Thursday, July 27, 2006

more toro blondes

Last night I worked the door at Toro again for my friend Alyssa. (They're hiring, by the way. She needs a host bad. If you're cool & competent, you should check it out.) After the dinner rush died but before I was free to go home, I had a considerable amount of time during which my job was to stand there and do nothing, look pretty, and say "hello, how are you?" to customers as they came and "thank you, goodnight!" as they went. I was tired and my feet hurt and I wanted nothing more than to go home. However, when you work as a host, they pay you by the hour, so it was truly in my best interest to stay on the clock til the bitter end of my shift. So, in the interest of making myself look a) busy (Toro wants to be getting their money's worth) and b) in charge (people always mistake hosts for managers--I allow them to do this until they have a complaint or a problem, at which point I simply explain that I'm nothing more than a hostess), I decided to count the number of blondes in the restaurant at that moment.

DATE: July 26, 2006
TIME: Approx 9:23

Of the 39 women in the restaurant at that point, 19 of them were blonde. So, fifty percent of the total female population, or, 1 in 2.

As I counted, I wanted my mission to remain truly undercover--I was in no mood to explain my research or my methodology. I made my way through the restaurant, circling thru the room slowly like a blonde-seeking shark. I made my face into the blankest canvas possible, a clean yet appraising mask, and took the room in as though I were on some sort of very managerial, very important mission. In reality, I was scoping out all the other women in the room.

There were young blondes: a girl who looked maybe 23 on a date with her handsome, muscular boyfriend. They were generally a handsome couple. She had a sweet, innocent face, a stylish haircut, and seemed flattered that I was being so welcoming to them. She wore designer jeans and looked demureand cute.

There were blondes in their mid-30s: a woman on a date with her boyfriend or husband or what have you. They both wore white pants, not in a clueless European way, but in a "we're a cute, in love couple who looks hot in everything we do" way. And also in a "her boyfriend might be gay but he kinda looks like Clive Owen, so can you really blame her for trying?" kinda way. She was cool, poised, had bare, tan shoulders and was kind.

There was a bitchy blonde, a girl/woman who was most likely 28 or 29, who was so snotty to the manager Adam when he told her that we don't have a valet, I thought he just might tackle her ("Well, where am I supposed to park???" I suggested he direct her to the closest project, three blocks away.) She kept her sunglasses on well after dusk, and waved her stupid Louis Vuitton bag around as though it gave her carte blanche to be a bitch. I have no doubt in my mind that Adam couldn't have picked a Louis Vuitton bag out of a line up if his life depended on it. They weren't speaking the same language: he doesn't speak bags and she only speaks bitch. She was a bit heavier, which I think also made her act competitive towards me. (Who doesn't hate it when "the help" looks better than they do?)

There were middle aged blondes: two thin women in their 40s, looked like they might be from the South Shore, both wearing white pants and black tops, looking a little too tan, even in the low, forgiving light. Their hair was super, super light, and one of them looked like her hair had been damaged, it was so frizzy and friend looking: borderline..dare I say it...trashy. They both looked to be a 10 or 11 on the lightness scale. Too light for them. (Too light for me?)

There were older blondes: a blonde in her later 40s, whose cheeks turned pink with her first sip of alchohol, who was short and nicely dressed like a work appropriate soccer mom, but whose outfit still involved somewhat awkward looking shorts. She looked vulnerable as she sat down at the bar alone to wait for her three friends, but who lit up like a firefly as soon as the first friend arrived.

I watched these women, calculating their age, studying their blondeness: are they really naturally blonde? I studied their roots, their layers, their highlights and lowlights. And I'm almost 100% positive that not one of the 19 goldilocks were naturally so. And as I looked them all over it occured to me: they all looked as though they were trying. Trying to be something, making effort to appear a certain way. In that moment I realized that they all all undercover blondes.

When I woke up this morning I realized that I calculated wrong last night. There were 20 blondes in the restaurant, making it 51% of total blondes in Toro at 9:23 on Wednesday, July 28th. I forgot to include myself: a 20-something blonde, perched at the door in a tasteful but sexy dress, trying to look nonchalant as she ignores the imploring gaze of the 2 men who've been staring at her all night long, shifting her weight from left foot to right foot, back and forth from left hip to right hip, in a what appears to be a sexually charged gesture, but is actually an attempt to soothe her aching feet, in her stupid high heeled shoes. She tryies very hard to be something she thinks she's not. She wonders if anyone will notice.

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