The Chances Were Slim-To-None


The chances were slim-to- none, but I wasn’t giving up without trying. For as long as I can remember, I’ve integrated a trip to Ojeda’s Mexican Restaurant each time I’ve returned to Dallas. Actually, I was already hooked on the restaurant before I moved to Dallas almost twenty years ago. When I worked for the State, I supervised staff that was located in Dallas. Initially, they were housed in an office on Maple Street, several blocks down from the original Ojeda’s. Subsequently, when I worked for Bucker, during the two plus years I lived in Dallas, I dined at Ojeda’s at least two-to-three times a month. I guess you could say, “I really like their supreme beef fajita nachos”.


The General and I agree on Ojeda’s nachos. It’s a good thing, I’d hate for her to have a miserable dining experience. There are times I feel I have the freedom to dig my heels in. We don’t always do it her way. Actually, she’d probably say that is truer than fiction. I have a very different take. But all things being equal, how does, “We do it our way,” sound? Dallas is the one venue where we agree that Mexican food is appropriate.


At any rate, the General wouldn’t even consider fajita beef nachos in Austin, but Dallas is different. Who knows, maybe it was being back in a setting were we typically opted to share the kind of evening we shared last night. We were back in “Big D.” I jokingly tell people that life is too short to live in Dallas, but honestly, my experience was mostly positive.


When I lived in Dallas, I knew that I’d be traveling almost exclusively (aka –somewhere other than Dallas). In addition, the thought of rush hour traffic to get to the office in downtown Dallas wasn’t appealing. Consequently, I rented an apartment near downtown. It was only by happenstance that it was located in easy walking distance to Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Crate and Barrel. Consequently, a sale at any of those places never went unnoticed. Those three stores were wedged between Chuy’s and On the Border. You’re probably thinking I’m living a charmed life or at least one filled with Mexican cuisine. Twenty years ago, that would have been true. Today I try to make healthier choices.


When I was living and working in Dallas, the General was still in Midland. She’d either fly to Dallas on Friday and we’d drive to Austin for the weekend or she’d meet me there. At the time, our home was still on the market and by the time it sold, her dad who lived in Odessa was terminally ill and she wanted to stay close to assist with his care.


It wasn’t an idea plan, but it worked out well. For one thing, at that time I was serving as the Compliance Officer for Buckner Children and Family Services. The agency had programs in twenty-five places across Texas. Consequently, I could have given Love Field in Dallas as my home address. I was seldom in Dallas.


I guess you could say our relocating to Dallas as a family was a near miss. Thankfully, it worked out where we could return to the greater Dripping Springs area. At the end of the day, life is still to short to live in Dallas.


The couple whose wedding I officiated at yesterday may be facing a similar dilemma. I’m not sure where they plan to call home. The bride is from Kansas and the groom has Austin ties. I think he also works in Kansas. Interestingly, I was told there would only be two other people present for the wedding. Consequently, I was surprised when there were more than a dozen people present. They were either family members or friends of the groom. Almost everyone verbalized the question: “Which is the grooms side?” when they walked into the church. Obviously, they were strict constructionist when it came to protocol. Everyone present for the wedding sat on the groom’s side. Of course, the bride’s sister stood at her side during the ceremony.


I enjoyed visiting with folks prior to the wedding. They were really a nice group of people. The groom was insistent that his only surviving aunt be one of the parties to sign as a witness on the marriage license. Frankly, I was surprised that there was a place on the license for two witnesses to sign. Their signing was optional, but I seldom see a marriage license with that as an option any longer.


The afternoon wedding was the primary reason (actually the only reason) that we got a late start to Dallas. Otherwise, we would have left at noon. We opted to take the back roads to Dallas. It wasn’t like sitting in gridlock traffic on IH-35, but it didn’t flow nearly as seamlessly as I anticipated. In fact, the General said she wasn’t sure she wanted to take that route on the return trip. It was slower than I remembered.


As we were finally arriving on the periphery of Dallas, the General announced that she wasn’t willing to wait a long period of time for a table at Ojeda’s. What? She couldn’t bail out on the inevitable. She went on to say that waiting an hour was unacceptable. Again, we are like-minded. I didn’t want to wait an hour either. I picked up my phone and summoned my personal butler. I think Siri is his name and asked for Ojeda’s in Oak Cliff. As luck would have it, we were only five minutes from the restaurant.


The General had no idea that Ojeda’s was located anywhere other than Maple Street in Dallas. That is one of the reasons she needs me in her life. She doesn’t know it all! Of course, she continued to be adamant that she wasn’t willing to wait a long time for a table. So, I asked: “Are you willing to go to bed hungry?” She responded: “I’d rather do that than wait in line.” When I pulled into the parking lot, I knew immediately that the chances were slim-to-none. The parking lot was packed. I eventually found a parking spot and we made our way toward the entrance.


We walked into the building and wondered: “Where is the crowd?” There weren’t nearly as many people inside the restaurant as there were vehicles in the parking lot. Consequently, we got a table immediately. It was a nice dinner in an unfamiliar surrounding. I had the thought, “We need to do this more often”.


At any rate, we are eager for the day. We are 85 miles away from a family reunion and we are both looking forward to the shared time. As it turned out, the Westin-Galleria is located in the Galleria. Pottery Barn will be on the General’s agenda before the end of the day.


All My Best!



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