Tuesday, December 27, 2005

happy pretend new year

Jesus may be the reason for a lot of people’s seasons. I’ve seen enough of those stickers on the lapels of stupid beaming church housewives to get it. But the holidays get me pumped for other reasons. Given that I’m a girl, I’ve worked in the service industry for years, and I’m still young enough that my family doesn’t expect me to bring alcohol yet, the holidays mean a lot of free drinking.

But my mom and step dad choose to be a little different from the rest of us. Why? Well, many reasons, but one being that they choose not to drink. Fine. A lot of people chose to do this. But not only do they avoid alcohol, but they feel the need to pollute the world with endless sanctimonious bullshit about why an innocent glass of cabernet is part of Satan’s evil plan to poison the sinners who choose to indulge. I mean, it’s red, the devil is red, hello, could there be a more obvious parallel?

But while on new years eve I’ll be working in my club and guzzling free champagne , she and joe the step weirdo, will do what they do every year. Which is sit alone in their bedroom (surprise, they have no friends) and toast the ball drop with this.

Sparkling cider. The non-alcoholic alternative.




The most famous sparkling cider seems to be a brand called Martinelli’s. On their website they call it “The ideal festive juice perfect for the whole family.” So, for the younger kids who wanna toast with mom and dad, it’s kinda cute. But when two adults drink it on new years, huddled in their bedroom by themselves it’s, for lack of a better term, fucking weird. Isn’t this "pretend drinking?" Aren’t they flirting with the very thing they warn against? "Oooo, look at us…he he he, we’re having some pretend champagne." Just like children spread out tea sets to have a, hehe, pretend party, or play doctor to do some, hehe, pretend fucking. After they finish the bottle do they pretend to be drunk? Do they talk in pretend slurs? Do they get into a pretend fight and wake up the next day, (and do like a lot of girls) pretend to forget what happened?

And the most mind-boggling thing about it: the stuff tastes like absolute garbage. I bet most of us will agree that when we took our first sips of alcohol, we checked to make sure we hadn’t mistaken that beer can for battery acid. Yeah, it was gross. But then all the sudden it was all so warm and fuzzy and it felt real good with that boy’s hand up our tube top. The initial sacrifice had its reward. But there is no reward for these people. And frankly I don’t think anyone over the age of twelve who thinks its normal to pretend drink should be rewarded with anything than a mouthful of merciless payback for the years of preaching they impose on me and my fellow alcoholics.

As for me, on new years I’ll be drinking for real in my club. And while the two of them pretend to pass out, I’ll be busy counting my tips in my manager's officer, pretending to be sober.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

to my readers who've been with me from the beginning

remember nikki?

nikki. the nikki who taught us lessons like keeping our mouths open, how much lip gloss a girl should wear, and the secrets to having the time of your life while clubbing...

she was fired last week.

the reason? too bossy.

hmph. go figure.

(and if you have no idea what the hell i'm talking about, feel free to check out the second story i wrote way back in october. the one that starts with "i apologize...")

i know i know...cop out entry....but i'm busy. but more will be coming shortly.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

it's been so long...so sorry

“So I paid some guy to fuck me last night.”

Standing in front of the mirror putting on makeup inside the club dressing room, I almost smeared my eye-liner across my face. The cosmetic equivalent of a record scratching.

“You did what?” another one of the girls asked.

“I went on this website and they have these guys there that you pay to come over your house for a few hours.”

“And he just came over and fucked you?”

“Yeah. I mean, why would I waste time going to a club to meet some guy? I spend money doing that anyway. And these guys know how to fuck, you know. They have big dick. They give you massage. You think some guy I meet in club is gonna do that?”

And to my complete disbelief, the entire staff of girls sat there and agreed. They asked her more questions. They commended her logic. They asked her for the website in plans of doing THE VERY SAME THING.

“But, honey,” one said, lowering her. “I wouldn’t tell anyone else around here.”

“Why?” She asked, dumbfounded. Her foreign accent making her sound exceptionally stupid.

“Cause, some people might not understand. There’re some ignorant people here.”

And by ignorant, I’m sure she meant me.

Like most nights, I wasn’t participating in their conversation. Just like they’re not gonna be able to keep up with one of our covos about Bogusky’s biggest blunder, my US Weekly reading hasn’t ever been exactly up to date. So forgive me if I can’t comment on the pros and cons of Britney be-dazzling her ass with Swavorski crystals. So while they talked, I sat in the same room secretly oh my godding in my head. Call me suburban raised but… a girl. Paying. For sex. If it’s ignorant of me to think this way then perhaps my morals do hail from the Midwest.

I suppose in my fuck-being-a-housewife mentality, I should commend her for her male-like attitude. If guys can pay for sex, why can’t girls? Like she said. She wanted to get laid, but didn’t want to waste time going to a club. Furthermore, these people are professionals. They “know how to fuck.” It’s a job to do and they do it right. If your sink is clogged you’re not gonna call a copywrtiter. (Even though, girls, I’m sure we’ve all had clogged sinks a few times in our lives and have mistakenly called an ad guy to come over and not know what the hell he was doing.) But forgive me for not wanting to be a job. Or it never even crossing my mind that gigoloing it was an option. In fact, I don’t even think highly of a guy paying for sex. When we saw that mug shot of Hugh Grant after his concubinal encounter, did we think, “I don’t understand the fact that he resorted to picking up a hooker. I should brush up on my civil rights and be more understanding.” No. We thought, “Oh my God. Why did a famous guy resort to this? Underneath his Prada, HE MUST BE A FUCKING LOSER.”

Loserness is not gender specific. And paying to get fucked is one of the most vile, pathetic things you can do no matter what your gender. So call me biased, ignorant, or whatever you want. But I still prefer to get my fucking for free.

Even if it’s from a Puerto Rican.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

the plague

They’re everywhere.

On the subway. In my fucking way in a grocery isle. Queing up just to make me wait an extra 30 minutes to buy a fucking thing of OJ. Clogging the very narrow middle of the bus so I can’t barely breath. Chinese, prolific and touring. The terror of the year coming to a theater near you.

You know what they are? They’re People.

Don’t give me this “I’m a person. I have thoughts and feelings, a family and friends just like you.” No you don’t. You’re not a person. You’re People. You’re in my way. I want you to get out of my way. And stop trying to convince me that you’re anything other than vile, isle clogging, coughing into my airspace People.

People can’t make up their mind. They zig and zag down the sidewalk blocking you every time you try to pass them. If they’re walking toward you, when you try to move out of their path, they move the same way. Then they say things like, “Wanna dance?” and think that it’s funny. No it’s not funny. People are not funny. They’re People.

People are the reason you’re late to work. People are the reason the subway breaks down. People are the reason there’s no sour cream left in the grocery store. People talk with thick Staton Island accents and grab your ass while you’re in the club. People ask questions like “Whatcha readin’?” while you’re on the airplane. Even though you’re clearly burying your nose in a book to avoid conversation with People!

People say things like “Mami!” And “Do you have the time?” And “Does this train go uptown?” Even though THERE’S A SIGN ABOVE THEIR HEADS THAT CLEARLY STATES THE TRAIN’S DESTINATION. But People are illiterate. And they can’t tell time. I would say…give them a break, what do you expect…they’re People. But do not be fooled. Do not buy into their doe eyed innocence. Do not give them a break. Do not excuse their stupidity. Why? Cause they’re People.

Do I think I’m a bad person for this? No. Do I think my karma is gonna plummet like Crispin’s reputation? Of course not. Anne Frank, good sweet dear Anne Frank said, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” And then People came and put her in a gas chamber. In the end, caring for People can only send you to a concentration camp. But that’s what you get for loving People.

People.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

sorority poncho

Last night in the pre shift meeting the staff was informed that we would be hosting a celebrity that night. Big fucking deal. I hate it when celebrities come. They’re usually cheep, tipless, and create this huge fucking traffic stopping mob in the club that makes it impossible for all us non celebrities to work. (Can you imagine if ad people were overpaid and famous? And if we got our own episode of “Driven” on VH1? Ahhhh….) But a few of us seemed a little more starstruckable than me, and begged our manager to tell us who was coming in.

And it was none other than my one and only celebrity makeout, Matt Damon.

A long time ago a little bit younger and much more naïve girl sat in her orange cocktail dress in a little Miami beach dive bar. She had just got off from work and hadn’t planned on going out, but the lure of cocktails and cocaine was too tempting. So there she was, still wearing her orange work dress (because she hadn’t brought a change of clothes) and her University of Florida sorority poncho on top of it. (This might speak for Matt’s taste, as he was letting himself make out with a nobody, still in uniform, post-shift cocktail waitresses, who hadn’t yet retired her sorority rain gear.) She knew Matt was in town, as she had served (btw…why an I writing in the 3rd person?) him earlier at a pass hors d’oeuvres party. The kind of party I told you about before, that rbrown can’t seem to find. And then, as she sat on that bar stool in the corner, sipping a rum and coke and watching her friends play a game of pool, a friend jabbed her side and said…”Omigod, Matt Damon’s here.”

“Elli, remember when I made out with matt damon?” I asked my manager last night.

“Yes, I do, you little whore. You and all the hostesses at Pearl made out with him. “

That, I didn’t know until last night. But I laughed it off pretending I did. But what should I expect for someone with his non discriminant tastes? That I was special?

But I thought I was that night. “I’m gonna go talk to him,” I informed my friend and took my place at the bar next to where he was standing. The details of that conversation, like the details of most of my first year in Miami, are a little hazy. I know that we talked for a bit and he excused himself. At that point I figured he was blowing me off. Oh well, no loss, I thought. And resumed my position on the bar stool in the corner.

But then he did the unthinkable. He came back over to talk to ME. Walked right back over to where I was sitting and struck up a conversation. My first attempt in the exchange was to explain why I was wearing an orange dress/uniform, and why I was even a cocktail server at all. I was starting ad school next month. I was going to study copywriting, but that wasn’t the only thing I was interested in. I went on and on about how I really liked editing and maybe would like to get into production, so I would look like more than just a waitress and show that we had some career interest in common. But much to my try-way-too-hard-to-impress-a-celebrity dismay, the only common interest he shared with me was figuring out a way to get under my poncho.

Sitting in the dressing room last night before work, the girls discussed celebrities.

“I heard Vin Desiel is gonna be at Stereo [another club] tonight,” one said.

“Big deal,” answered another. “I don’t wanna wait on Vin desiel. I already fucked him once so what’s the point? He’s got a big dick, though.”

But I’ve never been one to just fuck. Getting under my poncho takes more than a few drinks and a celebrity name. And although that night (or morning…the sun was up) Matt took my friend and I back to his mansion after the bar closed, I was pretty intent on making sure his home was not the evening’s final destination.

“Really, I should go,” I said in the middle of kissing him. “The sun’s up.”

“No, no…stay here,” he protested.

“No really, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea…”

“It’s okay,” he said. “If you don’t wanna have sex than I can just go down on you.”

Gross.

I pulled away. “Can you tell your driver to take me home now?”

And then I went home. Went to ad school. Went to Europe. Snagged the Rican. Moved to new york. Traded my orange cocktail dress for a black one. And after all that, i was about to face my former make out again. Doing the same old job. Seemingly not moved on with my life at all.

But was he going to remember me? Of course not. Having gone through all the hostesses at Pearl that same week I was just another orange dress to him. (And since that night I added a poncho to my ensemble, I’m sure I was the one he tried to forget.) So my plan was to just hang low, hide in my section and hope sans rain gear, I’d only look like just another dumb waitress trying to make a few bucks in new york. Nothing special. Nothing at all.

Eight hours later, I was standing in front of a hot dog vendor buying a late night snack.

“You work in the club over there, right?” The vendor asked.

“Yeah, why?”

“I recognize you. I always see you walking down this street around this time.”

I laughed. “Yeah, this is when I get out.”

“You make big money tonight?”

“Yeah, actually I did.”

“Congratulations, my friend. And see you tomorrow.”

“We’re not open tomorrow.” I said, “So next week.”

A cab pulled up and I got in it. As I shut the door, I realized that Matt had never showed up. And I was glad. If the random hot dog vendor recognized me, then maybe he might have too. But I was safe in cab and on my way home. On my way home and happy. I’ll take the Rican and a two-dollar hot dog, over his “I can just go down on you” celebrity ass any day. It may not seem like much to Matt, but to me it's pretty special.

i'm a stinking lazy filthy 2 job whore

sorry I’ve been off for a while, I actually got some freelance so I’ll be working two jobs till the end of the year. But don’t worry. Just because I’m double employed does not mean the bitterness will disappear. I’m writing a post right now…and I’ll be back and as bitter as ever.

I’m also planning on being much more devoted to this site….i’m hoping it gets popular and I can start selling concha merchandise and maybe do a concha pop album. I’m also open to suggestions…This is after all, one of my hobbies….

Friday, November 18, 2005

look at me i'm famous!!!

check it out...i made it on overheard in new york!

http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/

unfortunately i put it under my real name tho...now my concha cover is totally blown.

(but i made it on overheard...so it's totally worth it)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Alex, be subservient

Today I got one of my three times per week Creativity emails. It’s rare that I fully read them. But when I saw Crispin Porter in the first paragraph, I perked up a little, curious to see what the boys down south were doin’. Then I was brought to adcritic, where I watched one of the worst ads I have ever seen. (If I knew how to do links, I’d bring you to it. But remember, I’m an idiot waitress). I watched them borrow interest from a passed his reincarnated fame celebrity, Flava Flave. Then I saw them make an idiotic parallel between his name and being a “taste expert.” Then conclude with a completely irrelevant outcry that succumbs to the humor of tasteless drunk college students who have no idea what kind of formerly insightful and thoughtful work use to flow out of that place. They went from seeking praise at Cannes, to going for the laugh from your average Bevis. He hu he hu.

What happened, Crispin Porter? My once favorite agency. You were one of the reasons I got back into advertising. Yeah, you rejected me for that AE job I interviewed for. But instead of getting bitter, I enrolled in ad school, eager to be just like you. “Oh isn’t that cool!” I thought. “They put a Mini on an SUV!” I adored the Mini small thoughts copy. Reading the last words…”Be careful of long advertisements. The ones that go on and on. Those…will…get…you…every…time.” Yes, you got me and you can get me over and over again! I got choked up the way those pathetic chick flick watching girls do when they recite their favorite dialogue from Beaches. I went on Subservient Chicken at least three times per day and commanded him to hump the couch….HUMP THE COUCH!!! It was inspiration I thought only Oscar Wilde could provide. But then, like Poor Oscar did so many years ago, Crispin Porter Bogusky, laid down and died.

How could the same agency that wrote Ikea Lamp approve Chilltop? The same Creative director who inspired the Office (“That’s not cool.” “You’re not cool.” Oh so very cool!) decide to hire HOOTIE AND THE FUCKING BLOWFISH to sing the praises of the same fast food? Ugoff, you were my homosexual fashion designing fantasy. But now the King conceptlessly runs across a football field to say what, exactly? It’s like Dorothy parker coming back to life and writing Mandy Moore lyrics. Oh CPB, to quote Clare McNalley, “WHAT ARE YOU [FUCKING] TRYING TO SAY!!!!”

I realize that these are big words from the unemployed. And if I hadn’t slept in almost 3.5 years my career may be equally plummeting. But Alex, I’m not ready to see your tombstone erected yet. I don’t want to lay you to rest in the graveyard of Y&Crap and McCrap Erikson. Let your writers sleep, Alex. Give them a vacation. Visit each of their offices and one by one pull their heads out of each of their asses. Because it’s dark up there. And they can’t see what’s going on when their view is obstructed by their own colons. Get a nap, take some asprin and HUMP THE COUCH, GODAMIT! After a head clearing orgasm, maybe you can come back to us and bring all that brilliance back from your quickly approaching grave.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

pigs in a blanket

On the train to work Saturday night, I tried to convince myself that I was lucky. Yeah, I don’t have a job yet and my schedule has reduced my Rican visitation rights down to about 2.5 hrs per week. But, even though the night would earn me 600 dollars so I could afford new boots at 300 dollars, as if I’m living in a fucking Mastercard commercial, I’ve learned that respect is priceless.

And there’s no better way to win the no respect contest than when your job decides to host a sweet sixteen birthday party, and turns you into a teenager’s servant.

Just like any other party, they made us treat it like it was for a bunch of relatively sane 35yr olds. We had to pass hors d’oeuvres and then run a buffet. (I use the term “hors d’oeuvres” loosely since it was mostly chicken fingers and pigs in a blanket.) But they forgot one thing. Kids don’t want to eat. Kids want to fuck. Adults get older, realize all the problems and hassle that comes with fucking, and settle down by the buffet. But these kids snubbed me and my chicken like I was carrying a Saturday night math assignment in favor of starting an orgy on the dance floor.

“I know I didn’t act like that when I was sixteen,” I told the chef as brought an ignored tray of mozzarella sticks down to the kitchen.

Upstairs in the main room, everyone watched the dance floor orgy in horror, convinced they’d always possessed the maturity of 35 year olds. But the truth is at sixteen we all acted the same way. I probably would have chugged a cup of vodka outside, came in and made out with some 10th grader. Then, like they looked at me and the food I was carrying with pity, I too probably would have rolled my eyes at the nobody waitresses. Because I was in national honor society for fuck’s sake. These girls didn’t deserve any respect. Maybe if they would have known their adult life would be reduced to serving chicken fingers to high school students they would have thought twice about studying for that algebra test, now wouldn’t they? Then they could have gone to a little something called “college” and avoid this whole embarrassing blue-collar mess.

“I hope this is a new low for me,” said my fellow high school servant coworker. “I hope this is the lowest I’m gonna go.”

Feeling as big as an hors d’oeuvre, I slumped my shoulders over and sighed. My job pays the bills and affords the boots, but it can’t ever buy me the thing I want most.

There was only about a half hour left of the party. A few of the kids reconsidered some of the food, and came to the buffet for a serving. But most of the early bumpin’ and grindin’ had turned into rhythmic make out sessions on the dance floor.

“If I was a rich girl
na na na na na na na na na na na…” sang Gwen Stefani on the speakers.

And my inner DJ replied,

“I could tell all these kids to go fuck themselves
If I was a wealthy giiiiiiiirl.”

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

small meaningless excerpts from my life

Last night the Rican announced that his Playstation was in the mail and would soon be arriving at our house. I realized right away that my once peaceful evenings in the shoebox were now going to be filled with sounds of bling blong bloop. (Come on, we all got the first Nintendo. We all can hum the tune to Super Mario Brothers Level 1-1.) I was immediately filled with intense feelings of resentment and hatred. Sentiments which I immediately articulated.

“You can’t deny me my Playstation,” he argued. “ It’s one of my hobbies.”

Playstation? A hobby? Playstation is not a hobby. Painting, Music, Photography. These are all perfectly acceptable hobbies to me. Because after you devote a Saturday to one of them, you usually have something to show for it. More importantly, if you’re good, you’ll also have something to sell. Become skilled enough, and one day you may get a book or a record deal. So basically, a hobby is anything that puts you on the path to riches and/or fame. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time.

Playstation. A hobby. What’s next? Blogging?

Ever the literalist he sent me this definition to prove his point.

hob·by n
1. an activity engaged in for pleasure and relaxation during spare time

“So there,” he said.” It does count as a hobby. Just like smoking weed. That’s also one of my hobbies.”

“Smoking weed is not a hobby!”

“Don't get mad cause you don't have any hobbies.”

I scanned my brain for a few examples. “I do too have hobbies.”

“What, like busting my balls?”

Well, maybe I can relax my definition, just this once.

Friday, October 28, 2005

hors d'oeuvres

Ah, parties. So much fun. Open bar, hors d’oerves the size of tiny crumpled up napkins, and enough Jay-Z spinning to make even Beyoncé vomit. I hate parties. And if you go to them, I also hate you.

Since I’ve spent the past 2.5 years slave to Ron…I haven’t been able to go to any parties. I’ve only gotten to work them. And working them means I have to walk around carrying a tray of fancy finger food, just to make sure all you free loaders don't get hungry. So now, when I hear the word party this is what runs through my brain: no tips, “what is it?”, and every dumb guy and his stupid joke.

No tips: Tips. This is what we waitresses pay our rent with. But when it’s free, people seem to forget this fact. When it costs money, people always pay extra. Explain this logic to me please. And would it kill you every now and then to slip us five bucks. I’m not beggin’ here…but all your obnoxious thank you’s aren’t gonna keep my electricity on.

“What is it?”: What is this fucking question? You’re at a party. You’re drinking for free and probably a little drunk. Like most people, you probably get a little hungry when you’re a little drunk. And there…low and behold before your eyes is a tray of food. Free food. As if God had descended from the sky and answered your silent prayer. And you’ve got the fucking nerve to look at the food and ask, “What is it?” It’s free fucking food, that’s what it is.

The great part is that “It” is usually something common, like chicken on a stick. It’s white meat people. We’ve walked past a Chick Filet. We’ve done this before. But when I answer, “chicken,” for the fifteenth fucking time, they’ll point to the sauce and ask, “Well, what’s that?” When I’ve finally finished describing where chickens come from, they’ll smile coyly, reach for a stick and say, “Well, I don’t usually, but…”

What do you mean, “you don’t usually?” You don’t usually eat? Bitch, you’re pushing two-fifty. The anorexic models who “don’t usually” are in the bathroom snorting coke. Nobody’s fooling anybody here.

Every dumb guy and his stupid joke: If ever you feel the need to make a comment to the waitress carrying food at a party, let me tell you one thing. You are not unique. Your joke about the food, the party, “Mmm, Honey…this chicken is so tender…do you beat it yourself?”…wink, wink… is not original. I just heard it from the past six guys I was forced to feed for free, so put the food in your mouth and shut the fuck up. Last night as I was carrying a tray of coconut chicken, some guy made one of the 8 classic stupid comments. And since my brain couldn’t help thinking a sarcastic reply to his joke, my face didn’t hide my annoyance. He later found me and tried to apologize.

“I’m so sorry, Honey. I don’t want you to be mad at me. I was just trying to cheer you up.”

Cheer me up? I’m 26 years old, with more school under my cocktail dress than half my friends, yet I’m carrying a tray of chicken skewers through a crowd full of drunk people. Cheer me up. At least the sample bitch at Chick Filet doesn’t have to wear heels.

So for the next party, I want to tattoo on my forehead, “Leave me alone. My boyfriend is a big crazy Puerto Rican.” He’s not, but I’m hoping people will see it, and just take their chicken and run.

Monday, October 24, 2005

(I’m probably gonna get in trouble for this…but fuck it)

Every culture’s got women. Every culture also has a way of trying to get their attention. But there’s one that has found a way to get under my skin like I thought only motorcycle noise could. There I am. Walking down the street sans iPod. And I hear the hiss and then the cry that I cannot avoid. “Mami…MAMI!!!”

I grew up in south Florida, so I suppose I should be used to it. I’m also a woman. I have both my legs. And I’m under 300 lbs. I mean really, with specs like these I’m practically begging for it. But every time I hear them hiss “Mami…MAMI!” I want to whirl around and scream, “I’m a gringa for god’s sake. DO I LOOK LIKE YOUR FUCKING MOTHER??”

What I really want to know is why they continue to do it. Has it ever worked before? Do they actually think that any woman worth Mami-ing is going to reconsider her destination of the grocery store take this man into the nearest alley? And even if she was looking to do that, of all the men on the street, why is she going to pick the one with the Oedipus complex? “Mami…MAMI!!”

Now I realize that the English language has similar terms for reducing women to walking orifices. We’ve got our hot and sexy mamas, but I don’t hear them referenced as much and as non-discriminately as “Mami…MAMI!!!” It’s the tune I walk home from work to. I work in a club, so I’m usually wearing a lot of makeup on my way home. I’m aware that my super glam face (trust me, it’s only the makeup) is not going to help assuage their cries. So I’ve started bringing a hooded sweatshirt to work. On my way home I make sure the hood is covering my head and the strings are drawn tight to hide the majority of my face. Hell, at a quick glance I could even be mistaken for a boy. But apparently every gender’s got “Mami” potential. Because a man closing a small street beverage stand hisses at me. “Psst, Mami. I save some free coffee for you. Mami!” But even though I was freezing and would have loved a hot free beverage, he lost me at “Mami.” He might have had better luck with “Eyy…Pretend my pants is France and invade ‘em!” At least there was a chance that I might laugh and not hate him as much.

“Mami…MAMI!!!” It’s beginning to make me bitter. Even a little crazy. I kinda wanna give up everything that makes me look feminine and pretty. They’re supposed to be the crazy ones. They’re the ones without any blood in their brains and desperately labeling anything a “Mami.” But every time I hear it, the blood rushes equally out of my brain and into my fists. I want to run to the nearest candy store or hotdog stand to find something…anything that might help get my weight up past the 300 mark. Cause maybe then, I can finally walk to the grocery store in peace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Plan B

(ok, i apologize as this entry is extremely long. but if you're really bored and have some time to kill this is what happened my first night at work)


When I was in college, my roommate and I tried to have plenty of, what we called “background boys.” We were only half interested in these guys, but we still maintained an off again, on again relationship with them. That way, if our current foreground lover suddenly spilt, we would always have someone to take us out to dinner. Our philosophy was, “Always have a plan B.”

When it came to my career, Plan A was always a job in advertising. But after I graduated from ad school, we had to take a little break. But I was not about to sit at home on a Saturday night. So I immediately called on my background career. The one as a waitress.

I got a job, In a trendy Manhattan nightclub. I was looking forward to easy money, free champagne and all the thrills of playing the career field. But instead I was introduced to Nikki, the girl who would be training me for the night.

She had the face of a caramel colored Goodyear tire. Under a disco ball, you could almost mistake her for a relatively attractive, typical blonde cocktail waitress. Turn on the lights and all the scars were revealed. She was 33, had a 13-year-old son, and had obviously worked in clubs her whole life, choking down packs of menthol cigarettes during every one of her breaks. When we were introduced, I stuck my hand out, attempting cordiality. She ignored it and looked up at me with a wrinkled rubber sneer.

“So where have you worked before?” she asked.

“At..um, a place called Pearl for two and a half years, and then another place called Tantra all summer.”

“Good, so you have experience then.”

She said “experience” like you needed to go to med school to bring out a bottle of Grey Goose. With her back to me, I knew she couldn’t see my involuntary eye roll. But she must have read my mind, because she whirled around on her heals and stuck her finger up in my face.

“Look, bitch,” she began. “I’m not gonna be fucking nice to you. I’m not friendly like the other girls. I’m a bitch. I know I’m a bitch, and I don’t give a shit.”

For a second I wondered what would happen if I were to reach down and bite off the finger she was wagging in my face.

“I was head waitress at (some restaurant I’d never heard of) and head trainer at (some other restaurant I’d never heard of).” She started punching in some numbers on the server’s computer. “I like my job, I like what I do. I’m a people person.”

Clearly.

She looked up from the computer, “I’ll either make you or break you tonight. You’ve only got one chance to prove yourself, you got that?”

Make me or break me? Was I missing something? This is a waitressing job, right? A “bring out the bottle of vodka and stand there and look pretty” job. I wanted to argue my case and tell her I’d survived Ad school and had a portfolio. But like she’d informed me before, she wouldn’t give a shit.

“Oh,” she said, shaking a tube of pink lip-gloss at me. “Always wear lots of gloss.”

Advice for life.

I followed her out to her first table, knowing this was going to be a long night. Trainees don’t make any money. And since there wasn’t much for me to learn, all I had to look forward to was 6 hours of getting bounced around by a bunch of drunk people wearing four inch heals. At this particular table, there were three guys sharing a bottle of Jack Daniels. She sat down next to the one on the right and turned into this embarrassingly flirtatious character. I was embarrassed for her at least. And since there’s no point in flirting unless there’s 20% gratuity attached to it, I chose to sit there and quietly observe. This went on for about fifteen minutes, until she looked across at me and smiled. “Come with me,” she said. I followed her to the back room.

Again with the finger in my face. “I need you to open your fuckin’ mouth.”

And, what? I thought. Get on my knees like you?

“Do you know what your fuckin’ job is? “

She reached in her bag. For a second I fully expected her to whip out a cucumber and, like my more experienced friend did in the ninth grade, give me instructions on how to give a blow-job. She only pulled out lip-gloss.

“It’s to make sure customers have a good time.”

She looked in the mirror and smeared a little on her lips. Looking satisfied, she turned back to me.

“You know, all these other girls come in here and they’re all about making money. You know what my goal is?”

I didn’t know what was killing me more. The suspense, or the pain from my four-inch heals.

“My goal is to get drunk. Because If I get drunk then I have a good time. And if I have a good time then my customers have a good time.”

Although it was dark, her insights shed a whole new light on club-going. Little does anyone know, but these places don’t exist for our own drunken pleasure. No, no. That’s just silliness. Apparently the secret to having a good time is not getting yourself drunk, but rather the waitress. The next time you’re out, and your dinner date isn’t acting like a good trophy should, what better way to bump up the fun meter than buying your server a shot? Sure you won’t be able to drown out the pain of your meaningless clerk job with an excess of Friday night tequila. But think of all the fights, crying and general drunken stupidity that could be avoided by devoting your paychecks to intoxicating the club staff. Who knows? Your waitress might even get drunk enough to give you a hand job while you pay the bill.

But as the night went on, for one who’d cited intoxication as a goal, she wasn’t doing much to ensure her success. Until finally one of our tables offered her, and me “the happy trainee,” a drink. I was about to accept a Grey Goose and tonic, but she shook that finger at me again. Then she turned to the man and said with complete conviction, “I ain’t drinkin’ no vodka.”

Well then what do you drink? I thought. Something tells me this place is out of Boones Farm.

“I only drink champagne,” she continued.

And to my shock, the man replied, “Well then go get yourself whatever you want.”

An aside for those who have never worked in the service industry: You cannot EVER get drinks from the bar unless you ring them in on the computer. This allows the venue to keep inventory of everything ordered, and everything that’s been paid for. So if you ring up a five hundred dollar bottle of champagne, you cannot clock out and leave until the bill has been paid. And if it’s not on a customer’s credit card, then it’s coming out of your pocket. And trust me, nothing was coming out of this chick’s pocket anytime soon.

After he gave her the green light, Nikki confidently strolled to the bar and rang up a bottle of Perrier Joet Rosé. She carried it out carefully. Smiling flirtatiously, she presented it to the customer. And behind her sleazy smile was the full assumption that this guy would be dumb enough to pay for the champagne.

“What’s this?” He asked.

She twisted her face into the sort of “come hither” look, the kind that should be abandoned by age twenty-six. Not used by a leather faced thirty-three year-old cocktail waitress. “It’s the champagne you bought for us,” she replied.

“Who’s ‘us?’”

“Us,” she pointed to me and then to herself. I shook my head subtlety, trying to telepathically communicate to him…”No this is all her. I have nothing to do with this.”

“Well how much is it?”

“Five hundred dollars.”

Now this man was wearing a fire chief jacket. So I’d assume in his career he had seen some pretty shocking things. But I’m sure he had never seen anything as unbelievable as a cocktail waitress ringing up a $500 bottle of champagne on his tab, offer him none and expect him to pay for it.

“What…uh…no, honey. Not tonight, I’m sorry.”

Poor man. If only he knew the secret to having the time of his life. Maybe he would have even gotten a hand job out of it.

I nodded and smiled again in his direction. “See, I knew you wouldn’t go for it.”

“What are you looking at?” She asked as she stormed past me. She was now carrying the champagne bottle like it was a bag of garbage, and she was a child who’d been told to take out the trash, or face three weeks of grounding.

Instead of looking at her, I tried to convince myself that I was lucky I had another career. It got me to New York and kept me from having to (gasp) live at home with my parents. The DJ started playing that Cold Play song, “Speed of Sound.” I took a step back to watch and the club lights, smoke and crowds. It made everything seem hopeful and …possible.

Until the DJ fucked up the song and had to cut it off in the middle. When Beyoncé started singing, I realized I’d better get on Plan A as soon as possible.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

this is why i have a blog

We all know these people. Well, those of us that went to ad school know these people. They’re the advertising stars. The ones that can get a brief for toilet paper and turn around win young guns. I hate these people.

Then we all know these people. These are the people that would rather get their nails done than work, and think Daniel Steel counts as required reading. But sometimes these people get paired up with the ad stars. And usually when this happens, great work still results. And the second type of people parade the ad around like God suddenly blessed them with the ability to create better than Mcrap Errickson. But the rest of us know that during this partnership, the ad star finally shouted, “Shut the fuck up. We’re doing the ad this way. Go back to your fucking manicure!”

And because these partnerships exist, I have this giant fear. I’ll finally get the call back. I’ll brag to all my friends about the interview. But when I finally sit face to face with the CD copywriter/art director team they’re going to look at me and think one thing. “Somebody else wrote these ads.”

Cause when I get put on the spot in interviews, my intelligence level suddenly matches my hair color. I completely forget every thing that has occurred in my life up to this point. They’ll ask what movies I like. I’ll stare at them blankly. They’ll ask whose work I admire. And even though I’ve been paying attention to advertising since I was a bored thirteen-year-old sitting in my dad’s office, I’ll respond that I prefer men who wear boxers. This is point that they’ll look at each other and think, “Daniel Steel must be her favorite author.”

A friend told me that it doesn’t matter if I bomb those questions, cause I’ve got the book to back it up. So, ok. Say despite my Jessica Simpsonesque interview, my book does miraculously provide them with the shaky confidence to hire me…on the condition that I can keep producing the same level of work. But because I have not worked on anything in the past year, on the first day I’ll look up at them all doe eyed and ask, “What’s a concept?” And then, despite the years I choked on lethal amounts of caffeine to actually get this shit together, they’ll be certain that my rich daddy hired somebody to write some headlines.

So unless my daddy becomes wealthy enough to hire someone to work for me, I need to practice between here and there. And practice does not mean I’m gonna cover the walls of my bare apartment with marker roughs. I have no partner to work with, or a Clare to tell me all my ideas are shit. So this seems to be the only alternative. I can practice writing and practice hearing you guys telling me how much I suck. Besides, I started to look at some of your bogs, with links to other blogs and other blogs and I feel a little left out. Kinda like walking into your apartment and seeing all your friends sitting around an 8 ball, and saying…”Well, fuck…”

So fuck it. I’ll have a blog. I’ll practice writing and hearing that I suck. Until maybe one day it’ll be good enough for you to say, “Shit, who’d she hire to write this stuff?”