I recently posted a Short in which I mentioned how my best friend and I got jobs as servers in a restaurant when we were in college. And we were horrible at it.
I think she was even worse than I was, which was very telling of her skills, as all I ever did was sit at a back table and watch one of the more experienced servers as she walked by, balancing a huge platter of plates and drinks on her shoulder.
“Wow,” I would breathe. “Where do you think she learned to do that?”
My best friend Leigh, sweating with the all-around exertion and anxiety that being servers seemed to cause us (even when we weren’t doing anything) would shoot me a disgusted look. “Um, I don’t know, dumbass. Probably here?”
“When will we learn how to do it?” I’d respond, hardly breathing as the veteran server squatted and then executed a perfect platter slide-off to the empty table next to her customers and began passing out plates of food.
“Well, they’ve already tried to teach us several times,” Leigh would mutter.
Once, Leigh found me in the kitchen, where I was trying to flirt with one of the hot waiters. “Oh my gosh, Shay,” she said, her face red with anger. “That asshole sitting at the bar just told me that I’d make more money up in his room with him!”
We worked in a hotel bar/restaurant where most of the customers were staying.
I blinked at her. “So what time are you meeting him up there?”
“SHAY!” Leigh shouted, all offended. “I’m not!”
I looked at the hot waiter, who just shrugged at me. “Why not?” I asked my best friend, surprised. “He’s right. You would make more money up in his room. You suck shit at this job.”
Leigh sniffed, indignant. “Sure I do, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to turn tricks in a hotel room!”
Now it was my turn to shrug. “When did you get so proud, Leigh? Didn’t you just get it on with a guy you met at a bar? For free? In our apartment? Which is a hell of a lot shittier than these hotel rooms? In fact, I’d say turning a trick or two in the penthouse suite is a total step up from the other night…”
As my best friend seemed to be considering, it was my turn to be offended. “Hey,” I said, narrowing my eyes. “I refilled that guy’s peanut bowl. Why the hell didn’t he ask me to come to his room and make a few bucks?”
Leigh and the hot waiter looked at me—and, more specifically, my hair—as if no explanation was necessary. And it wasn’t.
After all, it had been just the other night when we’d all gotten off of work and headed to the hot waiter and his roommate’s apartment to have drinks and he’d looked at me, raised his eyebrows appraisingly, and said, “You know, you’d be really cute if it weren’t for that boy haircut.”
That blasted haircut. Thank God he had still made out with me…but still. That blasted haircut.
I had gone in for The Rachel, but the cut had ended up far from it. It was even worse than the time I was 5 and went to the salon with my mom and my older sister. I was so in awe of the sinks where I watched people lay their heads back and be sprayed with the handheld nozzle by the hairstylists that I convinced my mom I wanted my beautiful, back-then-naturally blonde hair chopped to my ears just so I could get a turn in that sink.
I cried for days afterwards, screaming at my mom, “Who listens to a five-year old?!”
My collegiate haircut was so horrible that during the months it took for it to grow out, I found myself yearning for the days in which I had once been compared to Tori Spelling.
That’s how bad it was.
One of the girls we knew from our old dorm described it like this: “It looks like an airborne mushroom decided to land atop your head.”
And I went, “Who says ‘atop’? Fcking nerd.”
And she replied, “Says the girl with the mushroom atop her head.”
Anyway, Leigh never ventured up to Pretty Woman it in the guy’s hotel room, and although I think that was probably the best choice, I was still mad that during our “I Have Never” drinking games (in which everyone who actually HAS done what the speaker says he or she has never done has to drink), I wouldn’t be able to make her drink in front of everyone by saying, “I have never been a prostitute.”