Saturday, February 28, 2009

come-uppance


today my friend laurie and i were both scheduled to spend some time at the minneapolis food and wine show, handing out samples of the delicious food that we normally serve at the restaurant that employs us. as you may have derived from my first post, laurie and i are like family: we would do anything for each other, and we also, most days, find ourselves dreaming of putting our fingers around each other's necks and squeezing until one or the other's eyes pop out like little ripe grapes. today was no different. in her defense, it was mostly my fault, i had gotten little sleep last night, and i was cranky and bad tempered. but in my defense, i had gotten little sleep last night, and i was cranky and bad tempered. the information that we received from our cafe was sadly lacking, to say the least: pick up the food from barbette, pick up the boys from bryant lake bowl, and bring it to the convention center where we had a booth. HAH! as if it would ever be that easy. we arrive at the convention center where the security guard asks us for our credentials. um. does a car full of food qualify? no. it does not. we say we are from barbette and bryant lake bowl. he says, so what? good point. i look at laurie, and she is giggling, because that's what she does when she doesn't know what else to do. i see grapes. luckily, i seem to have a way with men. men love me. i don't want them to love me, i think that's why they do. anyway. i talk the guard into letting me walk through the room to the front where the women who give out the credentials sit. oh, crap. women. don't so much have a way with them. probably because i want to. i say: barbette. bryant lake bowl. not on the list. i don't understand. then, out of the blue, comes a girl who says, "they're with us. we need four passes. " i have never seen this girl in my life. ever. we get the passes, and she explains that barbette and bryant lake bowl are part of a bigger picture. she is in charge of the lake street collective. the lake street collective, it seems, are the people who have actually secured the booth, and feature restaurants in their booth over the two day convention. that explains why no one knows who the hell we are. (barbette and bryant lake bowl are both located on the five mile stretch that is lake street.) i wonder, murderously, why no one bothered to tell us this until now. grapes again, but not just laurie's this time. it seems that we will be switching out with another establishment from lake street. fine, whatever. back to the car, get the food, get the boys who are smoking cigarettes without a care in the world, and FINALLY to the booth. guess who is there before us? glosssy pamphlets and all, it's the salty tart girls. (you must read the last post in order to see the irony.) i deserved it all.

Monday, February 23, 2009

public pooping


here is a subject we just don't hear enough about: pooping in a public place. i have always just assumed that everyone else is as horrified as i am to feel that terrible jolting twist in the stomach when shopping, at a movie, at target, at a restaurant, even at a good friend's house. not so. ever been inside a women's public restroom? enough said. my fear of pooping started very early in life. it was my misfortune to share part of my bedroom wall with our upstairs bathroom. every morning, EVERY MORNING, for my whole life, my father would spend some time in that bathroom. he used to drink over 20 cups of coffee a day, and he had a healthy appetite. let's just say that i did not need an alarm clock. when i was in junior high, my parents went through a wheat germ phase. wheat germ is like prunes, only worse. every single thing we ate had wheat germ sprinkled on it. liberally sprinkled. five people, two bathrooms. not enough. although my father had no qualms about pooping at home, he could not poop anywhere else. on sundays, our whole family would go to church in the morning, and then we would join our extended family at my grandmother's house where she made the most fantastic spaghetti and meatballs for lunch. and garlic bread. god, that was good stuff. but i digress. we would have to take two cars to church, one with my dad in it, and one with my mom and us kids. why? because immediately after lunch at my grandmother's, my dad would drive home and poop. so this public fear took deep root. i would go away to camp as a kid, and would refuse to poop for the whole week. i didn't eat much on thursdays and fridays. when i became an adult, a few things happened. i got a job, and i learned that i liked to have some drinks at night. because i worked in restaurants, working lunches was not that big of a deal, ususally there was a private employee bathroom, and if you timed it right, everything would be okay. until i worked at sapor. this restaurant was (and still is) located in an office building, and you had to go down the hall to use the restroom which served the entire building. not a busy building, so it was usually okay until one day, after drinks the night before, and then a little lunch, i was having an emergency. i was walking down the hall, stiffly, when i met jessica, our chef, on the way. i told her that she was not allowed to go to the bathroom right now because i really, really, needed to poop. she said, too bad, i really have to pee, so what if you have to poop? i told her that i had some shame, and what if it made some noise? she asked me if i would like for her to sing to me while we were in adjacent stalls so that nothing could be heard. i accepted, because clearly, i had no choice. so she sang while i pooped. i don't see her much anymore, but i still love her for that to this day. the reason this subject comes up today, is because my friend told me a personal pooping story that happened to her just the other day. there is a place here called the midtown global market. it's kind of like an open air market, but inside. lots of little shops, and places to eat. on the floor below, there is the dmv and some other random rooms. on this particular day, (let's call her amy) amy was attending a class on the lower floor for first-time home buyers, because she wants to buy a house. the class lasted all day long, and although she didn't tell me this part, i know she likes wine, and i am guessing that she had some the evening before the class. on the lunch break, amy goes upstairs and finds a cute little place called the salty tart. it's owned by a woman who used to make pastries at charlie trotter's in chicago, and amy bought a pastry, and while she was waiting, picked up a beautiful glossy pamphlet about the woman and her shop. she ate her pastry, and was delighted because it was so delicious. but then. the twisting. she ran to the restroom, and gratefully found and open stall. she read the pamphlet. and then she looked for the toilet paper. there was none. then she looked under the stall at the woman's feet next to her, and heard a sound. thump, thump, thump. the woman next to her was also out of toilet paper. so she half pulled up her pants and hobbled like a convict in shackles to the other stalls. nope. then she says to me, "HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO WIPE YOUR ASS WITH A GLOSSY PAMPHLET? " i have not, and this is why i stay at home.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

shopping


i really, really, really love shopping. you could drop me off in a hardware store, a grocery store, a model train store, a comic book store, a store full of nothing but miniatures, a butcher shop, a lumberyard, a florist, a bead store, it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter if i don't have any money. it doesn't matter if don't know what the hell to do with 750 thousand different beads. it doesn't matter that graphic novels really confuse me. it doesn't matter that i weigh 115 pounds but am in lane bryant. nothing matters. when i am in a store, i become myopic. i decide that i should be a jewlery maker with all of those beads. wouldn't that be cool? people would buy my jewery and i would get a blurb on entertainment tonight because the all of the stars would love my beautiful jewelry. oh! and all of the different kinds of tools at the hardware store! i could make stuff with wood, and tile samples, and coathooks, and yards of chains. i don't know WHAT i could make, but it would be cool when i did. and flowers! i could make the coolest arrangements and not put in a bunch of pussy willows and dried leaves and those annoying white sticks with the little white dry round things on them.i don't know what they are even called, but who cares, i'm not using them. i could be famous for my innovative avant garde arrangements, right? and if i could draw even a little bit, i could make the best comic books ever. forget archie and that stupid lesbian comic in the gay magazines. I'M WAY FUNNIER THAN THAT FOR GOD'S SAKE! don't even get me started with the little tiny representations of everyday items. no. i can't do any of that, because i am not only a dreamer, but an underachiever. also not so much with the talent. i never buy anything in any of those stores, but i can spend hours in each one of them living a life i could have if i wanted (i mean, how hard can it be, really) in my head. but my most favorite venue are clothing stores. i love clothes. i am amazed that just by putting on certain clothes, you can be anyone you want. i dream about having a boyfriend just so i could buy him clothes. i don't want a boyfriend for any other reason than to dress him up. it's difficult to find someone to fulfill only that role. straight guys want a few others things to go along with it, and gay guys can dress themselves. it's hard to find nice things for the ken barbie guy, and plus i don't play with dolls. but i do hate one thing about stores: the salespeople. not as individuals, but as a team. i feel okay if one person says in an insincere high-pitched voice, "HI! HOW ARE YOU TODAY? ALL OF OUR FULL PRICED SWEATERS ARE BUY ONE GET ONE HALF OFF! ISN'T THAT FABULOUS?" it's alright if one person pretends to care about how i am doing today. kind of. but then the other seven people working there need to individually ask me how my day is going. so i learned a trick. when the first person asks how i am doing, i answer, "mediocre. how are you?" to pull this off, i must not smile. i'm not sure why, but after that, no one else in the store asks me how i am, and i can live my alternative reality in peace. i tried to mix it up by answering, "medium. how are you? but that induced a whole lot of "ha, ha, i am well done!" and "i think medium rare! ha. ha." not ha ha. that is not funny and i make more money than you and i'm just a waitress so quit talking to me. so only mediocre works. half of the people don't know what it means, and the other half think that i are some kind of lunatic. i'm okay with that. i probably am a lunatic.
p.s. i don't care who you are, NEVER buy pants with pleats, they make your stomach look fat if you are a man, and they make your hips look big if you are a woman. and never buy unlined wool pants. i don't care if they cost two hundred dollars. you WILL itch.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

because you asked me out


first of all, no one has asked me out for quite some time. i'm okay with that, i'm just saying that i am reaching back into the memory banks on this gripe. so. someone asks you out. and you are not attracted to them for whatever reason. it's awkward to say no directly, because you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, right? so you make up some story about being in a weird situation, and can't really date right now, blah, lie, blah, lie. so they give you their number anyway and then say, "well, let's just hang out as friends, that would be great!" lie. you know they are thinking that once you get to know them you are going to fall madly in love with them because they are so awesome. i know they think that, because i think that, and i am nothing if not typical, really. but here's the rub: so now i have to be friends with someone that asked me out on a date, and the only reason i have to be friends with them is because i clearly don't like them. that is some messed up logic. (i am aware that i switched from YOU to I, but who cares, i'm not an english major and i'm not writing this to get a grade. i write exactly the way i speak, and if you don't like it, read someone else's blog. wait. i didn't mean, it, don't get mad, i really care about you and would never purposely hurt your feelings. i'm really sorry.) that last part was an excerpt from my last 10 relationships. let me know if it's effective. ANYWAY, i just don't think that because you like me and i don't like you but feel guilty because i don't like you is a good reason to begin a friendship. i don't want to be your friend, random person! i am sure that you are a fantastic human being, but for god's sake, the friends i already have find it difficult to get me to leave my couch. (it's very comfortable, and faces my television directly. and i have hd.) it's not you, it's me. (another line used in my last 10 relationships, either to me or from me. NOT effective.) and another thing: i love it when one of my customers ask me out, and then leave a bad tip. this is before you tell them about your bad (lie) situation, i have found that you should always save that part for after the check is paid. REALLY? you want me to date you and you tip twelve percent? REALLY? i no longer feel guilty for not wanting to be your friend. and just so you know, i touched you pretending that it was accidental, and i leaned over so you could get a better look at my cleavage pretending that it was accidental, and i smiled at you and laughed at your clever drunken witticisms because I NEED TO PAY MY MORTGAGE! because this is my job. my parents are so very proud of me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

semantics


i am a big fan of semantics, and working in a restaurant has taught me that most others are not. why do people walk up to me at work and ask me if i know where the bathroom is? of course i know where the bathroom is, i work there. anything else you wanna know, sir? oh. . .you want me to tell YOU where the bathroom is. that's not what you asked. (okay i just realized that i am going to veer off of the topic of semantics and just complain about some stuff.) another favorite: you ask me what the soup is, and i tell you that it is parsnip puree. perhaps parsnip puree sounds gross to you, so you ask me if i have any other soup. i tell you that, YES, in fact there is a SECRET SOUP for the people who are innovative enough to ask me if there is another soup. it's a soup just for you. it's called "NO THERE IS NO OTHER SOUP YOU MORON OR I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU ABOUT IT ALREADY. DO YOU THINK I LIKE PARSNIP SOUP ANY BETTER THAN YOU DO?" and it's $3.75 for a cup. another thing i really enjoy is when i come to work at around 3pm to start my shift, and those guys who sit at the bar by themselves and drink all day (you know who they are, they are freaking everywhere) listen to the conversation that you may be having with the bartender and then decide that i would benefit from their advice. yes, thank you, guy who sits in a bar all day every day by himself, i would love to know how you think i should handle things. just because you are drunk does not mean that you are charles bukowski. it seems my filter has rotted a bit over the past 23 years, so i actually tell them this. then i get to hear that if i smiled more, i would be so much prettier. SERIOUSLY? i don't give a rat's ass if you think i am pretty or if you think i look like the witches of eastwick all rolled into one. and your breath stinks, mr. close talker. do i come to your job and tell you to smile while you are perfoming tasks? i would, but you don't have a job, do you? oh, but if you did, i would be there. drunk.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

robbie


so, have you heard about this kid in england who just had a kid at 13 years old? people seem so surprised. personally, i am surprised it hasn't happened sooner. i remember my first boyfriend. he was 13. name of robbie. skinny little redhead with freckles and a chipped front tooth. i think it was the tooth that did it for me. anyway, he was in 7th grade, and i was in 8th. we grew up in a pretty small town, and most of us lived within walking distance from the grade school. i was in the popular group, by accident, i believe, and the ringleader's name was debbie. everyone loved her because she couldn't care less if anyone liked her or not. she also had the good luck to have divorced parents who both worked during the day. that was lucky for all of us, because we grew up in the upper peninsula of michigan where several times a year, the school would close for a snow day. it snowed a lot there. debbie's mom lived in an apartment right across the street from the school and debbie would host little get-togethers at her mom's house on all of the snow days. we'd call all of the boys, eat some doritos, watch a little guiding light, and then we would pair off and go into the bedroom. yep. one bedroom. four or five couples. in the same room. lights off, blinds closed. usually eyes closed as well since that's what you do with your eyes when you are making out, right? that's what just happened on guiding light. we all saw it. after a few snow days, making out started getting boring. and it seemed imperative to move things along. not to me, really, but to robbie. he went up my shirt, poor guy. i was never what you would call a b-cup. well, i kind of am now, but more like a b-minus. but then. along with some curiosity on my part, and some urging on robbie's part, i put my hand into his junior size 12 (i don't actually know the size, but it sounds good in the narrative, i think) bvds, and put my hand around A SHARPIE? wait, no, it was his penis. i hope for his sake that thing is bigger now, but good lord it was small that day. i won't tell the rest of the story, how long we dated, how he broke up with me, how i would put in a cassette tape of air supply and listen to the lyrics of "all out of love" which begin with the words, "i'm lying alone with my head on the phone, thinking of you till it hurts. . ." and then literally take the phone and put my head on it while i listened to the song. you don't need to know any of that. i'm just saying that maybe i am a little surprised that the kid in england fathered a child. he must have had one of those jumbo sharpies, you know, the kind that we used to make posters or banners with before computers and kinkos.

Friday, February 13, 2009

the beginning


People keep telling me that i should write stuff, so i am going to write stuff. i don't actually expect that anyone will read the stuff, but i am going to stuff it all in this blog anyway. i even almost got out of my car today to tell the lady behind me in the parking lot to stuff it when she leaned on her horn several times, presumably wanting me to move faster. that made me kind of irritated, so i just sat there on purpose. then she leaned on her horn for a full 30 seconds without interruption. i would have sat there even longer, but my friend laurie was in the car with me and wondered out loud why she ever goes anywhere with me. i wondered out loud right back about why she ever does. that made two people in close vicinity want to punch me, so i moved the car. but i did not want to. was the chunky middle-aged lady with a home perm driving an ambulance? no. burgundy 1984 junk heap. were we in the parking lot of a hospital, perhaps near the emergency room? no. target. was someone drowning that she needed to save? no. pavement. was her house on fire? maybe. i don't know where she lives. i would like to know what the big hurry was. i wasn't even going that slow. now i will never find out, thanks to laurie. so she can stuff it too. but in a nice way, because i actually like her. you know, i had to tie in that stuff it thing that i started at the beginning but never had any plans for and then it just felt like there wouldn't be any closure if i didn't put it in at the end.
(this is a photo of laurie when she is not mad at me)