It’s hot outside. Really. Hot. Now I know some people live in Arizona or Texas where you can fry eggs on the sidewalk, but here in New York City it gets pretty toasty too. When the temperature hits the 90° mark something happens here. The heat bounces off the sidewalks and the skyscrapers and lands on the piles of garbage bags that are sitting on the sidewalk and then all that heat and funk gathers up into a big ball and rolls down the stairs into the subway platform and sits on the bench next you as you wait for the F train that may or may not be coming. And I am wearing black most of the time because that is my goddamn work uniform.
True, I could change into my uniform when I get to work but there are two issues with that. Number one, I don’t ever want to leave home in time to get to work those three extra minutes it would take to change clothes. Number two, if I leave my uniform at work there is always the chance that someone else will wear it when I’m not there. Yeah, I don’t get that either, but it happens. One time I was working with this girl who was wearing a uniform that was clearly too big. When I asked her what was up, she informed me that she forgot her clothes at home so she just put on someone else’s. That is nasty. I don’t wanna put on my pants and realize that the night before they were worn by someone who may have gotten her period in them. So I wear my blacks to work and deal with my face melting off. If it would just melt off in the right places, I would be fine with that. If some of my nose could melt away so it’s a normal size, praise to be to God.
When I got home last night and peeled my uniform off it sat on the floor and turned into a puddle of sweat. Why black? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see your server in a nice white linen or gauze outfit? Or maybe a simple white t-shirt? There was a time when the go-to restaurant uniform was khakis and a polo shirt, but over the ages it has evolved into all black. The best thing about the black is that it hides stains and wrinkles, but I’d be willing to buy a bottle of bleach and an iron if it meant I could wear white for a change. I imagine that in ten years from now, restaurant owners will devise a new look for their servers to wear and it will be even more uncomfortable. Can’t you just see us having to wear a burlap tuxedo as we take burger temperatures? It’s not that much of a stretch. When I was a cater waiter, I had to wear a tuxedo that was 110% polyester. Okay, it was only 100% polyester. The other 10% was embarrassment. And I never wore that to work. Even I was too ashamed to get on the train wearing a discounted used tuxedo that I bought at Sal’s Tuxedo Junction on Steinway Street in Astoria.
It’s about 90° today and in two hours I will be putting on my black shirt. I need some serious pit pads. And Arrid Extra Dry. And a towel. And a head band. The melting of the face will commence soon. Now if only I could figure out how to get my Dumbo ears to melt down to a regular size, Id be good.
And what do you wear to work? (And bonus points to anyone who gets the title reference.)