A dream inspired by Barbie, finally fulfilled

About a month ago, I quit my serving job at a popular mexican chain restaurant.  I had always wanted to be a waitress, a fantasy that began when I five and owned a toy that was apparently a joint venture between Pizza Hut and Mattel.

I realize now that this was not a “Pizza Hut Waitress Skipper!” doll. This was just a regular old Skipper who invited some friends (Courtney and Kevin if I’m not mistaken) over for pizza, and, feeling a little festive that evening, decided to wear a Pizza Hut polka dot crop top because…why not? Mattel did promise that this would be “Everything for a complete pizza party!”

For whatever reason, when I was younger I had it in my mind that Skipper was a waitress. Bitch probably got half off that food with her employee discount! So from then on my thinking was this: being a waitress means you are really cool and you look like a model and you have really attractive friends and you serve the most delicious food!  Pretty dumb, especially the part about Pizza Hut being “delicious.” Well, maybe it was fifteen years ago. Anyway.

When my post-graduation summer job ended and I found myself without full time work, I decided to finally fulfill my dream of waitressing, or “serving” as it’s now called. It ended up not being the right gig for me but I’m still glad I had a chance to try it. Because the funny thing is, the parts of serving that I thought I would like were almost exactly like I pictured it. I had to say goodbye to all these wonderful things and it was slightly soul-crushing.

Goodbye to cash at the end of every shift.  Sometimes pretty measly amounts, but better than the money I made at my unpaid internship, which happened to be a negative number thanks to the exorbitant parking fees. There really aren’t many legal, non-clothing-optional jobs that let you walk out each night with cash. Well except for babysitting, which I still do and plan to continue doing well through my sixties.

Goodbye to the customers, most of whom were actually very nice. In fact I feel sort of ripped off that I don’t have an “evil customer” story to exaggerate. Well once there was this woman that got angry when her plate had refried beans on it instead of black beans. And I was like “Oh, I’m so sorry I will go get your beans right now.” And she was like “Thank you, take your time, it’s not a big deal at all.” Then she smiled. God, some people!

Goodbye fun co-workers, half of whom were high school/college students and the other half of whom were single mothers. I never fit in either group and can you guess why? You’re correct, it’s because I am a single father.  

All throughout high school and college I worked in places that were sort of uncommon for someone my age – doctor’s offices, the “Narrative” department at Nordstrom, (your grandmother owns clothes from this department, I guarantee it) more doctor’s offices. Most of my coworkers at these jobs were at least twenty years older than me. I got used to the dynamic that this creates, which is why it isn’t that surprising that the coworker I liked best was a mom in her thirties. If I really was a single father we definitely would have had a Brady Bunch situation on our hands.

Goodbye smell of corn! I left each shift smelling like I just marinated in corn oil. I’m talking about a smell that saturated every item of clothing I wore to work, including my socks and bra (and no I was not secretly storing chips in my shirt).  This was one thing I was happy to say goodbye to! Unfortunately I can’t because I swear some of my clothes still smell like corn. Although this is slightly annoying, it’s sort of nice to have a reminder of the time I finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of waitressing  serving  waitressing.

A recap of this week’s Sing Off


My heart is pounding! The Sing Off begins with a “spooky” opening number. I would like to point out here that this episode was filmed sometime last spring or summer. Still I can’t help but love how musical theatery this number is. And…

CLARK MOMENT ALERT! During the group number Clark gets a solo line: “I ain’t afraid of no ghost! HUH!” he sings in the sassiest way possible, flipping his pompadour out of his eyes. I can already tell that this is going to be a good episode. Clark is wearing a gigantic mustache, and obviously it looks fantastic.

Then Nick Lachey comes out, smiling like someone just told him that 98 Degrees is getting back together. He looks good in his eggplant button down shirt.  It’s Superstar Medley week!

After the break, Urban Method does a Rhianna mash up. I like it, though I think the fact that it “showcased the ladies,” took away from what they’re best at  – showcasing the men. Sara and Sean both ramble about “confidence” and “finding themselves in the music,” forgetting for a moment that they aren’t counselors at a summer camp.

Next up is Vocal Point – the ‘morms! – with an Elvis medley. OH MY GOSH THEY SOUND SO GOOD.  If I hear a single negative word from the judges I will throw a bible at the TV.

Heading my warning, the judges have nothing but positive things to say. Oh except Ben Folds says that they are “back” this week, referring to their slightly pitchy but emotionally charged performance they gave last week.  For god’s sake Ben, their long-lost member returned after attending his fathers funeral and then sang a song dedicated to him!  What they lacked in pitch they more than made up for in tears rolling down my cheeks.

Afro Blue is up next with a Janet Jackson mashup.  I want to know where they found these unisex robin’s egg blue leather jackets. Bit of a specialty item there.

One of the first things out of Shawn’s mouth is about their hair. Lord. Then Sara lays it all out on the table for Afro Blue: “You are really good at this,” she says. I don’t know, Sara, I just think we’re past the point of validating their existence as a group. Shawn is complimenting their hair for crying out loud.

Wait, Sara is not done yet…she thinks they were “too ambitious” with this performance. “I got lost in it,” she says. OH MY GOD SARA. Just sit back and listen! Don’t let your mind wander! LITERALLY ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LISTEN AND WATCH. Ben somehow “found his way” through the performance and thought it was “smart,” “radical,” and “really good.” Ask him for help or something, I don’t know.

Moving on…we have the Dartmouth Aires with a Queen Medley. Their performance is flawless and the tall guy Michael is just…well, the word “electric” is popping into my mind and I never thought I would say something like that but who cares HE IS ELECTRIC. I AM ENGULFED IN FLAMES FROM THE ELECTIRICAL FIRE HE STARTED.

Got carried away there sorry.

Sara and Ben have nothing to say but how perfect the performance was. Shawn comments that it was “Like I was watching a Broadway play” <—I hate to be such a stickler here but, maybe you meant a musical, Shawn? Typically they are the ones with singing and dancing. I would normally never correct something like that but you just annoy me so darn much.

Time for Pentatonix! Wow, what an committed tribute to Britney Spears – the girl is not even wearing pants. The guys on the other hand are wearing these khaki monstrosities with decorative zippers. Possibly an attempt at evening things out, pants-wise.

As you might think, the dancing in their performance is very “sexually charged,” with lots of hip movement and, no, I’m not just talking about the girl. OH WHOA! Parents, cover your children’s eyes because the girl just did a spin and we got an eyeful!

Shawn rambles, Ben gives his typical technical critique and Sara appears to have a mini stroke. So, you know, the usual.

Now it’s Delilah‘s turn. But first Nick has to give us his spiel about this “not being just a recital,” in case everyone forgot what they were watching during the commercials. Shawn can’t sit still for more than thirty seconds so he takes this opportunity to flash peace signs at the camera.

He and Sara really are like two children that Ben Folds has been asked to babysit.

Delilah, who, one group member claims, inject “soul” into pop songs, are doing an Alisha Keys medley.Yes, I’ve always thought that what Alicia Keys really lacks is soul. Thank god this group of white girls is here to help her out!

I’m starting to get bored by Delilah, but the judges still sing their praises. Actually Sara starts talking about how great Alicia Keys is….Sara she is not the contestant here can you come back to earth please…..

“Great job!” she exclaims, channeling a 5 year old. Good enough for me.

Shawn begins his critique with a tone to his voice like “Enough goofing off guys, I’m gonna be serious and all mentor-y.”  But then all he says is stuff like “You delivered the leads the way you were supposed to deliver them,” (like do you mean…they sang them?) and “You had some guys in the audience blushing.”  Sigh.

Last but not least are the YellowJackets. They boys of are doing a Billy Joel medley. Ben remarks that they “brought some African influence in.”  Then it cuts to this shot:

Nice, NBC.

Before the judges announce who’s going home, the winners of last season, Committed, preform a Chris Brown medley. It’s surprising how enjoyable Chris Brown songs are when they’re not sung by a scary, violent, overgrown teenager.

The results are in! Predictably, the YellowJackets are sent home. Next week’s theme is “Rocking Out and Goin’ Country!”  From the looks of the preview, there is either going to be a wind machine or some sort of indoor storm. I’m all about the theatrics so I can’t wait.