Saturday, May 31, 2008

an open letter to pretentious people everywhere

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am contacting you today to broach a topic of great concern. It is very sensitive in nature, and I'm pretty sure you won't want to hear what I'm about to say. I hate to be the one to break it to you, and I apologize if this sounds harsh, but it must be said:

You are pretentious.

I am not the only person who thinks so - wouldn't bring it up at all if I was. This evening I waited on you and it ruined my night. When I lamented the situation to my colleagues, all of them understood and had similar stories to share. You have sat in their sections and ruined their evenings before. We have all waited on you and we all were left feeling belittled, frustrated, and irritated to have you there.

Why? Because you are pretentious. And patronizing. And rude. You have ruined the nights of several people whom I know and love, patient, hard working, accepting people. So, I think it's time that someone brought that to your attention.

So how did it get to be like this? What made you this way? Our interaction left me wondering about your upbringing, your past, and the upbringings of pretentious people everywhere. Were you born this way, impatient, full of entitlement? Or did your family and your upbringing make you so? Maybe you're a member of that elite upper class, the one that holds 1/5 of the nation's wealth. If that's the case you probably somehow literally own me, or own Toro, or own the South End or something. Perhaps sitting on a pile of money all of your life is what makes you feel better than the rest of us? It's hard not to look down on people from such great heights, bathed in the perfume of so much green paper.

Maybe you actually are better than the rest of us. Maybe you're a genius, some sort of proven and highly regarded scientist or doctor or lawyer. Maybe you're a surgeon and people literally live and die by your hand; maybe you're a judge and you literally define the laws as we know them; maybe you're an innovative scientist who is literally moments from finding a cure for cancer. If that's the case I guess I can see how you might begin to fancy yourself a God, how it might be a total drag to walk amongst us humans, and how ruining my petty little night might seem like a drop in the existential bucket.

Or maybe you're overcompensating for some horrible trauma that occurred in your young life. Maybe you were unloved as a child: your parents paid no attention and your siblings treated you like dirt and your life has been one long journey towards proving them wrong. I bet they can still get under your skin even now, still belittle your accomplishments and achievements with one strategically muttered comment. Who knows, maybe I wear my hair in the same style as your verbally abusive older sister; maybe you were hard-wired to hate me on first sight. If that's the case I find your behavior much more understandable, by the way.

I invite a psychologist to weigh in here about what makes people act patronizing and rude. Are they overcompensating? Have they an over-inflated sense of self importance? And what about people who actually are important and don't act this way? The Mathematician is a good example: he's literally a genius, with a higher IQ than most standard estimates of Einstein's. Yet he's the most humble person I know.

Anyway, back to you, pretentious Sir/Madam. I wanted to bring this issue up tonight because it occurred to me that you might have no idea how you are, how you act, and how you've made a fair number of people in the world feel. You ruined my night. You broke it. And you left me a shitty tip on top of that, which was exactly what I expected from you but nonetheless insulting. I wanted to bring it up because I just thought you should know, and it occurred to me that no one may have ever told you the truth: you're pretentious and have a talent for ruining people's nights.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss this issue at greater length, please don't hesitate to be in touch. In the meantime, I hope to never see you again in my section but have a feeling I will, probably as soon as tomorrow evening.

Until then,
Kitty, the Stupid Waitress

Friday, May 30, 2008

forbidden frutti del mare

So, the Mathematician has gout. It's a weird old mannish condition caused by high uric acid levels in the blood, back from the middle ages to haunt him.

Because of this the Mathematician can't eat many of things that he loves, like pate or organ meat really, lobster, shrimp and crab, of any crustaceans, certain fatty fish like anchovies - the list goes on and on. Tonight we sampled oysters, seafood, and rose at B&G Oysters in the South End. Here's a glimpse, a la East Coast Girl, of what our relationship looks like from the inside:

ME: (Spying a dish on it's way from the kitchen to someone else's table) I want that lobster roll. Look at it. I know what it tastes like: awesome.
MATHEMATICIAN: Well then get it, baby.
ME: No, you can't have it. Besides, we already ordered bivalves.
MATHEMATICIAN: No, go ahead and enjoy it -- don't let me hold you back.
ME: That's kinda mean, don't you think? And I prefer to share anyway.
MATHEMATICIAN: No, I want you to enjoy yourself. Don't let me get in the way just because I can't have that. I can enjoy vicariously through you. Kind of like watching you hook up with a girl.
(I furrow my brow.)
MATHEMATICIAN: You know, I'd like it and I'd like to watch. And I might totally want to join in, but I can't. It's verboten.
(I narrow my eyes.)
MATHEMATICIAN: You don't like my analogies do you?
ME: No, no, I think you're right on the money.

Look out, Lobster Roll. I've got your number.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

my new work spouse

Tonight a man in an eggshell colored suit waved me over from the bar to compliment me on my hair. '"I have to say, it suits you perfectly," he soliloquized. "Where do you get it cut, somewhere around here? It's beautiful, it's fabulous.

I assumed he was gay, but should have thought twice about it I suppose. As he sat there at the bar and got drunker and drunker, I noticed that each time I walked by, he kept looking at me. Eventually, after imbibing enough alcohol to be *truly* bold, he waved me over, out of my way, to tell me he 'had to tell me something': "I don't want to interrupt your work so come over again when you have a second, okay?" he said. Sure thing.

About an hour later I noticed that same man talking to Juanito at the bread table. They were conversing very quickly in Spanish - I suspect I know what this is about, I thought. Really? Tonight? Does this have to be happening to me tonight? The problem is, I really know only one way to diffuse situations like this, when the drunk man decides it's time to hit on the waitress: act flattered but not TOO flattered, lest drunk guy misinterprets your body language and decides that you love him back; politely explain that I'm not interested because I have a boyfriend but imply - obligatorily, mind you - that if I wasn't taken I'd love to share a drink because he's quite a catch!; and generally just smile and nod the whole damn time trying to pretend that I don't want to just crawl into a hole and die of embarrassment.

But when he walked away so did Juan, as though nothing had happened at all. Huh, maybe tonight I'm off the hook? I thought.

Fifteen minutes later, Juan came up to me and said, "Mona, that guy over there are Bar 4 says he is in love with you."

"Juanito, did you tell him you are my boyfriend and you're going to kick his ass if he doesn't stop staring at me?"

Juan said no, but I encouraged him to, in the future, tell people we're married when situations like this arise. Juanito jjust laughed at me, but I totally want him to be my work spouse.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

my television debut

I've become very forgetful in the past six months or so. It's strange, and very unlike me.

I'm a Virgo, okay? We're anal. And I'm a publicist, a writer, and a waitress. Each of these roles requires -- no, demands -- sharp faculties of memory. If you can't recall basic details, how can you make sure your clients have everything they need for their upcoming interviews? If you can't describe detail, you probably can't master that basic "show don't tell" part of good writing. And if you can't remember what dishes/drinks your table ordered, in addition to remembering to bring the items to the table, check on their enjoyability, refill them when they are empty, etc, etc, you are probably a miserable excuse for a waitress. So yeah, having a good memory has always been on my shortlist of strong skills.

You could even say I take this memory for granted. Forgetful people, the type who are forever losing their keys, leaving their wallet at home, forgetting their purse in a taxi, or have to use a passport to get into bars since they haven't seen their driver's license since 2002 elude me. Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are forgetful people: they forget appointments, run late, forget to call, don't do their homework, get locked out of the house, time and again. And I bail them out, patiently. But I have never understood how these loved ones get by in the world in spite of this basic impediment to their functionality. "How did you throw your keys in the trash can AGAIN???" I'd think, totally perturbed, while rummaging up to my elbows in garbage helping Camilla look for her car keys. "How is this possible? How have you done this three times since January???" No one needs to be shamed when they're down, so I always kept these thoughts to myself. But still...I mean, really? You threw your keys in the trash?

Then, suddenly, starting sometime this March, I became very spacey. It happened suddenly, without warning. I have taken to leaving my ATM card behind me every which way I go, like a little Hansel & Gretel trail of breadcrumbs: at the Franklin, at Pho Pasteur, in various ATM machines -- a nice security guard chased me down the street and gave it back to me last time i did that. I thanked him profusely, as I had only just gotten the new card in the mail the day before. You could blame the booze for the night at the Franklin, but every other time I've made this error, I've been sober.

Like today. When I left the house to go to work and completely forgot to put on make-up. I managed to get tinted moisturizer on my face, and to get out the door sporting my laptop, my work uniform, my purse, and two pieces of organic fruit to snack on later -- but that's where my preparedness for the day ended. There was no eyeliner, no eye shadow, and no mascara. When I was a dark brunette I needed lots of make-up to make myself look presentable -- eyeliner on top & bottom lids, lots of shadow, lip gloss or lip stick every day -- because the color made my skin look so washed out. As a blonde it doesn't take much for me to look like a normal human being, but still -- I never leave the house without at least putting mascara, unless I'm going to yoga or across the street to Francesca's for coffee. Without it on I feel totally naked, like I just left the house and realized, "Ooops, I forgot to put on my shirt!"

For a hot minute I thought this would be fine: "Who cares? It's just Toro, right? It's dark in there all the time anyway."

wWrong. When I got to Toro today, I was promptly informed that my naked face in all it's exposed glory was going to be on TV. "A show called Local Flavor hosted by Master Sommelier Andrea Immer, is be coming in to tape a segment," my manager said. "They're going in your section, you're their waitress."

Fortunately I'd had time to duck into the ghetto Walgreen's on Washington and buy some Maybelline Great Lash on the way from PR job to waitressing job. Still, I'm quite confident that in the harsh glow of the TV lights my eyes looked beady and small, my skin looked flush and blotchy from nerves, and all the rest of me looked fat, what with the camera adding ten pounds and my PMS adding five of its own to the cause.

So much for my "big break." One can only hope that my natural charm shined through as I smiled like Miss America and spoke emotively about each of the dishes I served to hosts Andrea and John: "These are the gaaaa-mbas al ajiiii-llo" [nodding knowingly, reassuringly]; "This is the mai-iiiz, the corn, the specialty of the house -- be sure to squeeze the lime over the dish before you dig in" [like their personal corn cheerleader]

You can look for the segment on Delta flights nationwide, and I'll be sure to let you know once it's up on the web.

This may be the only fifteen minutes I get, after all blotchy skin & beady eyes notwithstanding.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Can I defer today's blog thought for the day to the wisdom shared here by the indomitable East Side Girl? To paraphrase that wisdom:

So maybe there is no "early" or "late" or "on time." Maybe there's just time, and how I deal with that is up to me.

It's a concept I've been working hard to get my own head around lately -- the yoga helps a lot. Apparently, I'm not the only one.

Lots of love and support going out to you in New York, East Side Girl...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Two parties, two rounds of "Toro corn", and one "say something hat" later...

After catching up with friends all day long, the one theme I can relay for the day, professionally, is...

be careful what you wish may just get it.

Hope you all had relaxing, rose filled, fabulous days. I sure did.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

waitressing nightmare

If you work in the service industry you have them. You know what I mean.

Those dreams where you're working and your night starts off fine, maybe a little slow, even. You're bored, you're happy; you're thinking about what you'll do when you get cut early since it's slow. You put on suntan lotion while walking around outside today and the lingering smell reminds you that summer is finally here: it makes you feel like you're on vacation.

Then, all of a sudden the night picks up. Your section is full, as is that half section you're covering because it's Sunday and you're running on skeleton staff. You keep getting sat table after table -- "but I'll be fine," you think, "one big push I can handle. Then you glance at the clock and realize: it's on;y 7:40.

8 o'clock comes. You realize you might not make it through the night alive.

By 9:40 you've flipped your section three times -- the entire section, all ten tables -- and there is no end in sight. People keep streaming in the door and waiting -- actually waiting -- even though the manager tells them it will be at least 45 minutes for a table and the kitchen closes at 10:15. The kitchen has run out of pretty much everything. Every time you place an order, you have to go back to said table and tell them their chosen dish is all gone. Your bartender lost your last three drink tickets. And all five of the pens you came to work with have gone missing.

Sound familiar? Sound like a waitressing nightmare?

Well, that is exactly what happened at Toro tonight. Let's hope that stays in reality tonight, and that I can have some peace this evening when I sleep.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

on vacation today...

I am a freelancer and I have to work at Toro tomorrow night but it still feels like a lovely, long holiday weekend, doesn't it? Maybe it's the weather.

Hope you're all enjoying it too!

Friday, May 23, 2008

you're so full of yourself

Today someone left a comment on this blog, accusing me of being "full of myself."

I of course deleted it instantly and sent a note to the principals at the law firm associated with that commenter's IP address alerting them that one of their staff had been offensively spamming me, imploring them to search their employee computers and to put a stop to said spamming post haste. Were they aware that a member of their staff was harassing me via web when they should be upholding "the law"?

No I didn't. But I should have. Anyway...

I eschew rude comments from the blog-o-sphere for the most part, usually, but this particular accusation had me concerned today.

"Full of myself? Really?" I thought. I don't think of myself as full of myself -- I think of myself as self-effacing, humble, and obsequioues, often to a doormat-like fault. Have I somehow since I began writing this blog become a different person?

I decided to turn to the only person I know/have in my life who can really anyswer questions of perspective like this; the only person who, without fail, will never inflate my ego; the one person I can count on to be brutally honest to me in all facets of my life:

My twin brother. He's kind of mean in this respect, but that's because he always speaks truth.

"Am I full of myself???" I texted him, hours ago.

Still no response. Perhaps his neurosurgery rotation is keeping him busy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

even better

Tonight Biss came to pick up Coco at work and this is what he said when he saw me:

"Kitty, every time I see you, your hair looks better and better!"

What a fun compliment to receive after a long day and night. I think we picked a winner with the short, curly 'do.

And to think, I have a year old Anthropologie catalogue to thank for the inspiration.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

my suspicions confirmed...

I found out yesterday while chatting with my good friend/the GM of Toro that the following conversation took place in my absence on Saturday night.

BAR MANAGER: "So, I guess a band called 'Maroon 5' is coming in tonight. Have you ever hear of them?"
GENERAL MANAGER: "Oh, really? I didn't know they were in town. Huh. Kitty knows one of those guys, you know. Is she the one who called for them? Or was it their manager or something?"
BAR MANAGER: "No, it was Kitty. And lucky for them, 'cause I wouldn't have taken their reservation otherwise. I don't know who the F*** they are."

Well, there it is.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

why there's no post tonight...

...because there was a LUPEC meeting. At said meeting there were several hours of shared hat dress up & posing for pics on the Triumph Bonneville.

I wore an Indiana Jones hat and a safari dress. Where's YOUR costume?

And I got a ride home from a member of DUDE-PEC in his sweet muscley-Porsche.

Pictures to follow...a good time was had by all.

Monday, May 19, 2008

graduation day

Sunday was graduation day for my best friend (and half the student population of the city of Boston.) It got me thinking that if all the irons I currently have in the fire grow cold, I might decide to go back to school. The Baby Boomer generation used higher education as a means of avoiding the draft -- why not employ it in a similar fashion to avoid the current economic slump?

I could take out lots and lots of loans, attend school someplace impossibly exclusive, and study something totally self-indulgent with no practical application to my day-to-day civilian life. Then, I'd start working terms like "dominant paradigm", "social construction of [INSERT NOUN HERE]" and "deconstruct" into as many conversations as possible. I would spent lots of time pondering intersections of race, class, and gender and how they serve to stratify us all the time, in all facets of our existence.

I would pop out X number of years later UBER-educated and a bit pretentious with virtually no marketable skills.

Oh wait, a minute -- been there, done that. It was called "undergrad."

(xoxo to all the fellow Sarah Lawrence grads who TOTALLY get what I'm saying...)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

ghosts of relationships past

Yesterday afternoon the Ex called me to ask if I could hold a table at Toro that evening for an old friend of his who was coming to town. The Ex knows Toro does not take reservations and on weekends it's nearly impossible to get in...unless you know someone.

"Of course," I said. I'd do that for any of his friends. The friend in question also happens to be the guitarist of Maroon 5, making the reservation that much more interesting in a celeb-starved town like Boston.

The band arrived right on time for their reservation, dined, and had an excellent meal (or so I was told; I wasn't there.) Other guests at neighboring tables were appropriately star-struck. Sweethearts that they are, the band offered us all tickets to this evening's show -- I'm pretty sure they had a blast.

I passed on the show tickets because I had to work tonight, though there was a time when I'd have found a way to go to the concert, come hell or high water. Back then it would have been at the Agganis Arena, not the Tweeter Center. And before that, they'd have played at the Paradise, or even Harper's Ferry. In fact, I first met the Ex's friend back when the band had a record deal but were still relatively unknown on the East Coast, nomads living on a modest stipend and per-diem (though we all knew those days would be short-lived.) Their tour bus was a bit more humble then. I can only imagine what their digs look like now.

As my relationship with the Ex declined, the band's star just rose and rose.

My Ex called me after the reservation was finalized to say thanks. "It's no trouble," I told him, "I love those guys, and I love all of your friends. In fact, now that James is coming through town I've officially seen all of your old friends in the past two weeks." His best friend was in town last week avec girlfriend, as well as another old friend, also a total figment of our previous life as a couple. They all even stayed with the Mathematician and I at the apartment we share...a very real embodiment of our present (and future) life as a couple.

It's all had me in a very weird head space lately, but feeling thankful and happy that those pleasant relationships I spent years forming alongside with Ex don't have to shrivel up and blow away, just because the Ex and I are no longer. I'm sure the band would have had no trouble getting a table anywhere in the city, but the Ex still called me to broker the deal. It warms my heart that he did; it would have been weird if he hadn't.

Then again, this is Toro we're talking about. On Saturday no less. I may very well have been their only hope.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

nine years difference

My best friend pointed out to me last night that I used to have this exact same haircut almost when I was in college. She is correct. See below.

Me, circa 1999...

Me, circa now, 2008.

The same haircut, really. Yet so, so different.

Nine years different.

Friday, May 16, 2008

NKOTB reunion tour...

It's hard to believe this is happening.

I checked out their Today show performance online with every intention of making fun of it. Instead, it made my little heart swell with nostalgia.

I guess somewhere deep down inside I am still that chubby little girl with a Jersey accent and feathered bangs dragging around a tiny pink boom box and listening to "Hangin' Tough" over and over again on full blast.

And Tiffany. I also loved Tiffany.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

picture worth a 1000 words

What is actually happening: I am enjoying a lovely, pleasant evening talking to Evan (left) and seven other unpictured guests at the World Cocktail Day celebration at Green Street. The photographer seems to have captured a different story altogether.

Your creative writing assignment: Write a caption that explains what's happening in the story/scene below. I invite you to post them in the comments section, the more creative the better.

Here are a few that came immediately to mind:

THE BLONDE: Oh dear, how long did Cleve threaten to lecture us on the history and origins of Chartreuse?


THE BLONDE: This young man is awfully cute, but I wish he'd stop talking to me about his truck...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The birth of a column...

The LUPEC Boston column was born today! Look for it from now 'til the end of time each week in print in the Weekly Dig in the Boston area, or here if you live too far afield. Authorship will be shared amongst the LUPEC gals; this first foray into print was penned by yours truly, Pink Lady.

That's right, in addition to being the Undercover Blonde, I also get to be the Pink Lady, Kitty, and every bastardization of my given name (Kirsten, pronounced K-eer-sten to rhyme with beer & queer) under the sun: K-hur-sten, Kristen, Kristine, Katie, and so on.)

Cin-cin, readers!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a new haircut... like a new friend.

You like said friend a lot at first, otherwise you never would have pursued a friendship with them in the first place. Sometimes, you think it may even be love. But for the most part, the first few weeks are spent testing each other out; trying each other on for size, seeing what fits & what works.

Today, we tried a roller set. Like an old lady, I exited the shower and put my locks directly into rollers.

Behold the fruits of my labor:
What do we think? Do we like it?

I think so...

Monday, May 12, 2008

blonde thoughts...

For the first time in a while, I can't think of my own. Here are a few I found through the magic of the Internets...

"If you can't change your surroundings, change your hair color."
- Brittany Murphy

"Just standing around looking beautiful is so boring, really boring, so boring."
- Michelle Pfeiffer

"Its great being blonde, with such low expectations its easy to impress."
- Pamela Anderson

Sunday, May 11, 2008

isn't it humanizing for us all?

"Kitty, Table 43 says you are very famous. They want to speak to you, to shake your hand if you can take the time," Cynthia tells me as I'm ringing in an order.

"What? Cinthyia, what are you talking about?"

"They said you are in a magazine and your blog is famous and is known everywhere, maybe all over the world."

"Oh, I get it. You're totally teasing me. Are you teasing me?" I say.

"No, no I am not! How would I know to tease you about this, I didn't read. Go! Go say hello. He comes in all the time and he's so nice! Say hello!"

So I do, and Table 43 is nice. Turns out he is friends with one of the three people who were seated at this table several nights ago. We chat for a moment and he is so sweet, friendly, and full of kind words about my blog that it warms the cockles of my bitter waitress heart. As I walk away from the table to leave them in peace, I can't help but think: How humanizing. Every night I create these vignettes of experience and throw them like messages in a bottle out into the cyber-ether. I can hardly believe when someone finds them and actually reads them. And filling in the blanks with a face to face meeting? How truly lovely.

He didn't have any further answers for me as to who "the Boss" is. But that's okay. I rather like that the mystery lives on...

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Do you know what an amazing feat it is for a restaurant to be open and successful for more than 10 years? Tonight I met two girlfriends for dinner at the Franklin Cafe, a restaurant that has been open since 1996, and has been so many thing to me since I first crossed the threshold.

On my first visit I was just 19 years old, out for drink after a busy shift at my very first waitressing job. The Franklin was one of the two places in city the where I could drink without getting carded, and this only because I was accompanied by James, Molly, and Scott, all of whom were 2 - 15 years my senior. It was new and exciting and dangerous, trying to slip under the radar and drink underage: what a the thrill, to not get caught.

Six months later the Franklin was the site of my first formative culinary experience. We didn't go out to eat often when I was growing up, and I certainly didn't grow up in a "foodie" household. If we ever did dine out the restaurant was either really, really casual, like a glorified diner, or really, really fancy, in which case I thought it imperative to order French onion soup or shrimp cocktail, and filet mignon. At 19 I learned about a whole new world of food: "New American" cuisine and "upscale dining", the cuisine that comes between simple and fancy, expensive for a 19-year-old out to dinner for her first big girl meal, but a drop in the bucket for the urban young professional. I had my first meal of this sort at the Franklin: black pepper encrusted tuna steak over garlic mashed potatoes with greens and citron blanc, so perfectly seasoned, salty, and delicious. I can still taste it. The food was as delicious and dangerous as the underage drinks -- after all, I was eating tuna that wasn't cooked.

Three years later, after a failed attempt at a life in New York post 9/11 I moved back to Boston with my then fiance, the Ex. We drank at the Franklin almost every Saturday night with friends, he as a last stop on his evening tour of the city, I as a first stop after a long crazy waitressing shift. It became the automatic, the go to place. For a while I even went on Thursday and Sunday nights as well. We celebrated one (of five anniversaries) there.

Then, two and a half years ago there was the break-up, as much a break-up with aforementioned friends as it was with the Ex. I began dating the Mathematician, who doesn't drink so much: I too stopped drinking so much. I changed jobs, changed relationships, changed all my patterns. Every single thing about my life changed, but on the occasion that I did want to go out for late night dinner or drink after a busy Saturday night at the restaurant, the Franklin was the spot, there as always like an old friend, more an old friend than the friends I lost (along with all of the furniture and the All-Clad pans) in "the divorce."

Fast forward to tonight. The Franklin has gotten two face lifts since I used to sneak in there underage and drink my face off with James, Molly, and Scott. Many of the staff have changed, but Jodi happened to be behind the stick tonight, manning her old post. I excused myself to go to the bathroom and while applying lip gloss in the familiar mirror, had a total Franklin moment. Same old tiny bathroom. Same itty bitty sink. Same music pumping through the speakers into the bathroom, something James used to love, that I learned to hear and love, too. Suddenly I realized: drinks and dinner at the Franklin felt more familiar and comfortable than they would have in my own kitchen.

So tonight, I have to thank you Franklin, just for being there. For being consistent and delicious for over a decade, more stable than my own life. I hope I'm still gazing into the same mirror to apply my lip gloss and washing my hands in your tiny sink for years to come.

Friday, May 09, 2008

short hair vs. long hair

"Hola, Kitty," Luis says as I approach him on the stoop where he is basking in the sun, enjoying a few quiet moments before work.

"Hola, como estas?" I say.

"Bien, bien," he says. "Y Tu?" Then gasps -- "Oh! Kitty, what did you do? What happened to your hair?"

Funny, Tony, the Brazilian drag queen/busser who used to call me Barbie said the exact same thing when I dyed my hair dark brown last winter. Whereas Luis' voice is low-pitched and gravely, Tony screamed out his sentiments like a lady who'd seen a mouse. In any case, I didn't expect to hear the same thing, verbatim, from the very straight, very masculine Colombian waiter Luis.

His reaction did, however, offer me an interesting new data point to plug into my theory about what Latin American men like best: not only does Luis prefer blondes, or monas, he also prefers long haired monas.

I also find it interesting that the Colombians I know have no qualms about telling you when they don't like how you've changed your look. I don't think Americans are as honest in this regard, at least not to a person's face. I'm just saying, no American has come right out and told me: your hair looked better long. Not yet, anyway.

I challenge which ever one of you who'd like to mess with me next to write THAT on a charge slip next time I wait on you at Toro. Then I will truly have been had.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

are you messing with me, people?

I'm beginning to think that people who happen to have read this thing are coming in to Toro and fucking with me, perhaps in an effort to see if I'll actually end up writing about them. This may sound paranoid and nutty, but I have had some weird interactions lately that have led me to this conclusion. Examples:

#1: Last week a perfect stranger left me a 100% tip for no reason. I was slammed when they sat down so there wasn't much time for sweet talk, though I was courteous, cordial, and attentive as time would allow. I was also, I'll have you know, in a REALLY bad mood that afternoon, so likely overcompensating for my internal demons with a big fake publicist/waitress I'm-pretending-that-I-love-you-but-I-wish-you'd-all-go-home-and-leave me-alone grin.

When I offered dessert menus to my guests, I must have spoken exuberantly because the male guest at the table responded in what I could only interpret as a mocking parody of my tone: "We sure would like to see dessert menus!" he said.

I tilted my head and stared at him for a second. Then I decided he was dead to me. You're done, I thought, I'm not even trying to cover up my mood now, it's all business with you from now on, buddy. I pretty much ignored the table from that point forward. After they left, I picked up their check presenter, bracing for 15%: a $68.25 tip hovered in the line below the subtotal; in the line below that, the total, a whopping $136.50.

Needless to say I was completely stunned. Had they still been in the restaurant, I would have asked them what the hell was going on-- but they were long gone.

So I'm asking you, readers: Coincidence? Or is one of you testing me. If you are, you win Mr. 100% Tip Guy. Not sure what corner of heaven you fell out of, but thanks for stopping by my section.

#2: The Sociopath from Sunday. The note he left of my check presenter was SO WEIRD, right?

#3: The girl at Table 20 last night -- my first table of the night -- who left a note on her charge slip reading: Nice blog, from the Boss. It was very cool to get your note, reader, but what/who is The Boss? Were you referring to my boss? If so, which one? Ken Oringer? Dalyn Miller? The GM, Alyssa? The Cheese Man? God? Girl, you really got me with this one. Thanks for your kind words about my blog in any case, I'm thrilled, and thank you for stopping by and being a sweet and low maintenance table on an otherwise crazy night.

Other readers, what do YOU think?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

what also happened yesterday...

I flipped the coin, and this is what I got: short and blonde.

Jason made me cut it myself, actually. "If we're taking that much off, you're starting it," he said. Then he made me put it into pigtails, handed me his super sharp stylist scissors, and said: "Okay, go." I slide the shears around the thick bands of hair and chopped them off, left side first, then right. It was really satisfying, actually, like cutting through two thick, yellow ropes.

I'm still getting used to it. I'm surprised every time I look in the mirror. I love it and I can't believe I stalked this haircut for a year before actually going for it. Every few hours I feel a pang of sadness and loss for my long blonde hair. But there's something incredibly liberating about this new look.

An exciting new phase for the Undercover Blonde. How will I fare with short blonde hair? I'm pretty sure it will be different. Check back for updates!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Despite your enthusiastic suggestions, I did not wear yoga pants

The Stuff@Night issue featuring a back page piece on me pubbed today. It was a tough call, but I did not, in the end, wear yoga pants for this photo. Instead I wore this pretty dress.

You can read it here, too.

Monday, May 05, 2008

short blonde red...

Both might happen tomorrow...

My plan? To flip a coin once I've arrived.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

sociopath II

Remember this post of last week? Well, I totally waited on one this evening. Our social worker/host was kind enough to give me a head's up.

"Sociopath at the door, going in your section: get ready."*

"Oh, really!?!?" I gasped. How exciting! A real live sociopath walking amongst us, in my very section no less. Would my sociopath order the corn? What would my sociopath drink? Wine, whiskey? What would he be like? I waited with baited breath for the truth to unfolded in our interaction.

In the end, he wasn't very exciting, and the dinner interaction from my side of the table was nothing to write home about. The Sociopath seemed like your run of the mill slightly weird & awkward guy making semi-successful attempts at charm and charisma while on a date with a pretty blonde woman twice as cute as him. I had my hands far more full with the wasted guy at table 46 who was pouring cava in his own lap...on purpose. The Sociopath seemed a little weird and controlling in our interaction for sure, but I didn't realize how bizarre he actually was until I picked up his signed charge slip after he left. It read:

Thanks so much
I love you.

Scrawled in perfect, bubbly script in baby blue ink. A crude smiley face hovered in the blank area above the subtotal line. A paltry 9% sum languished in the tip line.

"Yech! T, look, this is SO weird," I said, shoving the charge slip at our social worker/host to get his assessment.

"Obviously he didn't love you that much," said T when I showed him the bill. "See, I told you he was crazy."

Never a dull moment.

*T clarified for me that he couldn't definitely diagnose if this dude as a sociopath without a proper interview, etc, and more information about his personality. However, we can say from their interaction that the Sociopath exhibited tell-tale sociopathic traits. And I can confirm, from my years of experiencing waiting of weirdos, he was decidedly wacky-nuts.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I don't want to make money, I just want to be wonderful

A little over a month and a half ago, LUPEC published a cocktail book/pamphlet thing, The Little Black Book of Cocktails, featuring namesakes & favorites by LUPEC Boston. An entire page is devoted to yours truly with a gorgeous photo, my signature cocktail recipe (the Pink Lady) and two other recipes of my choice (chosen after iconic blondes: the Jean Harlow and the Mae West.) I got to pick a quote to accompany my photo too, and I chose this one, from my favorite blonde of all time:

I don't want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.
- Marilyn Monroe

Copies cost $15 and proceeds benefit the Friend's Boutique at Dana Farber. You can pick up a copy at Toro.

As the book is on sale at Toro, my Toro colleagues have perused it. After reading my page, my coworkers Luis and Juan were thrilled: they took my quote to mean that from now on I'd be donating the tips I'd earned each evening to them.

"You don't need money, right Kitty?" Luis said. "You just want to be wonderful?"

I'm thinking that something got lost in the translation from my native English to their native Spanish.

In any case, they still haven't let me live this down.

Friday, May 02, 2008

the brunette as the usual type of villain

"Fiction and fancy have always pictured the brunette as the usual type of villain, both on and off the stage. [Surgeon United States Army] Major Woodruff now shows, and he exhibits figures backing up what he says, that the blondes, in this section of the country at least, are just as bad, if not worse, from a criminal standpoint, as are the brunette types."

-- New York Times article circa September 13, 1908, Headline: The Dominant Criminal in America is Blonde

Well, there you have it.

(Thanks to the Google's search records for "blonde for summer" and the New York Times online archive for making this blog entry possible.)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

short blonde hair...

I have been considering this haircut for about a year now...

I'm getting cut/color on Tuesday. What do we think? Short & blonde? Stay long & go reddish? I'm thinking it might be time for a little change.

Just a thought...