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?)