I almost had a panic attack this weekend. For reals. It was the strangest thing, but it's true. Near panic attack.
Here's the scene. Joel and I decided to be ultra lazy on Saturday and do absolutely nothing but lie in bed and watch Netflix. However, after a long day of lounging and sleeping, we decided to go have dinner. We were in Nashville, so it was not a problem that we'd decided to eat at 9:30, and we could walk to a multitude of restaurants. So we got dressed and began our journey of deciding where to eat.
I'm terrible at making decisions. I've told you this before. And, because Joel and I are both pretty agreeable, despite the tons of restaurants near our condo, we consistently go to the same three. But we wanted something different, so we go about our usual "It doesn't matter to me, what do you want?" "I don't know, what do you want?" banter. After walking in and out of two other restaurants to judge the crowd, band, and atmosphere (and $12 cover charge to walk in to one of them), Joel made the executive decision to eat at Virago. This is a REALLY nice sushi restaurant in Nashville, and I was happy to get to try something new.
The minute we walked up to the restaurant and got carded to even walk in, I started to feel a little off. There were three super-model tall girls teetering on six inch heels in front of us, and it took us ten minutes to walk slowly behind them as they scooted up to the hostess stand and pondered where they'd like to sit. Another hostess immediately helped us to our table. Unfortunately, we couldn't sit down because there was a man leaning into our booth pouring over some game on the television that was situated directly to the right of our table. After asking him several times to move, he finally got out of our way, and we sat down. At this point, my heart rate was rising, and I was starting to get a bit shaky.
I noticed almost as soon as we sat down that the music at the bar--which was again, directly to the right of our table, not separated by anything but other guests--was extremely loud. As we settled into our seats, it seemed to get even louder. Our server approached our table and handed us menus. She asked us if we would like still (I don't even know if that's spelled correctly, because I've never heard it asked like that!) water with our dinner. Having no f***ing clue what she was talking about, I look to Joel for a little help. He raises his eyebrows at me, being a gentleman, expecting the lady to answer first. As my face grew incredibly red, I meekly asked, "what's that mean?" The server sighed and said, "bottled water." Oh, sh*t, I wanted to say, you should have said that the first time. I nodded my head and said please, relieved. She then asked Joel, who trumped me by ordering a sparkling water, then looked back to me and said, "have you decided?" Decided, I thought. I haven't even looked at the menu! "About your water..." she continued. "Yes," I sighed, thinking I had already answered this question. "Bottled. Please." I answered.
After this ridiculousness, I begin to look at the menu, which I can barely see because it's so dark and try to read the words. The music boomed in my ears even louder. I glanced up and looked around at the seemingly thousands of people in this restaurant. Suddenly, it got really hot all around me. The words on my menu seemed to blur, and I felt like I couldn't breathe. My heart was pounding, and I was shaking.
Catching my eye, Joel looked at me and said, "Um....are you okay?!?!" "No," I mustered. "I think I'm going to have a panic attack. I don't understand. This has never happened before." "Was it the bottled water question," he laughed. I tried to eek out a laugh, but couldn't think of anything other than not passing out in the middle of this very fancy restaurant. He handed me a magazine we'd been carrying and told me to read it, as a distraction to how I was feeling, while he got the hostess. He came back moments later, telling me he'd negotiated a new table for us in a room away from the crowd and thumping music.
Moments later, feeling much better, I was trying to figure out what the hell had just happened. Nothing, seriously, nothing has ever happened to me like this before. I can pretty much handle myself in any situation. But I can't explain Saturday night. As we left the restaurant hours later, with full bellies and some good memories, I remarked to Joel, "I think I know what it is." He glanced down at me inquisitively. "If they could have turned down the damn music and turned some lights on, I would have been fine," I said. "In short, I'm getting f***ing old."