Category Archives: gay wedding

Big Party, Bad Tip

Yesterday was my wedding day. After 21 years of partnership, the state of New York finally recognizes that my relationship is a valid one. It feels good. I had no nerves before the big moment because I was surrounded by great friends and I knew that the road I was taking was the only one for me. Looking back on my day yesterday, I have hardly any regrets about the decisions that were made. The pink shirt and flowery tie, while bold, were perfect. The choice of spouse was a foregone conclusion, so no regrets there at all. The restaurant we went to for our party was divine. So what could I possibly have regretted about my wedding day? I left a bad tip. Let me explain.

After the ceremony, our group of twelve went to The Smith on Third Avenue. I had never been there, but I had heard great things about it. The menu looked good, the cocktails looked better and they have a photo booth downstairs. Sounded perfect. We arrived at about 3:00 in the afternoon. I had made a reservation because I realized that we were going to be that annoying large party who gets there right in between the lunch and dinner shift and makes the lunch server get stuck way past his regular leaving time. Yes, even on my wedding day, I was thinking about he well-being of our waiter. His name was Thomas. I went right up to him and told him, “I am the one paying for everything and I want to make sure you get a good tip, but what time does your shift end?”

Thomas, was cool. “Oh, not for over two hours, don’t worry.”

“Okay, look. I don’t want you to get stuck here because I have some people who won’t be here until much later so when ever you need to leave, you just let me know. Add the grat, I’ll close the check and then you can pass us off to a PM server.”

For all I know, Thomas found me incredibly annoying. I tried to say please and thank you and be appreciative of everything he was doing for us. I mean, here we were, a couple of wannabe Bridezillas at a table for 12 and we were all talking and taking pictures and moving around. Irritating as hell, I’m sure. Thomas kicked ass. He kept our waters full, kept the drinks flowing and was always friendly. Thomas, thank you. I mentioned the blog to him and then my friend Marlene was all, “He was on CBS and Dr. Phil and blah blah blah. You gotta read it!” By this point I had had a couple of champagnes (one of which was in a can compliments of Marlene that I drank on the 6 train ’cause I’m classy like that) and two or three Pomegranate Caipirinhas. I was drunk on marital bliss but I knew I would write about how great the restaurant was and I wanted Thomas to know about it.

Around 5:30, Thomas came out with the wedding cake that my friend had dropped off earlier. He offered to cut it for us, but I told him that we were totally fine doing it ourselves. I hate slicing cake for strangers, so why would he want to do it? About twenty minutes later, he brought me the check. The bill had the gratuity on it and I added another $25. He introduced me to the PM server who would be finishing up our evening and Thomas went on his merry way with what I hope was a pretty good Monday lunch shift behind him.

Our new server was Micah. Also very friendly and efficient. Honestly, by this point I don’t recall much. I was drunk on marital bliss and booze now and the evening is a little hazy. Our party had dwindled by this point. New folks arrived replacing the ones who had to leave early but we were only seven people sitting at what had been a twelve-top. I noticed the restaurant was full and we were wasting two tables. We consolidated and I went to Micah and told him he could have the two tables back to try and get some more people in his station. You see? Always thinking about the waiter, I am. As soon as he pulled the two two-tops from our party, they were sat immediately and I knew I had done good. When we finally were ready to leave, Micah brought us our check. I added $30 to the bill and stumbled my ass home.

When I looked at the bill later that evening I noticed that Micah had not added the gratuity to our second check. I thought I had left him an additional $30 when really that was ALL I left him. Not even 20%! The horror. My wedding day marred by a bad tip. I blame myself for not knowing when to stop with the Pomegranate Caipirinhas. I should have paid attention to my bill. I had the mental resources to plan out four different poses with Marlene for the photo booth (from top to bottom age 4, age 10, age 14, age 44) but I couldn’t be bothered to read my fucking check? I felt horrible. Micah, I am sorry.

My wedding day was great. With the exception of the one tipping error, everything went off without a bitch. As for the tip, I will make amends. Tomorrow, I will stop by The Smith and leave some money in an envelope for Micah. Then he’ll have to figure out how to pool it or split it up or whatever, but I will make sure he gets the tip he deserved. I refuse to be that person who leaves a bad tip and realizes it but doesn’t do anything about it.

Thank you Thomas and Micah for making my wedding day so memorable. Yesterday will go down as one of my favorite days ever and two servers are an indelible mark on that day. It just goes to show you that we severs have the potential to become part of a memory for everyone. These two guys just went to work like any other Monday and they ended up being in the fabric of my life. Keep that in mind the next time you are at work. You never know when your regular day at work is someone else’s favorite memory.

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Choco Taco and a Gay Wedding

It was a beautiful day on Sunday in the Catskills. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and I had free food and drinks at a wedding. It was a day to celebrate the love of two people who were joined in holy (and legal, by the way) matrimony. With all the love and joy floating around, you would think it would be enough to distract me from how hard the cater waiters were working, but it wasn’t. Despite my best efforts to enjoy the reception, my thoughts kept ending up with the servers. Have I served for so long that even the wedding of two good friends is not enough for me to not think of the servers first? Nope.

The first thing I noticed was how far away the kitchen was from the cocktail reception. It was an outdoor wedding, so the kitchen was set up in a tent over by the chicken coop over the little wooden bridge and past the pond. All I could think was, ‘That is a long fucking way to walk carrying a tray of pigs in a blanket and crab cakes, that sucks.” Seriously, it was about a hundred yards. The best part of it being so far away was that guests couldn’t crowd around the exit to the kitchen tent so they could latch on to a deviled egg before anyone else. I noticed a server walking back to the kitchen with one crab cake on her plate. I knew what that sneaky bitch was up to. She was saving it for herself to eat as she made the trek back to refill her tray. I kept my eye on her and sure enough; after she crossed the bridge, I saw her pop it into her mouth. Smooth move.

The cocktail reception ended rather abruptly when an old lady passed out and fell flat on her back. Everyone was screaming to dial 9-1-1 but it was the fucking Catskills so cell phone service was as rare as a cater waiter who doesn’t stuff crab cakes into her mouth when she thinks no one is looking. This lady in the grass looked like she needed some major help. There was doctor and a nurse at the wedding so they went right to work on her. I took advantage of the distraction and headed to the bar where I knew there would be no line. Within two minutes, the banquet manager was ushering us to the barn where dinner would be served early. In other words, “Let’s move away from the old lady who may or may not be dying on the happiest day of two brides’ lives.” As the crowd headed over for dinner, I watched the manager urgently speak into his walkie talkie and say, “Start icing right away, they’re coming over. Now! Now! Now!” I felt uncomfortable because I knew that the timing was off and the servers were going to be stressed out. I was still probably more comfortable than the old lady in the grass underneath the cocktail table.

When we got to the barn, I saw waiters running around icing waters and then then I noticed that the bartenders were breaking down the bar in the pond house and dragging all that shit over to where we were now. “Totally shitty,” I thought. I have to hand it to the crew though. They were all so nice and a special shout out to Devon and Barney who were my bartenders for the day. Dinner went off without a hitch. Okay, it was a little awkward that the ambulance parked right next to where we were eating. It’s not very appetizing to watch a lady in a gurney get wheeled over the river and through the woods past the goats and put into an ambulance, but I took another sip of wine and felt better.

When it came time for each table to choose a champagne bottle captain, I designated myself and took charge of the situation. The champagne toast was coming up any minute and I wanted to make sure my glass was full. It’s like when I am on a plane; I always volunteer to sit next to the emergency exit because in the event of an emergency, I trust no one more than myself to get that door open and get myself the fuck out. At the wedding, I trusted no one more than myself to get that champagne bottle open and glasses poured.

As the sun set, the plates were cleared. It took a lot of effort to not get up and grab a tray and do it myself. It’s a sickness I have really, this need to clear tables, but I resisted and went instead to the ice cream truck that took the spot of the ambulance. I had a Choco Taco and another beer. It was a good wedding. I left before the wedding cake action happened because I was facing a two hour drive back to New York City. Besides I had already had my Choco Taco so anything else would have paled in comparison. Not to mention, I would have wanted to grab the cake slicer and help divvy up slices for 110 guests. It was time for me to go. The wedding was great. The food was wonderful and the service was even better. Thank you to all those cater waiters who make events like this wedding so special. Congratulations to Kim (Not Kardashian) and Randie who had the most awesome wedding ever. It was a privilege to be there.

The old lady was talking as she was put into the ambulance. Word is she was released from the hospital the next morning and is fine now. Her biggest regret other than the grass stain on her new dress was that she didn’t get to enjoy the reception. I am not a lip reader, but as she rolled by on her way to the ambulance, it looked to me like she was saying, “I just want a goddamn Choco Taco before I go, is that too much to ask?”

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