Hopefully everyone is recovering from their Thanksgiving Day festivities of gorging themselves with food and the undeniable effect of tryptophan. I celebrated the holiday by donning my apron and serving for a family in Upstate New York. It was the fourth holiday I have spent with this family; three Thanksgivings and one Christmas. They are Jewish, so don’t ask me why I was there last year helping them serve a Christmas dinner. All I know is they love me. They pay me.
When I walked in the whole family of about 15 people were there waiting for dinner to be served. By me. They were very happy to see me and all greeted me warmly. I felt like Norm on Cheers when I walked in because they all said my name at once. The lady of the house gave me a hug and off to the kitchen I went. Normally what I do for them is arrive as they are finishing up dinner. I clear the table, make coffee, serve dessert and then wash all the dishes and clean the kitchen. This time they were still cooking when I got there and they needed my help as far as timing and coordinating the dishes to all be done at once. For some reason they think I know what I am doing in the kitchen. The guy who staffed me out must have blown some smoke up their ass because they ask me all kinds of questions. “How long do you think we should cook this?” and “What serving dish do you think we should use?” My standard answers for these questions are “350 degree for about 15 to 20 minutes” and “the white serving dishes are the best because it makes the food pop.”
Since dinner was still cooking I had time to do some busy work. I putzed around and washed a few dishes. Made a salad. There was one guy there who was a friend of the family and started making small talk with me. He asked me where I live. New York City. He asked me what I do. I told him I have several jobs and today I am just working here in Irvington, New York. “You have to work today? On Thanksgiving?” He was incredulous that anyone would have to work on such a special day. “Where??” He totally did not get that I was there to serve. That was when I knew it was time to pull my bistro apron out of my bag and put it on. After his mild embarrassment and my apathy, the division of classes was clear. I was “the help.”
I put food in the oven, and pulled it out when it was done, served their meal and cleared the plates and washed about a thousand dishes by hand. It was basically a glorified maid kind of day. Since you know of my love for The Brady Bunch, I imagined myself as Alice. A younger more attractive and not so frumpy Alice If you need to reminded of my obsession you can click here and read all about it. It really wasn’t that bad. People are willing to pay a fortune to have someone work on a holiday and I don’t mind it a bit. I left with my pockets full of cash and a huge tip. “Good bye, Bitchy Waiter,” they said. (Okay, they actually used my name…) “We love when you are here. Next Thanksgiving we might hire someone else and have you over for dinner.” I smiled politely and said how nice that would be. But inside I was thinking “the only way I will drag my ass to Irvington, New York to have Thanksgiving dinner at your place is for a paycheck.” Don’t get me wrong. They’re really nice. But they ain’t my family. I’m there for the money.