This one is for all the waiters and waitresses out there.
Wait: is it now politically incorrect to call them "waitresses"? Is this another feminine form that, like "stewardess" and "actress" before it, has been sacrificed because of a misplaced sense of indignation where a feminine form of a word (as if the word cared) is equated with discrimination and mistreatment of an entire group?
I can't keep track.
Waitresses it is. And waiters. They are both lovely, when they are lovely.
When they want to be nasty, rude people hell-bent on ruining your day, there is nothing like them. And I guess that is the point: you may think that people who provide a service are grudgingly doing it, and are under your thumb.
But if you've ever had bad service (for anything, not just at restaurants), you know that those who serve are those who really rule the world. And if they choose to do their job right, your life is a pleasant stroll in the park.
If they don't –or if you refuse to comply with your passive being-served role– there will be a world of pain opening up to swallow you whole.
I broke down at a restaurant the other day.
When I say "break down", by all means imagine much blubbering and crying. If I'd been wearing makeup, black rivers would have mapped out my face.
I should have probably been focusing on being in control, or at least on not thinking about whatever reason it was that prompted my little snit– or maybe I should have just run away to the bathroom and tried to salvage my dignity (the bits that still stubbornly cling to me).
Instead, I found myself focusing on our waiter.
He was a lovely, efficient waiter. He didn't miss a beat and did not pry into why the person who had (you know you saw this coming) pretty much inhaled the second hefty cocktail to accompany a lightweight lunch was stabbing her eyes madly with her index knuckles, willing the salty mess to crawl back up the little holes expelling it.
He didn't stare. He didn't offer advice.
He just did his job. And when it was all over, he just smiled as if he saw people with swollen red eyes all the time (which, come to think of it, he probably does, as the place serves alcohol to paying patrons).
And for that little bit of normalcy, however forced, I thank him now.
Don't forget to tip your waiter or waitress.