Wednesday, July 28, 2010

adventures in waiting tables

Some people have not a clue how to behave in a restaurant. In fact, because I wait tables I have discovered these inevitable truths about the suckiness of the human race. This is just an example of how one table in a given night might go. Highlights include: lack of manners, interruptions, lack of reading the menu or listening, and expectations that are too high. Some people have no manners. Some people love to interrupt. They love to keep their waitress at the table while they discuss what they want, as if I don't have five other things to do other than stand there and wait.

Me: "Hello everyone, my name is Ste--"
Man: "yeah we're going to need a pizza." (looks at me expectantly)
Me: "Ok, what kind of pizza?"
Man: (To wife) "what do you want?"
(wife shrugs)
Man: (to kids) "what do you guys want?"
(kids shrug)
Boy: "ROOT BEER!!!"
Me: We don't have root beer. We have Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, orange, ginger ale, lemonade, iced tea.
Boy: (looking like I kicked his puppy) "ummmm...." (looks at mom for approval) "orange."
(family continues to look at menu)
Me: "Can I get anyone else something to drink, or can I give you a minute to look at the menu?"
Man: "No, no! We know what we want!" (looks at wife)
Woman:(to husband) "Go ahead."
Man: "Ok we'll have a pepperoni pie--is that ok with you guys?"
Girl: "I want cheese!"
Man: "Ok can we have a quarter be cheese?"
Me: "No, we can only do halves."
Man: (sighs heavily) "Ok, forget the pepperoni." (closes menu with finality)
Me: "Ok, can I get everyone something to drink?"
Man: "Root beer."
Me: "we don't have root beer. We have Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, orange, ginger ale, lemonade, iced tea."
Man: (sighs again). "Fine. Water."
Me: (looking at woman and daughter) "can i get you anything to drink?"
Woman: (with disdain and incredulity) "Water. Extra lemons."
Girl: "Root beer."
Me: "We don't have root beer."
Girl: "What do you have?"
Me: (losing patience) Coke, Diet, Sprite, orange, ginger ale, lemonade, iced tea.
Girl: "Do you have Shirley Temples?"
Me: "Sure."
Girl: "Extra cherries. No ice."
(i begin to collect menus. wife keeps reading hers)
Me: "Can I collect everyone's menus?"
Woman: "Oh. Here."
Man: "Oh! we need salad too. (to wife) You want salad?"
(Woman shakes head no)
Man: "I want a small side salad. With ranch."
Me: "We don't have ranch we--"
Man: "thousand island."
Me: "We don't have thousand island. We have homemade italian, bleu cheese, honey mustard, raspberry vinaigrette, parmesan peppercorn."
Man: (contemplating) "Uhhmm, bleu cheese. On the side."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the true love revolution

When I first learned about the True Love Revolution, a student group at Harvard that puts an emphasis on saving 'yourself' for marriage, it was from an article in Boston Magazine aptly named "Sextracurricular Activities". The Boston Magazine article poked a bit of fun at the student group, hinting to the fact that they were 'preachy' and perhaps even a little backward, and focusing mostly on the counter movement, the True Lust Revolution (cute). When I read the article, I could not have agreed more; I couldn't possibly imagine a group of college students could actually endorse not having sex, especially in the liberal atmosphere that is Harvard and Massachusetts.

But lately I have been thinking more and more about the message of the True Love Revolution. TLR believes, as stated on their website, that it is imperative to uphold the institutions of marriage and family by abstaining from sex until marriage, which I think leaves many of our generation scratching their heads. We've all heard it: save yourself, blah blah, from adults, but none of us heeded that. It was more of a formality than anything else to be told to save yourself for marriage. In high school if you were a virgin, it was embarrassing. "What's wrong with you that no one wants to have sex with you?" was the common sentiment. The fact that now people our age have saved themselves and are now advocating that others do the same is, by some measure, pretty remarkable.

However, what I at first thought was nuts, now makes a lot of sense. Looking back, I have to wonder what I've learned from the sexual relationships of myself and my peers, and if I'm honest with myself, I have to say it's not much: only that most guys will never call you again, in fact will have a difficult time looking you in the eye, and that you're only more hard up for love than ever before.

What this might boil down to is the need to be loved. Because we are so free with our bodies and simply have a "do what feels good" attitude toward everything, including sex, we make it easy for people to use one another, and never develop true feelings of much merit. What if this is the new progressive movement, the refusal of bodily pleasures simply because it's more freeing to do so?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Redeem Thyself, Emily Giffin

Everyone remembers my post about how much I hate chick lit, specifically Emily Giffin's novel Something Borrowed. I stand by my statements made on that particular book. However, last week I traveled from the Vineyard to NYC for a friend's graduation party and other illicit adventures you can only have with college friends (i.e. the express train to blackout city). My chosen form of travel, because it was the middle of July on a Friday with a return trip on Sunday (read: TRAFFIC), was the Amtrak Regional train. People, if you live in the area, never take the regional train. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra to take the Acela. Trust me on this one.

So after a trip that lasted 6 hours (should have been three and a half) down to the city with only heavy reading material like Bret Easton Ellis and Toni Morrisson (still love you guys), I decided the return trip should be a little, ahem, fluffier.

Enter Emily Giffin's second novel and sequel to Something Borrowed: Something Blue. Crafty titles, Emily, really. Props.

But seriously, I could not put the damned thing down! This novel centers on the bitchy friend Darcy rather than pathetic Rachel, and let me tell you, Darcy was 10 times more relatable. I don't know what it was. Perhaps it was her transformation and the new life she creates for herself. Yes, the lines were still uber cheesy, but Darcy's pain is real, and the alienation she feels is something that every person can understand. Seeing Rachel and Dex happy makes the reader's blood boil as much as Darcy's. Maybe I actually liked this book because it was not a fairy tale, and Darcy's emotions are decidedly more raw than most mopey chick-lit heroines. Rachel was dumb, pathetic, and only in Darcy's shadow because she put herself there. Yes, Darcy is spoiled, but in the end Darcy learns so much more, and becomes that much more different of a person that she is easily forgiven. Rachel still sucks.

Kudos to you, Emily Giffin. I doubt I'll read any other novel of yours, but thanks for getting me through the train ride from hell.