The life and times of a waitress in Cool Cape May… by Molly Stone
IT’S so easy to focus on the characters who come to the restaurant for dinner that sometimes I forget how entertaining my fellow servers can be. First, there’s Veronica, the spunky little Romanian waitress for whom everything relates back to sex.
A few weeks ago, my manager had Veronica wipe fingerprints off of the mirror in the dining room. Because the shadows on the glass made it difficult to see the smudges while on top of them, my manager stood back a few steps to offer direction. “A little higher,” she said. “Now a little lower. To the left a little more, a little more. And now to the right…and down…and left…”
Finally, Veronica turned to my manager, her black curls bouncing over her shoulders. She said, in her thick Romanian accent, “I sympathize with your fiancé.”
Then there’s Moe, a waiter whose looks are as boy-next-door as they come. Moe could be one of the all-American guys on the cover of a college admissions brochure. He’d be the one in khaki cargo shorts and a polo, throwing a Frisbee on an impeccably-manicured lawn and smiling with his impeccably white teeth. At a table, Moe is nothing but “Yes, ma’am” and “No, sir.” He’s polite and genteel and courteous – at least until he gets into the kitchen. Then Moe becomes some expletive-using, wall-punching, spoon-throwing version of his mild-mannered alter ego.
What looks like a rosy complexion in the dining room (perhaps a mild sunburn from all that Ivy League Frisbee playing), becomes an explosive red under the fluorescent lights of the kitchen. Beads of sweat gather around Moe’s forehead as he curses the bastards who stiffed him or the cook who screwed him. Dishwashers and bartenders alike tiptoe around Moe when he launches into one of his fits. Only Veronica dares to provoke him. “All that passion,” she says, eyeing up Moe like a lioness, “I can think of a few good uses for it.”
Then there’s Allison, a 21st-century hippie who’s sworn off cell phones and takes impromptu trips to Sweden for weekends of interpretive dance performance. When we met, she told me she needed to smudge my house in order to cleanse my clogged aura (which prompted yet more sexual innuendoes from Veronica).
And me? I’m the hypersensitive one who needs everyone to get along, still takes a bad tip personally, and cries when the guy at table six proposes to his girlfriend.
We’re an unlikely family, it’s true. But we are, indeed, a family. Over-sexed, temperamental, and high on flower power, we’ve got all the dysfunction to prove it. But as much as we bicker, we never wonder who has got our back. We know that somebody will always be there, as surely as a dirty joke from Veronica, to help us find our way through the weeds.