Thursday, February 19, 2009

hate + love: a waitress's tale


"Ma'am? Excuse me. Uh, ma'am?"

Surely the mid- to late-thirtysomethings at Table 52 aren't beckoning ME. I look over my shoulder - perhaps there's an older woman standing behind me with whom they'd like to speak? The guy with salt-n-pepper hair gives a little wave. Oh. They DID mean me.

"Um, yeah?" I say.

"Is it okay if we write on this menu?"

I think, It is clearly NOT okay if you write on the menu. Do you see little check marks next to each tapas item? Did I supply you with a pen and pencil? Would you walk into No. 9 Park or even the Butcher Shop and start scribbling all over their menu? What kind of animal are you?

"Sure," I say instead, since he has already started sullying it up with red ink. "Of course. Go right ahead."

I head to the service bar to collect their mojitos.

"Dude, Table 52 called me ma'am," I lament to the barback.

"They didn't mean it, Kitty. They didn't mean it," he consoles me.

"I don't care. I now hate them."


"Here are your mojitos," I say, careful to conceal my contempt as I hand them their drinks. "Did you have any questions? Are you ready to order?"

"Hey," the salt-n-pepper guy says, "You look just like that woman in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Know who I'm talking about?" he says. His companions, two men with accents and a pretty brunette woman, nod and murmur "Yes...she does...mmm-hmmm."

"You mean the blonde chick?" I say. "Scarlett Johannson?"

"Yes! Scarlett Johannson," he says.

"That's a pretty hefty compliment," I say, "She's pretty hot. She's also one of my favorite actresses."

"Yup, you look just like her," he says. Then, to his friends: "You know, she's the most beautiful woman in the world according to this magazine I just read." They nod and murmur "Yes...Scarlett Johannson is the most beautiful woman in the world and our waitress looks exactly like her...mmm-hmmm."

And just like that I love them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ring Redux

I was pretty much beside myself with excitement when I finally got home last night after a long slow waitressing shift at Toro and found the check for my engagement ring in my mailbox. I almost tore it right open in the foyer.

I can't believe it, I thought as I climbed up the stairs towards my fourth floor walk-up. After holding on to that damn thing for 3+ years, I'm finally free of it - and richer for it! Whatever will I do with the money?

Then, as I rounded the corner between flights 2 and 3, a more rational voice inside my head reminded me: No matter how much they offer you for the ring, it will never feel like enough.

I shrugged off my coat and threw my bag and apron on the floor when I reached the top floor, bracing for the possibilities as I tore the envelope open. But no amount of practical reasoning could have prepared me for what I found:

A check made out to me in the amount of $120.44.

That's not even enough to pay my damn cell phone bill.

While I didn't expect to be magically rich from the sale of my engagement ring setting, I know the damn thing appraised for ten times as much when it given to me back in 2002. I have no idea how jewelry sales works, if these things tend to appreciate or depreciate in value. But I know I can't sell it for $120.44. I not that desperate for money. And I am definitely too proud.

Now I have to call Customer Service and ask them to send the damn thing back to me. And think of something else to do with this vestige of my former life.

Boo jewelry site.

Boo old engagement ring.

Boo trying to place monetary value on sentimental things.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The post office

Significant things that happened at the post office today:

1. I mailed the check to activate my very first month of my very own individual, independent health insurance plan. It's f***ing expensive, but it's mine, I chose it all by myself (which was much more challenging than it sounds), and I love it.

2. I returned the contract to the publisher for my very first book project. No, it's not a book length version of Undercover Blonde, or the LUPEC book project, it's definitely not what I ever would have imagined my first book project to be, and I'm just a "researcher" on it. But it's my first one and for that reason, I love it too.

3. I sold my engagement ring setting. You know, this thing?

That has been lying around my apartment acting as a paperweight for all of my bills collecting dust? I FINALLY sent it in to this website which I read about in Daily Candy a really long time ago.

The post office woman looked at me like I was crazy when I told her I wanted to insure the humble looking box I used to send it. When the transaction was complete, she threw it into the bin of mail behind her as if it was just some piece of junk and walked away.

That's it? I thought. I stood on my tiptoes and peered over the counter at the box laying atop a mountain of small envelopes. For a second I considered waving someone over to ask for it back, but all of the post office personnel had mysteriously disappeared. Yup, that's it.

Then I burst into tears. I guess the sudden meaninglessness of a piece of jewelry that had once been so significant just got to me. Or perhaps it's because tossing that old thing in the mail symbolized that I am finally, truly moving on from the relationship that defined my 20s. And the end of an era is always a little bit sad. I cried the entire way home.

Then, when I got home, I popped open a bottle of cava to celebrate because I really love my life right now, and I'm twice the woman I used to be.

So I raised a glass to myself, without whom none of this would be possible.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Pink Lady

I made my small screen debut this week, demoing my signature LUPEC cocktail! Check it out here:

There's also a short bio of me here:

Note how, when pressed, I reluctantly admit to having once swilled cosmos like it was my job. I can't believe I said that - what will all the cocktail nerds of the world think?

Cin cin!