Awkward Exes Serving Awkward Exes

Being a server sometimes means you’re gonna have to serve tables that know either too little or too much about you. In my case, I have on occasion had to wait on my ex-boyfriends’ exes. Not just exes, but the women who had broken my ex-boyfriends’ hearts. Which would make them the “big love” my boyfriends had lost at some point not too long after. And these women always seem to know who I am.

I’m starting to confuse myself, and probably you, so let me throw some examples out there.

Years ago, after I recently broke up with my first boyfriend, Cameron, I had to wait on his high school sweetheart, someone Cameron had a hard time letting go of after they had ended their relationship. Needless to say, it was someone he had loved hard for and I knew this while dating him. They had also kept in touch during my relationship with Cameron, always making me wonder if he was ever over her. It didn’t really matter anyway, considering Cameron and I didn’t work out. But what was awkward was that I knew certain private and personal things about her and she definitely knew certain private and personal things about me.

So when I announced my name (which is incredibly unique) and that I’d be taking care of her, I knew the smile on her face was purely superficial and nervous. This, in turn, made me uncomfortable, so for the duration of her dining out, everything was tense.

Irony, I think. Why is it that the ex-love of my recent ex-boyfriend somehow ends up sitting in my section when I know they are entirely unaware of my existence at The Restaurant? Especially when we had never met before?

But it doesn’t get anymore awkward than having the ex-WIFE sitting at your table. THE ex-wife your ex-boyfriend talked to you about for hours, telling you things she probably wouldn’t want you to know. And, as far as you know, she might know things about you that you wouldn’t want HER to know. And not only is it an ex-wife, but a recent one at that. Tricky, tricky…

I had never met her before, but had heard plenty. I also knew she was aware of my existence, but it was hard to say if she could recognize me by looks alone. I knew she would know my name, though. So, as I watched her tiny figure gracefully sit, looking with those extremely arched eyebrows, puffed out cheekbones and lips, I had to consciously restrain myself from going in multiple directions like a chicken with its head chopped off. For a split second, I felt guilty. Maybe it was because I had felt like a mistress when dating this man. Being hidden from his personal life always made me feel like I was in an affair and that if the wife found out, I would be in huge trouble. But it was his EX-wife. And he was now my ex-boyfriend (or more like a whim/fling/situation #2…refer back to situation #1 for clarification). “Boyfriend” doesn’t seem to fit this particular guy anyhow.

Still doesn’t change the fact that it was nerve-wracking. I swiftly passed by the table without greeting the ex and her date, and grabbed Ethel, another server, saying, “I can’t take this table. It’s HIS ex.” But really, I could have; however,considering it was dead in the restaurant, I knew Ethel could take it off my hands. I just didn’t feel like testing out my acting skills at that particular moment. I was just happy she didn’t walk in with her daughter. I could just feel the bile rise up my throat if that had happened. He did such a good job at hiding me from his daughter, how ironic would it have been if I got to meet her through his ex. Not that I wanted to be hidden, but he felt it best for his daughter not to know about me. Again, the Mistress title being labeled onto me. And again, I want to vomit. If only I was a Super Ex-Girlfriend, I wouldn’t feel so pathetic…Yes...this is more like it.

There was always another reason to vomit, and it was because I knew he had really loved his ex-wife. She was his “big love” just like Cameron’s high school sweetheart was his “big love.” And both ended up in my section. Years apart, but in two separate states, and yet still the same irony. Still the same awkwardness. Because, I too, was an ex. And I hate serving exes.

So you wanna challenge?

I got one!

I’m starting to feel the heat of life. It’s been nine months since I moved from Arizona to California, and the first eight were easy, smooth, controlled, and, honestly, a lot of fun. I had a boyfriend, a job that generally made good money, and beautiful weather. But I wasn’t in any shows yet, which was fine. I think the only patience I have in my strong-willed, stubborn brain is literally reserved for the days when I pretend to be an actor.

But then, in just one month things pop! Near the end of May, I was leaving for my cousin’s wedding in Missouri. On that day, I knew I was recently cast in Cinderella and also got a call announcing that I was approved for Wonder Woman within Six Flags Magic Mountain. Good news, wouldn’t you say? I tell my boyfriend at the time how excited I was and then realized how busy I was going to be. He responded with a very dry, “Good luck.” That marked the first step towards the downhill slope coming my way.

To back track ever-so slightly, I was also on the hunt for a new job. This being because my General Manager was turning everything to hell and I wanted out. Unfortunately, I can’t go anywhere until I have another job lined up.

Back on track—I’m at my cousin’s wedding and I realize just how truly happy she and her husband look. Believe me, I can smell faux-happiness anywhere. Except in myself, funny as that is. So at this point, she tells me to never settle, that he’s out there, that she’s been in many relationships never fully satisfied until this one. This sinks hard into my over-analyzing brain and I leave Missouri with a sour lump in my stomach.

Weeks go by and I still can’t find a job. Nobody’s hiring, or they say they are, put me through two interviews, then never call me again. I go into one place weekly just to see if they have an opening and I’m never able to see a manager. At this point, I feel like a stalker.

“Well at least I have Wonder Woman and Cinderella,” I mutter aimlessly.

Oh wait! Not so! I had been approved by Warner Bros. and DC Comics, but Magic Mountain wouldn’t pick me up. They neglected to set up any interviews or even return my calls. I actually had to drive 40 min. up to Magic Mountain thinking I had an interview scheduled at 1030am to find out they wouldn’t see me until 1230pm. I was so angry because my life is already too busy that I just left. There was no way I was going to sit around for two hours. No way!

So Wonder Woman is out of the picture. On top of this fabulous discovery, my boyfriend and I were having deep conversations. Conversations about calling it quits. And then it happened pretty much in the same week.

So now Terminator is out of the picture. What do I have left? No real close friends, that’s for sure. I spent most of my free time with my relationship, neglecting to work on making any friendships. I actually sobbed one night—obviously with a glass of Merlot nestled tightly in my grasp—and I’m talking a full-gusty meltdown of pathetic gush where I cried to my cat about how “alone” I am and how “I have no friends.” The only thing that could actually sober me up was, shockingly, the Vicodin I took thinking it would put me to a hard sleep. Not so. I was as chill as a popsicle.

Then I could really ponder on what I had left. What was it? Oh yeah! Cinderella and my awful serving job. And the sad thing is, every time I walk into a new restaurant to apply, they all say, “We’d love to hire you! But we need you to have more availability…” Go figure, Cinderella would be the one thing keeping me from escaping my current job.

So as I sit here typing out smoking little letters of impatient frustration…I realize the challenging part of California has finally arrived. I’m either having to fight very hard or submerge myself in utter patience—which I actually fight very hard to do anyway. But I won’t be beaten! My stubbornness would rather kill me. And if Plan A never works, I have plenty of Plan B’s waiting…patiently.

2010: The Sequel! And…what should be my new Resolution?

Of course, I’m referring to the 80s film 2010 which precedes 2001: A Space Odyssey. Neither of these films actually foretold the future of the Millennium very well. We have not built a base on the Moon and have not found the answer to the beginning of intelligence on Earth.

However, once 2010 hits, a simple revelation will be made…sort of. Of course, I’m referring to myself. What else are blogs for but to write personal accounts, heavy opinions on topics that reside within my own brain, untouched and stubborn to the outside thoughts of others, but mildly interested and appreciative of those thoughts.

2010 is coming and so a whole new year will unfold. It was only a year ago when I was making my slow-crawling ascent from the depths of despair which I had somehow allowed myself to tumble down into. My New Year’s Resolution then was to go “whimming,” to start a whole new look at life, to find happiness when happiness seemed so foreign and far, to embark on adventures, to laugh and play, to DATE like no other had dated before! Allowing myself to be open in case lightning struck me hard, waking me from a dreamlike reality I had been escaping to.

I found it: the path to Happy Ville. I found the ability to not need too much, to use logic rather than emotion ( in simpler terms, I have found a way to become more Vulcan), to be more confident in my beliefs about life, to not be knocked down, and so on.

At the beginning of 2009, I was barely surviving my own destruction, deciding on writing being the only way out. I made the bestest (YES, bestEST) of friends I could ever think of having and had the pleasure of creating memories I will never forget.

In 2009, I discovered the life of dating many different types of guys, while finally slowing down with The Terminator, whom I also refer to as my manfriend.

In 2009, I finally found a home: California. I never thought I would feel so comfortable here as fast as I did. I still revel in the fact that people here actually pronounce my name correctly right off the bat, rather than always screwing it up as they did in Arizona. I always think that’s a sign I belong…

However, not everything is all peaches and cream. My grandfather, Papa, is dying, mentally and physically. Once the smartest man I knew, is now the weakest man I know. I thought it would frighten me that he couldn’t remember me or mom, but it hasn’t. I had come to accept this, along with the rest of my family. He may not last another year, and even if he did physically, he will have no memory left. He brought me up as a child, but he will not witness me become a wife, a mother, a successful person…It is weird to think about.

Nonetheless, I actually did conquer my previous New Year’s resolution. I found the motivation to keep up a consistent blog, I finally graduated college, I got the hell out of Arizona and didn’t get stuck in a place I never wanted to be, I found a drama-free living situation with roommates who are kind yet distant, I am interning in two places at once, both being apart of the entertainment industry, I have already done three different Red Carpet events, met Patrick Kilpatrick, and have developed friendships with wonderfully interesting and fun people.

Most importantly, I found where I belong. I found my Happy Place. I guess finding happiness is easier than losing weight…? At least it is for me—I like food too much.

Next New Year’s Res.? I am FINALLY READY to find Love!…Although, considering this is much harder to achieve than even losing weight, I might change it to Being Able To Quit BJ’s. Or maybe they shall both be my New Year’s Res.? What do you think? Which one should be my Resolution? Love or Quitting BJ’s? You tell me.

I hope all of you had your wishes come true this year. And even if they didn’t, or you feel disappointed in some part of your life, just remember, tomorrow is another day! (thank you, scarlet o’hara).

And so the sun rises…

 

It was my last night at work and I didn’t get home until 6 a.m. For the first time in years, I saw the sun rise. As I drove up the curving mountainous highway, only a few of us other late nighters keeping company on the long road home, I watched the star-studded sky fade into a pale blue. And then, from the east, the pale blue blushed orange and red, the distant mountains hiding the awakening sun.

My eyes ached for sleep, my legs throbbed to rest, and I smelled of milk…or rather dried whipped cream. Indeed, it was a long night. And as I spend my last few days living in Arizona, I wonder vaguely who I will become, what will alter me, who will I meet, who will I befriend? And, though the mere thought of existing in a place where life starts all over again is thrilling, I can’t help but feel panicked. Because the people I know today cannot be replaced. And they are amazing human beings.

It’s not every day you look forward to going to work, but when your work includes a ton of fantastic people, it changes your perspective. That is, if you allow yourself to SEE the people and who they are.

Like I said, it was my last day and I ended up closing, which was great cause I needed it! I had a group of friends from work waiting for me at a bar. They came back to see how close I was to being done, and graciously surprised me with whipped cream to the face, which I shared by smearing back on their faces—though some escaped before I could get to them. We met up with some other buddies from work, some of which had already started drinking. Knowing I had a two hour drive to get back up to my parents’ place, I had to make sure I didn’t drink too much.

The boys bought us rounds and we laughed the night away, all work relations faded, all differences gone, acting like we’d known each other all our lives when we‘d only known each other for a short time. Being an observer type, I marveled at how distinctive we were and, yet, very much the same. All searching, all learning, needing, wanting, regretting, forgetting, beginning. Wanting different, but feeling the same.

We watched a friend serenade to us—and the bar—which then inspired them to provoke me into singing as well. I complained about not knowing anything with meaningful lyrics, whereas Hakim had been singing some seriously deep stuff. But, later, as I drove up I-17, watching the sunrise, a song I hadn’t thought about in years popped into my head and I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of it before. The first time I sang this song, I was in 6th grade and didn’t fully understand the meaning of what it was I was singing, though I thought maybe someday I would. I do now. So here it is:

A new life.

What I wouldn’t give to have a new life.

One thing I have learned as I go through life,

Nothing is for free along the way…

A new start.

That’s the thing I need to give me new heart.

Half a chance in life to find a new part,

Just a simple role that I can play…

A new hope.

Something to convince me to renew hope.

A new day.

Bright enough to help me find my way.

A new chance.

One that maybe has a touch…of romance.

Where can it be? The chance for me?

A new dream.

I have one I know that very few dream.

I would like to see that overdue dream,

Even though it never may come true.

A new love.

Though I know there’s no such thing as true love.

Even so, although I never knew love,

Still I feel this one dream is my due.

A new world.

This one thing I want to ask of you, World.

Once before it’s time to say adieu, World,

One sweet chance to prove the cynics wrong.

A new life.

More and more as sure as I go through life,

Just to play the game and to pursue life,

Just to share its pleasures and belong.

That’s what I’ve been here for all along.

Each days a brand…new….life.

-Frank Wildhorn

I believe this song relates to all of us trying to find our little niches in this world. No matter how old or young you are, some of us never stop looking for that special…something.

This is what I see in the people I work with. This is what I see in the strangers that pass by me. This is what I see every day. The search for a new life.

That night, we finished by taking home a troubled friend who had had a little too much to drink. Then Erica and I walked nearly two miles back to our cars. Thank goodness it was cool out.

I know that I’ll never forget the people I’ve worked with. It’s not every day your work buddies become an important part of your life. I’ll remember the days we got along and the days we didn’t. But in the end, we all came together…with a little drink or two. 🙂

And as I drove the long two hour stretch back home, I passed Sunset Point and laughed. The sun was rising.

Can I get you anything else?

 

*the names used are not real for privacy purposes
“Um, yeah,” says the boy, probably in his early twenties or late teens, sitting next to his girlfriend, staring up at me with one of those vacant expressions. “…can I get some ranch?”
“Sure,” I reply, smiling. Of course smiling doesn’t have anything to do with being happy. The table I was waiting on that day was one of those tables. It was one of those tables where the minute I greeted them, they greeted me with the infamous deer-in-headlights stare, staying silent for a few aggravating seconds as though I was some sort of alien deformity, then finally saying in quiet little voices, can I get a coke. It was one of those tables where they claimed to be ready to order, then lost their brains somewhere along the way when I asked what they would like, while I’m busy as hell and don’t have time to stand around until they finally retrieve their runaway brains and figure it out.
Being a good server takes a very special kind of talent: unlimited patience. Not to mention the multi-tasking brain of a computer. I consider myself to be a “good server” after being put to the test at *The Restaurant and Brewery where a server can be triple-sat (meaning three of your tables got sat at the exact same time) with six to seven-top tables (that means six or seven individuals) while the rest of your section is already full (that section being as big as seven to eight separate tables). A good server can handle all of this without freaking out and I have successfully passed this test. 
To be a server at The Restaurant and Brewery you must have a certain level of tolerance. The table I described earlier would be a type C (A being great, B being okay, C being tolerable, F being bad, bad, bad—there is no D). I have never understood why some people don’t speak up to servers and look them in the eye, as though they’re deathly afraid of us.
Thankfully most tables range from A to B and are very normal. And yet, I cannot seem to escape the annoying tables. Imagine a table with five women. They’re nice, but short with you, so you know they’re not in the mood to socialize. That’s fine; it’ll save you some time to visit your other tables without worrying that one will take up too much of your attention. They have ordered a round of beer, which you have already gotten for them, and all five of them are drinking happily. Then you pass by and ask if there is anything else you can get them. They don’t pay too much attention to you, even though your voice was loud and clear, but one lady does turn and asks you for a water. You smile and nod, saying to the other ladies, “is there anything else I can get you—nothing, okay,” then returning a minute later with a water, after you’ve already been pulled over by other tables needing something. Easy. So you set the water down and suddenly the rest of the four women turn to you, each one saying, “Oh, I’ll have a water too.” As they say this, you see that another one of your tables has been sat. So not only do you have to greet the new table and get their drinks, but have to make an extra trip carrying four more waters because these women didn’t pay you any attention. All you’re thinking is why couldn’t they ask for waters when their friend did?!!
Not that bad of a situation, really. Just irritating as hell. I would rate that table a B. Then there are the tables that don’t listen at all. Picture this: one person asks for a coke, and you respond with “is Pepsi okay?” The next person asks, “Can I have a diet coke?” and you respond with “is diet Pepsi okay?” Then the next person asks, “Do you have Coke?” and you say, “No just Pepsi products” when you really want to scream PEPSI!!! in their face.
I also love the tables that think you have eight arms. Here I am carrying two hot and heavy plates on my left arm and hand with another hot plate in my right. I set them down in front of the rightful owners on a table of six. I was only able to bring three plates on this trip. One woman says in a condescending tone, “Where’s the rest?” I look her straight in the eye, smile and say, “They’re coming.” But what I’m really thinking is, “sorry I left my other two arms back in the kitchen, let me reattach them just for you.” 
Then there are the F-type tables. These tables can be obvious or clever. And I hate them. We all hate them, and I know of some servers who claim to take revenge on them on their last day of work. There are many different types of F-tables. There’s the typical “something in my food” table, the incredibly rude and needy table that is impossible to satisfy, the table that complains about what we offer in the menu to either me or the manager, the table that leaves without paying the bill, the table that comes in automatically in a bad mood (don’t go out if you’re in a bad mood!), and then there’s the infamous “verbal tip” table. This is what I call the sneaky F-table.
This kind of table is what we all consider to be an enigma. Thankfully these tables are rare. However, they can really put you in the worst of moods. I had a couple once that, I thought, loved me. Everything was fast and efficient, and on top of that, I was “working it.” They also proceeded to tell me how wonderful I was, that I was a “great server.” After they left, I picked up the bill and gawked: four dollar tip on a sixty dollar bill. My initial reaction was to chuck the bill book across the room, hoping it would hit the exiting couple. But instead, I stood at the computer in a controlled, inner fury with a dash of sadness, my last thought echoing what the fuck! I certainly can’t pay the bills with a fucking “you’re great” tip. A totally irritating enigma! F, F, F!!! 
I try to remember the faces of those kinds of people for next time. However, I always seem to forget about it by the next day. I suppose that’s a good thing for many reasons. My job is to serve you, but remember, in order to get your food and drink, you have to go through me. 
Can I get you anything else?

“Um, yeah,” says the boy, probably in his early twenties or late teens, sitting next to his girlfriend, staring up at me with one of those vacant expressions. “…can I get some ranch?”

“Sure,” I reply, smiling. Of course smiling doesn’t have anything to do with being happy. The table I was waiting on that day was one of those tables. It was one of those tables where the minute I greeted them, they greeted me with the infamous deer-in-headlights stare, staying silent for a few aggravating seconds as though I was some sort of alien deformity, then finally saying in quiet little voices, can I get a coke. It was one of those tables where they claimed to be ready to order, then lost their brains somewhere along the way when I asked what they would like, while I’m busy as hell and don’t have time to stand around until they finally retrieve their runaway brains and figure it out.

Being a good server takes a very special kind of talent: unlimited patience. Not to mention the multi-tasking brain of a computer. I consider myself to be a “good server” after being put to the test at *The Restaurant and Brewery where a server can be triple-sat (meaning three of your tables got sat at the exact same time) with six to seven-top tables (that means six or seven individuals) while the rest of your section is already full (that section being as big as seven to eight separate tables). A good server can handle all of this without freaking out and I have successfully passed this test. 

To be a server at The Restaurant and Brewery you must have a certain level of tolerance. The table I described earlier would be a type C (A being great, B being okay, C being tolerable, F being bad, bad, bad—there is no D). I have never understood why some people don’t speak up to servers and look them in the eye, as though they’re deathly afraid of us.

Thankfully most tables range from A to B and are very normal. And yet, I cannot seem to escape the annoying tables. Imagine a table with five women. They’re nice, but short with you, so you know they’re not in the mood to socialize. That’s fine; it’ll save you some time to visit your other tables without worrying that one will take up too much of your attention. They have ordered a round of beer, which you have already gotten for them, and all five of them are drinking happily. Then you pass by and ask if there is anything else you can get them. They don’t pay too much attention to you, even though your voice was loud and clear, but one lady does turn and asks you for a water. You smile and nod, saying to the other ladies, “is there anything else I can get you—nothing, okay,” then returning a minute later with a water, after you’ve already been pulled over by other tables needing something. Easy. So you set the water down and suddenly the rest of the four women turn to you, each one saying, “Oh, I’ll have a water too.” As they say this, you see that another one of your tables has been sat. So not only do you have to greet the new table and get their drinks, but have to make an extra trip carrying four more waters because these women didn’t pay you any attention. All you’re thinking is why couldn’t they ask for waters when their friend did?!!

Not that bad of a situation, really. Just irritating as hell. I would rate that table a B. Then there are the tables that don’t listen at all. Picture this: one person asks for a coke, and you respond with “is Pepsi okay?” The next person asks, “Can I have a diet coke?” and you respond with “is diet Pepsi okay?” Then the next person asks, “Do you have Coke?” and you say, “No just Pepsi products” when you really want to scream PEPSI!!! in their face.

I also love the tables that think you have eight arms. Here I am carrying two hot and heavy plates on my left arm and hand with another hot plate in my right. I set them down in front of the rightful owners on a table of six. I was only able to bring three plates on this trip. One woman says in a condescending tone, “Where’s the rest?” I look her straight in the eye, smile and say, “They’re coming.” But what I’m really thinking is, “sorry I left my other two arms back in the kitchen, let me reattach them just for you.” 

Then there are the F-type tables. These tables can be obvious or clever. And I hate them. We all hate them, and I know of some servers who claim to take revenge on them on their last day of work. There are many different types of F-tables. There’s the typical “something in my food” table, the incredibly rude and needy table that is impossible to satisfy, the table that complains about what we offer in the menu to either me or the manager, the table that leaves without paying the bill, the table that comes in automatically in a bad mood (don’t go out if you’re in a bad mood!), and then there’s the infamous “verbal tip” table. This is what I call the sneaky F-table.

This kind of table is what we all consider to be an enigma. Thankfully these tables are rare. However, they can really put you in the worst of moods. I had a couple once that, I thought, loved me. Everything was fast and efficient, and on top of that, I was “working it.” They also proceeded to tell me how wonderful I was, that I was a “great server.” After they left, I picked up the bill and gawked: four dollar tip on a sixty dollar bill. My initial reaction was to chuck the bill book across the room, hoping it would hit the exiting couple. But instead, I stood at the computer in a controlled, inner fury with a dash of sadness, my last thought echoing what the fuck! I certainly can’t pay the bills with a fucking “you’re great” tip. A totally irritating enigma! F, F, F!!! 

I try to remember the faces of those kinds of people for next time. However, I always seem to forget about it by the next day. I suppose that’s a good thing for many reasons. My job is to serve you, but remember, in order to get your food and drink, you have to go through me. 

Can I get you anything else?

*the names used are not real for privacy purposes