I should have titled this post, "how to make instant friends." here's how:
1) bake a homemade chocolate cake. slice a piece out of the middle so the delicious-looking layers in the center are visible.
2) carry the cake on a pretty cake plate into your local restaurant (in this case it was for our friend brian's birthday- but who needs an occasion for cake?). people will begin to approach you in the parking lot. they'll pretend to be interested in you husband's car - but we all know what they're really after.
3) once you're in the restaurant, all the servers will greet you like you're they're long-lost sister. the bartenders will offer to barter drinks for a slice. they'll even ask if they can put the cake in the back so you'll have more room at your table (don't fall for this one). the people in the restaurant will also begin stare- but don't worry, they're just jealous. they are just waiting for that moment when you finish your meal & cut the cake, hoping they'll a catch a break in the form of a crumb.
4) now, sing "happy birthday" (this step is optional - but note that this is the point when your fellow patron's jealously turns to envy & they begin thinking "I wish I was sitting at their table", so I'd recommend not skipping that part).
5) finally, cut & serve the cake. the people in the restaurant have now had a few drinks & are feeling friendly. they will take this opportunity to come up to your table & tell you how awesome you are & what an amazing baker you must be & do you think you might have a slice (or two) leftover. they're practically your friends at this point, so go for it. now, be prepared, because some more people might come into restaurant & gush over the cake (because they can see that you've served other people in the restaurant & can hear them shouting about how "amazing" it is). so you will probably make even more friends.
6) by the end of the night, the cake will be gone (hence the reason I said to take a slice out in the beginning!) & enjoyed by all your new friends. they're so ecstatic & their bellies are so happy, you'll feel like scott in the final scene of "teen wolf" where he scores the winning basket & gets hoisted up on everyone's shoulders to be revered & praised.
so if you're interested in making this actual cake (although any chocolate cake will do, really), I highly recommend it. the recipe can be found here (thank you, pinterest). the only modification I made was using hazelnut-flavored coffee instead of regular coffee, because I love the flavor.
*true story. and also just a side note that I did call ahead to make sure it was cool with the restaurant that I b.y.o.c.