside and mentally flushed $5.95 plus tax down the toilet. So our stalker host/server came over again and asked me how the soup was. Still wanting to be the hero of my embarrassment story, I told the truth — nicely, of course. You would have thought I clubbed a baby seal. He looked at me in such a hurt way and reminded me that this was the lobster bisque. As uncomfortable as it was, I firmly let him know that I did not like it and he took it away. So awkward but I made it through. Until the main dishes came out…


Turns out the soup was actually the best thing either of us ate. The salad and fettuccine alfredo were an insult to food. Not wanting to hurt Mr. Emotional’s feelings again, we lied and said it was great. But we had to get out of there, there was no way we could actually choke that down. So I came up with a plan…

I told Steve to pretend he was on the phone with our babysitter. Our daughter was sick and we had to get home right away. Anyone who has read this blog for more than five minutes knows that I’m about as responsible as a seven-year-old and I don’t actually have any children. But it seemed like a plausible story. You can’t hold parents of a sick child hostage, right?

After a terrible acting performance, the creepiest man alive started. asking. for details. Yes, that’s right. He asked for information about our fake child and her fake illness. (By the way, she’s three and she’s puking.) Then he started giving us advice on healing her. Unable to handle any more awkwardness, I left Steve with the bill and headed out to car. According to Steve, there was back rubbing and more advice for healing “our sick daughter” after I left. So. Much. Awkward.

I would rather have thrown $30 in the trash. I love food and I’m having trouble looking at it the same now.

Frosting on the cupcake: We went to an Afghan restaurant to avoid starving to death. For anyone not married to an Arab and/or culturally unaware, it is currently Ramadan. And we went when they were breaking fast. Did I mention I was wearing shorts?

I was not the hero of this story. The moral of the story is: sometimes you have to choose between being embarrassed and losing money. And in real life, sometimes you will choose to lose money. Who wants to revoke my PF card?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to sleep off the awkwardness of this day. Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to work…

[Image from BuzzFeed]

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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