How to cope with paying $26 for a veggie burger

Hello, there. I’m still here, living without my cell phone. We’re on day eight in the wild world of phonelessness. My major problem with it is that I can’t take pictures. My sister was in town this weekend, so she took all the pictures. But then she left, and this morning I made muffins and couldn’t share them on Instagram.


Joking aside, I was hoping the repair people would work at superhuman speed so I could take my phone to Alabama with me when I leave tomorrow, but that won’t be happening at this point.

Maybe it’s time to go off the grid completely so that technology can’t disappoint me anymore.

Speaking of disappointments, though, you’re probably wondering about that veggie burger.

Brooke was in town for a wedding this weekend.

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Saturday morning in Chicago with my sister! @tswiftstwin

A post shared by Brooke Furry (@brookeellen328) on

We tried to eat as many meals out as we could, since Chicago is the city of good eats. Her last day in the city I took her to Andersonville in search of burgers.

It was sunny, we walked around until we found a place we wanted to be. It was a little more expensive than we would have normally liked, but it’s a sister weekend. You splurge a little.

I’m usually the one with a slightly complicated order. I don’t try to be, but being a vegetarian, I often have to substitute things. Also, I don’t like mayo or mushrooms. Or bleu cheese. So here I was, ordering my veggie burger without the mayo, debating on the feta, and choosing the bun.

When I got my burger, I realized I’d forgotten a pretty key part of ordering a veggie burger. The veggie patty.

Oh, yeah, that. Like the only part that really mattered. I can eat mayo. I can handle a cheese that isn’t my favorite. But meat? Ugh.

Waiter comes back to check in on us.

“How’s everything?”

“I’m so sorry, but I forgot to order a veggie burger. That’s not a veggie burger.”

“No, it’s not.”

Takes plate, seems gracious with a hint of well-hidden annoyance (but you can’t fool me. I know when people are annoyed). I tried to be as gracious as possible about it. It didn’t matter that it took extra time. It was my fault.

I wonder if he’ll charge me for both, I thought. But that seemed a little bit cruel. I wasn’t getting two burgers. Surely people make mistakes like that. Surely it wasn’t going to drive down their profit margins ridiculously. Surely the customer could be right… even when she wasn’t.

The customer wasn’t right. I got my bill and saw two lovely, hefty charges on it. He just dropped it off without a word about the thing. Deep sigh. Slight feeling of being wronged. He should have probably offered to let me take the burger I was paying for but didn’t eat.

But I didn’t feel like I should make a big deal out of it. It was my fault. I’m learning what it means to be okay with things being my fault or failure. It doesn’t include a guilt trip on myself, and it doesn’t include berating someone else (or passive aggressively asking them to remove the charge because I didn’t eat that).

It means taking out your credit card and smiling at the waiter when he comes back, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he was for me instead of trying to deplete my bank account or raise his tip amount.

It means walking away without saying stupid, stupid, stupid to myself and swearing never to make a mistake ordering again. Let’s be honest. If I have as many years of life left as I anticipate having, I will do this again.

I made a costly mistake. I paid double for a veggie burger. (It was very good in case you’re wondering.) And I am moving on.

It’s not good to feel remorse over such a menial thing two days later. I have to learn to cope with these things, to show myself the grace that I should also offer to others. If I can’t tell myself graciously that everyone makes mistakes, and they aren’t always the cheapest (well, not on a college kid’s budget), then I won’t be able to pass that along.

I guess I’m just learning to spread the grace around.

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