I approach table 48, cocotte of beef short ribs in hand.
"Here you folks go," I say, "the short ribs. Be careful, the plate's hot." The man with his back to me swivels in his chair, looks up.
"What?" he laughs, incredulously.
"Beef short ribs..." I start to explain. Sometimes people forget what they order, and I'm more than happy to explain when they do.
"I mean, Jesus," he says. "Boy, are you ugly." He takes a sip of cava. "AND you have bad skin..."
I survey the scene. Three well-groomed, handsome older men, one of whom has excellent posture. One bottle of rose cava, 5/8 empty. Sarcastic tone. Floppy body language. Something tells me this is cava bottle #2....
Could this be a table of fabulously catty, boozy gay men, here to brighten up my night?
"I mean, are you really that pretty? I bet you've got a great boyfriend, too," he spits out the words, coy smile buried beneath feigned cruelty. His guests look on, a mixture of drunk, and embarrassed, and in full agreement. "And you're in a totally great relationship. Do you have a great boyfriend, sweetheart? Are you in a great relationship??"
"Mm-hmm," I nod, shrugging my shoulders, like the luckiest girl in the Brady family. "And he's rich, too." I smile.
"And look, there's the smile. Just look at that smile. You've gotta be kidding me."
"Yeah," I say, "totally rich." I shrug again, as the fact that only good things ever happen to me is one of life's great puzzles.
"Bitch," he says.
"I know," I say. "I try."
MLK Day celebraters, how did you spend your special Sunday?