For many years, I was a waitress. And for all those years, I was a bad waitress. It’s not that I didn’t try. I wanted to give good service. I just wasn’t blessed with the ability to remember that table seven wants crisp bacon on a rare burger while also remembering that table eight wants a Seven and Seven.
So, as in every other arena of life, I made up for a shortcoming with humor. My favorite waitress stock line came to me in an epiphany one afternoon while working at a place called Lupton’s — a barbecue joint where you could order sweetened or unsweetened iced tea to go with your pork sandwich. (Guess what region it was in. If you said the Pacific Northwest, y’all are way off.) I was “in the weeds,” as usual — a restaurant term that translates roughly to “9% tip” — when I finally made it to a table of tea guzzlers I had been away from for too long. I scurried up with a full pitcher — only to see my customers’ glasses had already been refilled. Thrown, I blurted: “Are, are you seeing another waitress?”