Sunday, February 24, 2008

what's your name

I've been at Toro for 8 hours now and I know the evening is no where near through. I'm exhausted.

It's not Toro's fault. It's frankly my own, for choosing a career path that has me working 2 jobs to make ends meet, and way too many hours in the past week. Still, I'm beat. We're working a private party hosted by Island Creek Oysters, who are throwing an event for all of their best customers in honor of this weekend's seafood show. It's been easy & I'd never complain about hosting these guys, hippie/visionaries that they are. But I'm tired, and when my manager pours me a glass of albarino, it seems a delicious present designed to thank me for what has become a very long night.

"Hi, what's your name?" one of the party guests asks as he makes his was over to me. I can tell by his glassy eyes that he's had just enough alcohol this evening to want to try and flirt.

"I'm Kitty," I say, "Nice to meet you."

"Hi Katie," he says, "Nice to meet you."

"No, not Katie," I say with a shudder, "Kitty. Like as in a small cat."

"Oh, Kitty," he says.

"Yes," I say, "Kitty. You know, like a baby cat."

"Oh, I understand," he says boastfully, as thought he 'got it' from the very beginning. "I'm very familiar with the Kitty," he says. "I like to pet the Kitty."

I squint my eyes at him. Did he really just say that? "Well that was inappropriate," I say. But I continue to talk to him. I feel I have to in a way, because I am still at my waitressing job. Because I love these Island Creek guys and want them to have a good party. I know in my mind that if I ever felt even the slightest bit uncomfortable with how a guest treated me, my feminist manager would back me up in a second. But I still feel as though I need to make this perfect stranger's wildly lame and inappropriate comment sound...a little less terrible for everyone involved.

I wonder if I'll ever have the kind of job where I don't have to do this: make other people feel better about the fact that they are behaving badly? Or if this kind of thing my destiny as a kind, empathetic person.

And I wonder -- how many people out there have had to extend the same generosity of spirit to me?

(Perhaps I should forward that query to the Rabbi?)


Braised and Confused said...

i feel u kitty...i have a hard enough time figuring out what defines ends meet now and sure if we really broke it down its probably something less tangible than we recognize, which makes all of that which we call 'work' superflous, but until we find out what it really means, rents high, the economys in the tubes and drinks are $10 in this town, no? maybe 'the ends' change with time, and someday we'll get by on less, and be as happy (if not more), and not have to work tedious sundays at toro...someday, maybe...


Anonymous said...

Hi Kitty,

HA! I have to deal with this all the time. I teach high school and all these crazy 14-17 year olds seem to think they can make a comment like this and it will just slide by unnoticed by their 28 year old, very youthful, very bright Spanish teacher. Ay ay ay!!