Photo from here.
Every Saturday, 1:12 PM, every Uzbek-style restaurant in any city in America.
—Oh, Ludochka! That was such a great meal. I’m licking my fingers!
—I know! Wasn’t it, Verka? Those shashliki. That kartoshka! Mmm. *reaches for the last of the plov* This place is the best. Now what were you saying about your son? He’s done with pharmacy school, right?
— Yes, Mishka just graduated, but he decided he doesn’t want to be a pharmacist! Can you imagine! After $100,000 of our blood, sweat and tears, he decides he doesn’t want to be a pharmacist! He quit after his first week! He could have told us that before we made him take the exam. And now what girl is going to look at him? It’s not stable!
— What a horror. What a horror. (Uzhas, uzhas.) Remember when he was small and you stayed up with him all night when he had a fever? So many nights spent…and this is what you get back! What an ungrateful swine. So what’s he going to do now??
— Oh, God only knows. Ludochka, don’t even talk to me about it. My nerves are all destroyed. *takes a strong sip of tea* How’s your Dashenka?
—Oh, she’s not bad. Not so great, either. You know that art history major I told her not to get? Well, she’s going for it, anyway. What is she going to do with an art history major? She’s going to be an art expert right back in her old high-school bedroom, that’s what. Ten years. TEN YEARS I’ve slaved away at this job as a programmer so she can have a good college education. Her father and I came with nothing. WITH NOTHING. All for her. And how does she repay me? Wit this! This art history.
—Be strong, Lud’ka. Be strong. Maybe if we have them marry each other, they can live in one of our houses and be ungrateful swine together. *nibbles on the last of the bread*
*waitress comes with the check*
*waitress puts check down on table* *both women look at it like wolves look at prey* *waitress leaves*
—Oh yes, I believe we are. *gets out credit card*
—Verka, what are you doing? *also gets out credit card*
—I’m paying for lunch, Luda! And I don’t want to hear another word about it!
—Verka, no. There’s no way you’re paying for lunch. You have a whole family on your shoulders again, you have Mishka to worry about, let me do this one thing for you.
—Luda, no. I’m perfectly capable for paying for myself, and that’s it. *grabs check* Besides, you brought the wine. That’s it-Vsyo!
—Vera, no. Listen to me. Remember how last time you paid? Now I owe you. That’s it. No arguments. *grabs check and starts to look at it* Vsyo!
—Lud’, nu come on. Don’t hooligan. *hits her lightly on the hand* Let me just pay for this, you can pay for the tip.
—Vera, don’t even talk about it. Look at how you’re acting. A grown woman. I’m paying for lunch. *puts credit card in check holder*
—Luda, you are impossible. *takes credit card out, slams it on the table, puts her credit card in* I am PAYING for your lunch, and that’s it.
—*takes check, takes credit card out, and pays entirely in cash* If you want, you can leave the tip. I’m paying, and that’s final. I don’t even want to hear another word about it. Vsyo.
*waitress comes by* Are you ready?
*Luda hands her the check, smiling* Yes, we are
*Vera is deflated*
—Ok, but I’m paying for the tip, and that’s it. Look at how you behave. Embarrassing! You won’t even let a friend enjoy her meal. Next time, I’ll pay. And I’ll bring Misha.
—And I’ll bring Dasha.