Yesterday, I decided to run to Friendly's for lunch. The place was relatively empty, and I think there were only two servers working. Stef met me at the door and seated me. She asked me if I wanted a diet coke (a sign I go there way too often), to which I assented. As she headed back to the kitchen, the other server, a young man named Kyle, walked by and said he'd be right with me. Apparently, Stef had planned on waiting on me herself, so they had a brief conversation in the kitchen to decide who would actually take my table. (I love it when servers fight over me.)
Apparently, they eventually agreed that Kyle would be my server, because he walked over with my diet coke, introduced himself, and asked me if I was ready to order. I placed my order only to have him give me the perfect opportunity to tease him a little. After I ordered my food, he asked me if I wanted anything to drink. I laughed, glanced at the table, then looked back to him to politely ask, "You mean besides the diet coke you just brought me." He laughed in flustered embarrassment (I consider the fact that he didn't turn beet red nothing short of miraculous) and explained he was used to doing things in a certain order. I just smile and said I understood.
While we had been talking, I noticed a chain around his neck, so I looked closely at the two pendants hanging off it. This is a new habit I'm working on developing, as I'm realizing just how much a person's choice of jewelry or body art can offer an opportunity for conversation. I noted the crucifix (which, when combined with my estimate of his age, gave me enough reason to decide to keep things to a bit of fun chat and maybe some slight flirtation) as well as a large "55." So when he stopped by later to check on me, I inquired. As it turns out, he's a football player and that's his number. (Of course, we won't go into the thoughts of being tackled that suddenly came to mind.) He mentioned that it had been his number in both high school and now college. (Of course, I was relieved to confirm that he was at least in college. I'm much more comfortable with feeling slightly lecherous rather than downright criminal.)
When it came time for ice cream, I ordered the recently re-released the peanut butterpan sundae, so I ordered that. Kyle commented that he never tried that one. I said I had it last time they offered it and loved it. I mentioned in passing that it had peanut butter in it, so that meant I'd naturally love it. So the sneak decided to demonstrate just how good a server he was by making the sundae with extra peanut butter. Needless to say, someone got a very good tip (even moreso than usual).
I have to admit, I enjoyed the meal, and I had fun chatting up my waiter just a bit. Sure, he's too young for me (I think I'm through with college students), and the religion thing would be an issue. (After all, he's not goth, so I'm pretty sure he wasn't wearing a crucifix just for the "cool factor.") But sometimes, it's just fun to be able to chat and have a little harmless fun with someone. And besides, I think it was good practice for me. I really could use more practice being chatty and flirty, as it's something I struggle with (especially if I actually find the person I'm chatting with attractive). So this was a great activity. And either Kyle didn't notice or didn't exactly mind, so it worked out well.
And I do like that I'm learning to be more attentive to picking out little things to comment on. It should really help me with starting conversations in the future.