Mrs. Lange is Scary When You Make Her Mad


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In the interest of not putting business out of business I am not going to name the establishment this story is about.


Yesterday was the Durham Academy fall formal. In a world where kids communicate through text and rarely have to sit in a dining room without their phone and just talk to each other, fall formal is a great opportunity to practice old-fashioned communication and interpersonal skills. Carter asked me to organize a dinner for her friends and their dates at a restaurant. I was happy to do that since I feel like the best way for people to get to know each other and be comfortable is over a meal.


I call the place Carter picked and left a message on a machine for the reservation as it instructed me to do. When I did not hear back from them I went into the establishment and spoke to a manager who checked the system and assured me that they had my reservation. We discussed at length the type of table and exactly where it would be. Since I am a regular at this place I was certain that everything would be all right.


The evening started with all the kids and their parents arriving at our house for pictures and the exchanging of flowers. In my ex-wedding director, ex caterer, not ex-bossy way I orchestrated this part of the evening with military precision. We got couple pictures, we got group pictures, we got silly group pictures, we got all girl and all boy pictures and everyone was still happy after all that had taken place.


As most of the parents were staying at my house to eat dinner a couple of brave volunteers slipped out with the kids to deliver them to the restaurant. I stayed home so I could finish cooking the dinner for the 15 I was serving.


After the drivers arrived back at my house I got a call from my panicked daughter. “They don’t have our reservation.” This was not how this was supposed to go. Fifteen year olds are not practiced at dealing with hiccups in the plan. I asked to speak to the manager who I had seen in person. There were no adults anywhere. Eventually Carter told me they were fixing a table and a manager got on the line with me to tell me it was all fine and he would take good care of them.


Emergency diverted. I went ahead and served my guests the yummy dinner they were getting. At 8:10, an hour and forty minutes after the original reservation Russ gets a text from Carter. “We have not gotten our food yet.” The plan was they were to be picked up at 8:20 to be driven to the dance.


I called to talk to the general manager. Needless to say I was not happy. I was not going to be paying for any of this dinner and we were going to have a longer conversation about it on another day. She went into see Carter and told her that the food was coming, which it did.


In the end the kids made it to the dance before the final locking of the doors at 9:00 when no one is allowed in.


So much for my drill sergeant like planning. The parents at my house felt bad that they had enjoyed a great meal that I had cooked. My plan of giving young people a chance to practice grown up behaviors without adult intervention did not go off the way I wanted it to.


The good news is that I heard the conversations went well. I had a neighbor who happened to be eating in the same place and said she saw and spoke to Carter and reported to me and Russ that all the kids were very grown up and polite. Next year I would like to have kids eat at my house, but I think the parents like that part so much they might object. Perhaps I need to do a training run with the restaurant they chose next year to ensure disasters like this don’t happen again.

2 Comments on “Mrs. Lange is Scary When You Make Her Mad”

  1. Stuart Wright says:

    Dana; please have your upcoming conversation with the GM of the restaurant video recorded and post the link to the video on your blog. You can’t deny your readers the opportunity to witness the conversation. Cheers

  2. Lloydette hoof says:

    Carter and her friends are lovely. Jack is getting much too close to these wonderful days and nights!!

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