"So off we went, first to the entrees. The friend said she wanted a pork stir-fry with vegetables. Her husband quickly pointed out that pork is a meat, and she asked for it to be replaced by tofu. 'Is there soy sauce in your stir-fry sauce?' I was already nodding the answer as the waitress said yes. Crap. OK, next menu item: the chicken stir-fry with white Asian sauce. After again negotiating to have no meat in it, we ended up at the sauce, which of course had sesame oil and cornstarch, a double whammy. The sad part is that this process had already taken five minutes. The waitress had other tables that needed service, and tried her best to escape with a 'Why don't you look over the menu some more, and I will be back soon.'
"Smart move, but our friend was not having it. 'No, you will not leave the table until we have our orders placed, I know how long your kitchen can take.' More of this until finally the waitress steered our friend to the appetizer portion of the menu. After a few minutes, they managed to order some edamame, but otherwise kept running into the same issue over the fact that pretty much every Asian dish has at least one of soy, wheat, egg, cornstarch, sesame, or peanuts. After about 15 minutes with the waitress, I wanted to grab my wife and run to the bathroom and cry. I once had to cut off part of my own thumb in order to free it from a metal device it was caught in, and somehow this dinner was more excruciating.
"So my wife's friend finally looked happy. 'I got it, I'll have the sushi platter.’ The waitress told her sushi was fish, and thus was not vegetarian. Somehow this was not a problem, and all of our orders were placed. Twenty minutes or so to get our orders in: not the worst possible scenario, but I was very curious what would happen when the food arrived. So out it all came, and of course the sushi was raw fish on rice. Everyone held their breath, waiting for an explosion.
"Instead, my wife's friend grabbed a bottle of soy sauce, poured it on the sushi, and began eating, stating how good the sauce was. I dared not say a word, instead focusing on my dish (to this day I have no freaking idea what I ate) and on making small talk and eating as fast as possible so we could get out of the restaurant. We finished the meal… or so I thought, when the waitress asked if we wanted dessert. I wanted nothing to do with ordering any more food, so I said I was full and I would like some tea. Bad move, it turned out.
"Our friend said she also wanted tea, but she wanted to make sure that we didn't get any of 'that dirty tap water.' She made the waitress bring out a tea pot along with bottles of water, and then told her to open the bottles and pour them into the pot. The waitress complied, and the friend then told her to go heat the water up for our tea. I really hope the waitress went in the back and dumped the water and filled it with water from the toilet.
"Anyway, we got our hot water for tea and our friend went on to order the chocolate cake. At this point, I almost jumped out of my seat. 'Why would you order that if you can't eat flour?' is what I wanted to scream, but my wife aimed a well-placed kick to my shin to keep me from saying it. The waitress told our friend the chocolate cake had flour, and the response she gave was, 'Oh, a little flour shouldn't hurt.'
"She ate the whole thing herself, seeming to enjoy it. The waitress asked if we needed anything else, and then produced our bills, already split up by couples. Our friend said the waitress did a horrible job and only deserved a 10% tip because of 'how long it took her to explain the menu.' My wife and I were poor graduate students at that time, and this meal was what we would have usually spent on food for half a week, but we knew we had to make up for the missing tip, so we left 35%. I figured we were saving on not having to pay for a hotel room, so I could pony up the missing amount.
"That would seem to be the end of the story, but of course it wasn't, because the following also happened during that weekend:
"1. We had pancakes the next morning. Fucking pancakes, made with wheat flour.
"2. I ditched the other three to go do something for work, and actually spent half the time I was ditching them eating hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, and shawarma. This remains a secret to this day, and my wife will probably get mad at me when she finds out I ran to freedom on my own.
"3. My wife's friend blatantly cheated at every board game we played.
"4. My wife's friend caused hell at an Indian buffet for not having enough vegan-friendly options (she said the cauliflower was not friendly enough because there were too many tomatoes in it).
"One great thing did come out of that weekend, though: we never visited that crazy nut job ever again, and my wife stopped talking to her as well. I hate to say mean things about a person, but I do not know if I have ever met a more selfish human being in my life." -- Ken Sato