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.