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When Your Regulars Become Your Friends

When you wait tables at the same restaurant for almost ten years like I have, you eventually develop a relationship with some of the customers and they become your regulars. Over the years, after sharing stories about each of your lives, one day you realize they are no longer just a customer. They’re your friends.

John and Mildred come into the restaurant pretty much every Thursday for date night. If they know they won’t be there, it’s not uncommon for Mildred to send me a text message giving me a heads up so I won’t worry. I know about their jobs, their vacations, their families and they know all the same things about me. One night, John called Mildred his betrothed and then looked at me for my reaction?

“Are you guys engaged?” I asked, full of excitement.

“Finally,” Mildred told me.

“When’s the wedding?” I wanted to know.

John held his hand up, palm facing outward. “Let’s not rush it or anything.”

This was easily two years ago and the date of their wedding has been a running joke ever since. The only thing more consistent than their order, (Caesar salad to share, a burger, medium-rare with goat cheese and bacon for John and the grilled salmon with no couscous and sub green beans for Mildred with a side of sweet chili sauce for her and a side of mayo and Tabasco for him), is there difference of opinion on when and how the actual wedding would take place.

It’s been four months since I’ve waited on them (thanks, COVID), but since we live in the same neighborhood, we bump into each other hear and there. It’s always nice to see them and I especially love when Mildred sends me a text on a Thursday night to say hello. A few weeks ago, I made burgers at home and decided to have goat cheese and bacon on mine which merited a text message to Mildred to tell John how delicious it was. A few weeks ago, another text message from Mildred pinged on my phone asking for my email address. They wanted to send me a link to their Zoom wedding! I guess with nothing else to do during the pandemic, John finally gave in to a date.

Yesterday, I sat in my bedroom with my laptop and watched my two regulars get married in a backyard in upstate New York. As John sang a song a accompanying himself on guitar, Mildred made her way onto my computer screen and into their life as husband and wife. Tears welled up in my eyes because after years of seeing them almost every night, I know how perfect they are for one another. They make each other laugh, she calls him “mi amour” ever since their trip to Paris, he encourages her to continue her ballroom dancing classes and they truly love each other. When they were officially announced as husband and wife, I threw confetti at my laptop and wiped another tear from my face.

As a server, I feel lucky to call so many of my customers friends. It makes me proud that Mildred and John thought enough of me to allow me to be a part of their big day. Congratulations to them! I look forward to when I can put on my apron again and bring John a beer (21st Amendment, Brew Free or Die! unless there’s a beer special that also has a 7% alcohol content) and Mildred a cocktail (only one though, because it’s a school night). Waiting tables can be a mixed bag, but when you get to wait on people you care about and who care about you, it hardly feels like work at all.

Don’t Be Like David

I have never participated in dating apps because I’ve been married for almost thirty years. When I was dating back in the mid to late 80s, we had this thing called personal ads in the newspaper and you had to literally read the ad, write a letter, put a stamp on it and then see if they ever wrote back to you.  My most memorable date was when the guy showed up to my apartment wearing acid washed jeans and jacket along with white leather fringe cowboy boots and he took me to Taco Bell, but that’s another blog post. These days, you have to create the perfect profile picture along with a carefully crafted bio and then let people swipe left or right based on a split second decision. If your profile says that you are a server/bartender, that shouldn’t determine whether you’re dateable or not. In the case of Tara, she was told by David, a complete and random starter, that it did make a difference:

While you are drop dead gorgeous a bsrtender [sic]/server drops you to an 8-9. You wanna be a 10 you’re gonna have to step up your game. There are women out there as gorgeous as you sporting engineering degrees and JDs. Just sayin’. But I would still date you.

So I wanna just understand David’s thought process. He’s aimlessly swiping left or right trying to decide if she should either find a date or just spend yet another evening with a bottle of lube, a glass of cheap whiskey and PornHub. Tara’s profile shows up on his screen and even though he finds her attractive enough to date, he still feels the need to disparage her occupation. He doesn’t bother to tell Tara what his occupation is and he doesn’t even feel it necessary to check for any spelling errors. He just sends the message because he’s a man and surely a pretty blond woman like Tara would welcome the helpful feedback, right?

Wrong. Tara wrote him write back:

Wow, now I see COMPLETELY WHY you are 56 years old and single. Having the audacity to say that someone’s occupation defines their value makes it 100% OBVIOUS what a disgusting human being you are. “But you would still date me,” huh?!? Well guess what, I wouldn’t date you, or that mega mole on the side of your OVER INFLATED HEAD!!!!! It’s sad, really; you’re old enough to be my dad and yet you have the mental capacity of a six year old. I could shovel 💩 for a living and would still be a better person than your sorry self. Having a degree don’t make anyone better than anyone else!!! Again, you’re disgusting! 😘

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Tara.

If someone is reading this who is considering what their online dating profile should say, please know that you can put whatever you want. Anyone who judges you for your profession doesn’t deserve to be with you, okay? Maybe people are more apt to swipe a certain way if you say you’re doctor or an attorney, but if seeing that you work in food service makes hem swipe away, you dodged a bullet with that one. Don’t be a David. Be a Tara.

4/19/20 EDIT: A few people have reached out to me to say that David is married. And then someone who claims to be his wife commented wanting to know more information. All i know is what i wrote. I wasn’t trying to dissolve a marriage here. I was just calling someone out for trying to make a server feel bad about being a server. I have removed the larger photo of him, but will leave his original post along with his small profile photo. Damn, this got messy…

Grandma Showers Are a Thing Now

Most of us who work in restaurants have had the extreme pleasure of serving for a baby shower. Baby showers usually happen in the home of the mom-to-be or one of her friend’s, but on occasion, it ends up happening in a restaurant because no one is willing to have a gaggle of women invade their living room so they can play “the candy bar in the diaper” game and serve lame ass mock-tails like Virgin Peach Bellinis and Mother’s Milkshakes. When these unfortunate events do take place in a restaurant, the server is left with a pile of wrapping paper, plastic trinkets that fell out of the goody bag and a measly tip. Well, prepare yourselves, because it has come to my attention that there is now something called a Grandma Shower.

At first, I assumed this was similar to a Baby Shower where women would gather to bring gifts to the future Grandma so she is prepared for her new role. You know, things like bags of caramels and those horrible strawberry candies. Or maybe extra Kleenex that she can stuff up her sleeve for snot emergencies and probably a sweatshirt that says “If Mom Says No, Go Ask Grandma.” Instead of the partygoers cutting a ribbon to guess the girth of a pregnant belly, they would cut one to guess the size of a swollen cankle. But then I had a realization that a Grandma Shower might not be at all what I first assumed it was.

Picture this: A Grandma decides to have a party at Olive Garden, but not just any Olive Garden like that skanky one out by the mall next door to Outback, but the the nice Olive Garden that’s across town near the Super Target.

“Yes, I’d like to make a reservation for fifteen people. I’d like a table toward the back of the restaurant if possible,” Grandma says to the hostess. “And I would suggest you place a sheet of plastic on the carpet if you can.”

“Oh?” asked the hostess. “Will there be a lot of children in this party? Do you need highchairs?”

“No, no children, but it might get a little messy. And I’m gonna need at least ten carafes of water too. I want my guests to stay hydrated. Bye bye, dear.”

Two days later, Grandma shows up to Olive Garden, eager with anticipation for her Grandma Shower. She is disappointed to discover there is not plastic sheet on the carpet. “Oh, well,” she thinks to herself. “You can’t say I didn’t warn them.” She eyes the carafes of water and her skin tingles with excitement at the possibilities if all that liquid.

Moments later, her guests begin to arrive. Most of them are older gentlemen with gray hair and paunchy bellies, one with a walker and two with canes. There is one man who is about 25 years old who saw an ad for this Grandma Shower on craigslist and decided to give it a go. Also in the mix are two women dressed in black leather and holding whips. Grandma can tell this is going to be the best Grandma Shower she has ever hosted. They all find themselves a seat at the table.

“Wow, no plastic sheet,” says a man with a droopy eye and a colostomy bag. Nice.”

In walks their server. “Hi, my name is Alyssa and I’ll be taking care of you today. Can I start anyone off with something to drink?”

“Water,” says the entire party in unison.

“I’ve already set your table with water for everyone-oh… “ she trails off as she notices that all fifteen glasses are already empty. “I’ll refill all your glasses in just a minute. And is anyone in the mood for a never-ending salad?” she asks.

Grandma, sitting at the head of the table laughs. “Oh, there’s about to be plenty of tossed salad, but we don’t need it from the kitchen, dear.” Everyone laughs. “Just bring us some breadsticks for now. And then five orders of Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells, ten orders of Stuffed Ziti Fritta and one Spaghetti and Meatballs, hold the spaghetti but with extra balls.” More laughter.

Alyssa steps out of the room, excited about the automatic gratuity that will be added to the check.

Grandma stands up to greet her guests, arms extended and chin help high. “Welcome to my Grandma Shower. I see you’ve already downed your first glass of water, so well done, my friends, well done.” She gestures to the carafes of water sitting on another table against the wall. “Please, fill yourself up as needed.”

The man with the colostomy bag lifts it high over his head indicating it’s already full.

“Let’s get this shower started!” shouts Grandma.

She gently lowers herself to the ground, careful to not injure her hip, as the men and women gather around her in a circle, walkers and canes included. One by one, the men begin to unzip their pants readying themselves to release fresh streams of warm urine upon their hostess.

Alyssa walks back into the room holding a large oval tray full of warm breadsticks. “Oh my god, what the heck is happening here?” she cries out.

Grandma, lying on her back  with the colostomy bag nestled between her naked breasts, looks over at her. “It’s a Grandma Shower, dear, I told you to lay a plastic sheet down, didn’t I?”

“Face Mask Exempt Cards” Are Not a Thing

There are plenty of cities and states around the country that have made it a requirement to wear a mask or face covering in public as a prevention to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Somehow, the act of taking a precautionary measure has turned political. While I can fully attest that covering my mouth and nose with a piece of fabric is not the most comfortable thing to do in 90° weather, I’m certain that it’s better than being on a ventilator.

You may have seen the above image floating around on the Internet of a “Face Mask Exempt Card” that some stunt queens are undoubtedly trying to use to get out of being a caring, empathetic human being. It’s bullshit and it’s not a legal card. If your restaurant requires customers to wear a mask when entering and someone pulls this laminated piece of shit from their tired ass Ocean Pacific velcro wallet, you can call them out on it. The Department of Justice has released a statement announcing that the cards are fraudulent, as if the misspelling of the word “poses” wasn’t a big enough clue. The card is supposedly from an organization called the Freedom to Breathe Agency, but when you go to their website, it’s basically under construction. When you click any of their social media tabs, it takes to you to the webpage of a website building company, so it’s real official. They claim to be “an extensive group of attorneys, doctors, health practitioners, educators, business owners, CEOs, moms and dads who value their freedom and personal liberty under the Constitution of the United States of America,” but I’m pretty sure it’s just an asshole who Googled how to build a website and then bought a domain name.

Look, if you truly have a medical condition that keeps you from wearing a mask, then by all means don’t wear one. But if you don’t want to wear one because you feel like your civil liberties are being taken away from you, just know that you’re being a selfish, entitled prick. Wearing a mask isn’t going to hurt you and it might even help you. Here in New York City, where hundreds of people a day were dying a few weeks ago, most people are wearing them and you know what? Yesterday, only 13 people in the whole state died. So maybe, just maybe, the masks are helping. Meanwhile in Texas, where my family lives, they are seeing a spike in cases every single day. Houston may be next epicenter even though we in New York have been begging our loved ones in Texas take this more seriously. They didn’t and now they are as scared as we were back in April.

If someone shows up to your restaurant refusing to wear a mask even though they are required to do so, remind them that they also have to wear shoes and shirts and pants to come inside. A restaurant is a private business and they have a right to refuse service to anyone who doesn’t want to abide by the restaurant’s policy. And also ask them why they feel they have a right to jeopardize the health of other people. If I can do my daily run of four miles in the heat of summer while wearing a mask, they can certainly handle wearing one from the hostess stand to the fucking booth they want slide into. If they show you this card, tell them to fuck right off. 

Your Bitchy Waiter Horoscope For the Day

Aries (March 21-April 19)
You are enthusiastic and goal driven, but today will test you. A customer will crush your enthusiasm with their oppressive need for all things in a hurry and your only goal will be to get the fuck out of the restaurant as soon as possible. Make sure you have an extra apron on hand because the stars are pointing toward a major ketchup spill sometime this afternoon.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Heed the warning of the moon today, stubborn bull. You might be focused on making money but the moon has other ideas. Specifically, an idea about one of your customers leaving you a 5% tip even though you gave them perfect service. Brush it off and look to your next table who will more than make up for it. They’ll be a pain in the ass, but worth it. Also, be nice to the kitchen.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Today is a day to put your speaking skills to work because no one in your section is going to know what the hell they want to order even though they will stare at their menus for ten minutes. You know you have two personalities, so use one of them to coax an order from them and then use your other personality to call them a dumbass when you get to the sidestand!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You always like to keep people guessing and today is no different. When your boss asks you how you are, don’t answer. Just smile. And then frown. And then smile again. Your inconsistent nature will win out when your boss stops talking to you which is exactly what you wanted in the first fucking place.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
You know you love yourself, but pull away from the mirror for three minutes to pay attention to a table today who will want to give you a special compliment. Brace yourself, because it’s going to be a backhanded compliment, but take it anyway. And then fart as you walk away.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You do this every day anyway because you like to be organized and analytical, but write down your orders today because someone will question what you serve them. And then you can look at your order pad and say, “No, bitch. I wrote that shit down.” And is that a love interest in the kitchen or just someone who wants you to go get them a Coke?

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Almost everyone gets along with you, Libra, but don’t take that for granted. Beware of a coupon-carrying old man who is going to decide he does not like you when you explain to him that his coupon is just as expired as his right to keep on breathing. Don’t let it get you down. He’ll kick the bucket eventually and then everyone in the world will like you again. Smile even though it’s fake.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Your intense nature will serve you well today when a coworker questions your work ethic. All you need to do in order to answer that question is stare at them, your eyes boring a hole right through their soul until they sulk away like the asshole coward they are. You’re used to treating people with loyalty and kindness, but that person can eat a bag dicks.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Try to get some extra sleep before you go to work today because you will need more than your normally positive outlook to get through the shit show the stars have planned for you today. And if you can’t get in a nap, do a shot of tequila. Seriously. Today is going to suck ass. Call out if you can.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Your active mind and your need to be in control is flying out the window today thanks to Jupiter being all up in Uranus today. Take notice of a customer with blond hair who can change the direction of your day. It might not be the direction you want, but it’s better than what Uranus has in mind.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
It’s a good thing you don’t care what others think about you because someone in your section today plans on writing a shitty Yelp review about you. But then you will characteristically take that opportunity and run with it by sending that bad review to Bitchy Waiter who will consequently rip them a new asshole. Lucky number: 9!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You are a very good friend and an even better listener, but you will not want to hear what one of your tables is going to want to order today. They won’t look at the menu and they will be allergic to every single thing you have to offer. Fear not. The walk-in is your friend. Go in there and scream until you feel better and then go serve that bitch a bowl of ice cubes.

If Your Birthday Is Today
Big fucking deal. What do you expect, a free dessert or a bunch of random strangers to stand around and sing to you? Nobody cares about your birthday except you and a few friends of yours who will call you or text you out of obligation. Happy birthday.

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Girl Loots Cheesecake Factory to Change the World

America has found her new hero when it comes to standing up for racial inequality. Step aside, Martin Luther King, Jr. Have a seat, Rosa Parks. We have a brand new figure who will go down in history for doing more for racial discord than any other human being the world has ever known. When a small fraction of protestors in downtown Seattle turned to rioting and looting last week, a Cheesecake Factory was among those businesses affected. It wasn’t long before a local news crew caught this unnamed hero casually walking down the street with an entire cheesecake in her hand along with what appears to be a couple of wine glasses. While other protesters were carrying signs that said ‘I can’t breathe” or marching in honor of the life of George Floyd who was murdered by police in Minneapolis, this woman did something that really mattered: she stole a cheesecake. But who is this masked avenger? Where did she muster the courage to do something so very brave and so very important?

I wanted to know who this woman was, so I did some Internet sleuthing to find out. (No, I didn’t)  After days and days of exhaustive research, I finally tracked her down. (Again, I did not do this.) I reached out to her and she agreed to answer a few questions. (Once more, not true.)

Bitchy Waiter: Thanks so much for agreeing to talk to me.

Samantha: Thank you for reaching out. My name is Samantha.

BW: So, tell me, what exactly happened that day in downtown Seattle?

S: Well, I went down there to protest. I totally believe in black lives matter and all that and I just  wanted to, you know, be a part of it.

BW: Can you explain what you mean by “it?”

S: Ummm…

BW: Do you mean that you wanted the world to know that you can no longer tolerate the injustices that happen in this country to people of color and that too many police officers are killing black men and women and then not paying the price for their actions?

S: I guess so.

BW: And did you want to expose the hypocrisy of our nation in the sense that two weeks ago white people were storming capitol buildings to protest the fact that they couldn;t get haircuts or go to restaurants and while protesting they were holding semi-automatic rifles yet police officers never once used tear gas or rubber bullets on any them? And then this week when thousands more people are protesting for the rights of a black man who was killed by a white cop for allegedly using a counterfeit bill the police seem to have no problem using tear gas and rubber bullets?

S: Sure, that.

BW: And how did the cheesecake end up in your hands and why?

S: Oh, well I was walking by the Cheesecake Factory and people were breaking the windows and everything and I was like, hey, I like cheesecake.

BW: So you just took a fucking cheesecake?

S: And two wine glasses.

BW: And how the fuck is that helping anyone who is out there peacefully protesting in an effort to make change?

S: It has strawberries too.

BW: Look, I’m glad you’re out there raising your voice because if enough people raise their voices loud enough maybe eventually someone will fucking hear them, but taking a cheesecake is diluting the effort of literally thousands and thousand of people and I can’t imagine that the family of George Floyd would want you to steal a cheesecake in his name.

S: Who’s George Floyd?

BW: Get the fuck outta here, girl.

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Please note: This is fucking satire.