An Elfchen Poem
when we were
still able to dine
It’s funny, the things you miss that you once took for granted. Before COVID hit and lockdown became a thing, I never really ate out in restaurants very often. Mainly because my social anxiety kept me from going out. And, also because eating out can be expensive! A few years ago I started making it a weekly tradition to go to CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) on Thursdays after wine tasting at the local wine shop.
I usually went with a friend or two because I hate going to restaurants alone. I feel weird. But after a while, I got to know the bartender and I was comfortable going by myself when no one else could go. I liked harassing him. What woman doesn’t like harassing a cute bartender? So I’d take a bottle of wine and go have dinner every Thursday.
Then lockdown hit and we were told to stay home. I went there once to get take out but then stopped going. They opened for outdoor dining after a few weeks but I never went. It wouldn’t be the same having to sit outside and not be able to harass my bartender. That was my main reason for going. I enjoyed our banter. He was a smart ass like me so conversation came easy. I miss our conversation.
Plus, when COVID first hit and everyone was complaining about their rights being violated and arguing with service workers for having to wear a mask, I just didn’t want to be in that environment. I felt bad for the workers having to work with the public during a pandemic and get treated badly on top of it.
Since then, the restrictions have done a number on our restaurant industry here in California. The government has been so wishy-washy with its restrictions, it’s done more harm than good. They forced them to close for several weeks, only allowing take out service. Then they let them open for outdoor dining and restaurants scrambled to get tents, tarps, tables, block off portions of their parking lots, and spent thousands of dollars only to be told they had to shut down again when COVID spiked.