This weekend Cortney and I went out for a much needed date.
In fact I am pretty sure the last date we went on was for his birthday. At the beginning of December. So to say this was much needed? Is really kind of an understatement.
For Christmas two alumi of mine gave Cort and I gift cards to the Olive Garden–one of our favorite chain restaurants–and we figured it’s the weekend before Valentine’s Day, we should go out.
Now considering we were going to the Olive Garden, I didn’t feel the need to put on a dress and strappy sandals and make an appointment to get my hair and nails done, but I did put in extra effort.
I took a shower AND dried my hair with a hairdryer AND curled it.
And for effect? I stuck a cute flower in my hair.
We both wore our nice, dark wash jeans. Cort wore a button down that I gave him for Christmas, and I wore a cute sweater from the Gap.
Nothing super fancy, but not my yoga pants.
I figured this is what people do when they go out for dinner to any place that has a hostess and serves wine.
I would be wrong.
People? I am not saying that you need to wear your Sunday Best to a chain restaurant, but I did think that clean clothing was sort of a given.
Again, I would be wrong.
When we arrived at The Olive Garden, there was a 40-50 minute wait. Nothing out of the ordinary. And we were out for the night, so regardless of if we were sitting at a table or sitting in the lobby, we were still playing on our phones enjoying being alone together.
A 40-50 minute wait will give you a lot of people watching opportunities.
For instance, did you know that apparently wearing an old valour sweat suit with worn out patches at the knees and elbows is totally proper attire for dining at The Olive Garden?
Or that it is completely acceptable to wear tights (not leggings, people. TIGHTS) as pants with a “dress” (um, SHIRT), is so short your cheeks are not covered…to the Olive Garden?
Perhaps you were aware that wearing hats (ball hats, stocking hats, cowboy hats…) are ok to wear INSIDE the Olive Garden…while you eat.
I was clearly ignorant of the fact that I could have come to the Olive Garden in my pajamas…slippers and all…for this dining experience because a couple times Cort had to give the shush and and tell me to get my jaw off the ground and quit staring.
When our little disc light up happily announcing it was our turn to be seated, I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe we would be put into a nice little romantic corner. Away from…the fashion police rejects.
Or we would be eating at that table right there that is within reach of the lobby.
No problem. I will sit with my back to them. Cort is more tolerant. He can stare at that herd.
We decide to sample a Riesling.
I settle into my chair.
Only to observe the table over Cort’s shoulder.
A mom wearing the largest pair of mom-jeans I have ever seen on such a skinny body tucked into the biggest moon boots ever topped with a massively huge Bon Jovi T-shirt. Across from her was a dad with those dude jeans that are all tight around the ankles, but all “loose fit” everywhere else and a GIANT Red Wings jersey. And a hat.
Their two kids? Were totally cute.
I understand just wanting to get out of the house with clothes on. Especially when you have two itty bitty kids.
But shouldn’t your look reflect where you are?
Or am I a snob? Is it wrong that I was visually offended at the “going out” clothing people deem acceptable these days?
I mean I GET the “come as you are” at McDonalds or Wal-Mart or even Target. I’ve been that girl getting groceries in my yoga pants and a hoodie.
But I feel like I’ve seen enough episodes of What Not To Wear to know that you need to dress for the occasion.
Yoga pants for home? Ok.
But at the Olive Garden?
Or is that joint not as classy as I thought?