Secret Drinker at Table 16

To drink, or not to drink? That is the question.

To drink, or not to drink? That is the question.

I’m not one to judge (yes I am) and I certainly don’t disapprove of anyone choosing to drink or to not drink when they are at a restaurant. As a server, it is my job to bring guests what they ask for. Even if a pregnant woman, who is so far along that her baby’s hand is hanging out of her vagina and grasping at french fries, asks me for a shot of Jägermeister, it is my job to get that drink for her and to not pass judgement. As long as she’s the legal drinking age, she can do whatever she wants. I may feel odd about it or it may feel wrong, but people can make their own decisions about how they drink. Now if her baby were to ask me for a shot of Jägermeister, I would definitely card it. Of course, all I would be able see is the hand poking out of the vagina and I really need to see a face before I can make a call on age. My guess is that the baby isn’t old enough to drink, but I don’t like to make assumptions. I have always looked young for my age, so maybe this lady is a little past her due date and she is carrying around a 21 year old man in her uterus. Of course, that would mean that she is 1092 weeks late and it seems unlikely, but you never know with science these days. Anyway, I don’t like to pass judgment on how people choose to imbibe.

Last week, a woman in my section asked for a Sprite. I diligently went to go get a Sierra Mist and placed it before her. She drank it quickly as I was taking the order for her table. She was there with what appeared to be various family members. I asked her if she wanted another “Sprite” and she said she was fine. After I left the table and went to ring in their order, she followed me up to the bar.

“Hey, sweetie, can I get a vodka/tonic?” she asked.

“Sure,” I replied. “I’ll be right out with it.”

“No. I mean, can I have one now?”

I called out the drink to the bartender who made it right away and I handed it to the woman who drank it in front of me as I continued to ring in their food.

“You can bring me another one when you get a chance, but leave off the lime so you don’t blow my cover. Thanks, sweetie.  And make sure I get the check.”

She went back to her table as I totally did not judge her. And then I started to feel weird about the whole thing. Am I an accomplice to this woman’s secret drinking? I think I am. Should I place a lime on her next vodka/tonic to leave a simple clue to her family who may need to know that she is drinking? What if this woman is on Sudafed and is not supposed to have alcohol? Or what if she is planning to operate heavy machinery? What if her family has just staged an intervention and I am the one who is fucking things up? As I let all of these question wash over me like a sea of Jack Daniels and ginger ale, I rang in her next drink and watched the bartender make it.

As the Absolut went into the glass, making the ice cubes pop and crack, I wondered if this woman was on a quest for sobriety and needed help. As the tonic flowed from the soda gun, I questioned whether or not I should give this lady what she is so desperately wanting, yet hiding from those who love her most. As the bartender placed a lime wheel onto the edge of the glass, I thought about this woman’s family and how much they must love her. As I reached over to remove the lime, the one clue that would alert anyone at her table that she may be doing something she shouldn’t, I thought, “Who the fuck cares? Not my problem.”

I carried the drink over to the table.

“And one delicious and refreshing Sprite for you, ma’am.” She looked at me and I gave her a very subtle wink which she returned with a  confused look, like she thought I was flirting with her or something. “I just love Sprite, don’t you? Or 7-Up. Or Sierra Mist. They’re all great, aren’t they?”

“Yeah, thanks,” she said.

I walked away from the woman knowing that she was old enough to make her own decisions. It’s not like she had a baby’s hand hanging out of her vagina asking for a shot of Jägermeister or anything.

Bottoms up, lady, bottoms up.

Discussion

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