Friday, November 14, 2008

White Linen Tablecloths

You didn't ask me, but I really, really, really dislike white linen tablecloths. Always have and always will.

First, a little background.

My dearest friend Donna made a wager with me months ago that a certain "Afro-Asian-European-Latin" (as Andrew Young described him) presidential candidate would not win the election.

Now, not only is Donna one of the coolest, smartest, and funniest people I know, she is also among the most cynical. I mean whenever I'm feeling particularly hopeful I always call Donna to talk me down. So it didn't come as a complete surprise that she thought it improbable that Barack Obama would win.

The wager was made, but there was never any discussion of payoff. So weeks and months flew by, vacations were taken, e-mails were exchanged, arguments made, and elections held.

Then, out of the blue, not too long after the outcome of the election was known, Donna offered to make good on the wager by taking me out to lunch at one of a number of top restaurants in NYC for lunch. My choice.

What a deal!

Well, the list she put together would have brought a smile to the Michelin Man's face. I picked Eleven Madison Park, the crown jewel of the Danny Meyer restaurant empire and, IMHO, one of NYC's top spots.

Donna and I met there for lunch today. We looked "mahvelous!" Donna in black leggings and beautiful black dress, me in black slacks and black corduroy blazer.

We were seated side-by-side with an expansive view of the interior and a view of Madison Square Park out of the ginormous, almost floor-to-ceiling windows. Music softly playing in the background, a host of smiling, uniformed servers at our beck and call, all was wonderful in the world.

Shortly before finishing our diver scallops, suckling pig and beef cheeks, I noticed some white lint gathering on my blazer. I mentioned it to Donna but didn't dwell on it for very long.

After paying the bill, as we got up to depart, I noticed the same white lint on my slacks and also on Donna's dress. As we were leaving the restaurant I mentioned it to the two "greeters' at the front door and asked why white linen tablecloths and napkins? Why?

But it wasn't until I arrived back in my office, under the glare of really annoying fluorescent bulbs, that I discovered I was literally covered in white lint from coat collar to pants hem.

Those damn white linen napkins and that white linen tablecloth shed all over me. It was enough to ruin my day.

I mean I'm a New Yorker for Christ's sake, I wear black - a lot. So does every other New Yorker I know. We like black, we think it looks great. It goes with everything. You can wear it anywhere.

So why in the hell do restaurants insist on placing shedding white linen on the table and on your lap? it's doesn't make sense. It drives me crazy. In fact, it's outrageous.

So, starting today, I'm going to build a grassroots movement that demands white linen be removed from restaurants. Maybe advocate for cotton. Or silk. And definitely a color change - to grey maybe.

Anything but that damn white linen.

Enough is enough!