The busboy brought in his baby tonight. I hadn’t met her yet. She’s three months old. For three months, I’ve been begging him to bring her by. She was worth the wait.
Her perfect features, like they were carved from clay the rounded nose and the rosy lips, pushed out in a delightful little pout. Her tiny little fingers, wrapping around mine, her fine, black hair, whisping like clouds about her head.
And those eyes. I could gaze into them for hours she looks up at me and does not look away and a smile plays upon her lips and my heart is well and truly captured and–
“I need napkins.”
He has a stack sitting next to him I wanted uninterrupted baby time so I preplanned all of this out in my head and anticipated every need of his because I am not putting this baby down.
“They’re right there sir, by your elbow.”
He grunts. Grabs one. Wipes the grease from his lips.
And I turn back to the baby and I coo and awe like adults do when in the presence of these little miracles we become blubbering idiots with no grasp of the English language and that’s fine by me.
“Iced tea?”
He asks, and I can see him from my periphery, swinging his glass in a perfect arc in the air, back and forth, like a pendulum of impatience.
Thought of that too.
“There’s a refill on the table.”
He looks down at it. Looks back at me. Raises the glass to his lips and downs it in one gulp but, if you’d seen his gargantuan size, this feat wouldn’t have impressed you.
He slams the glass down on the table the ice rattles from its confines.
“Can I have more tea?”
And he doesn’t ask me nicely he asks me in a sarcastic tone of voice with a wagging of his giant head upon his giant neck I’ve never seen a white man look more ratchet in my life.
And I’m just wondering, are you jealous of this baby? Do you envy the affection I’m giving her? Because you could have had it. You could have had it but you made the mistake of rudeness from the start when I asked you how you were doing tonight and you answered back with “Menu.”
That’s not an answer menus are an object they are not a state of being try again. I know I’m just your waitress but I’m still a human being and I think I deserve a bit better than that.
And I look back down at the little bundle in my arms and tell her that I love her and that she is beautiful and I whisper softy in her ear, “Don’t ever be like that.” And she smiles. Let’s out a little grunt I assume to be a laugh because let’s face it, I have an advanced degree in baby talk.
And I place her back into her father’s arms and refill the empty glass that goes to empty immediately after and every time I stop by the table to admire her darling little face he intervenes, demanding that I bring him something else he doesn’t need that he pretends he needs because he’s your run of the mill American consumer, always wanting something more.
Why it peeved him so to see me shower this baby in the love that she deserves I’ll never understand. But the more demanding he got, the more determined I became to love her. And that’s the thing about it. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. It was the sun that made the girl unbutton her coat, not the fierce winds. They only made her grip it all the more tightly to her chest.
You want me to fawn over you? You want me to delight in your existence than how about being delightful? How about treating me like more than just a bar maid?
Because this little girl smiled up at me, and I didn’t do a damned thing to deserve it. But you. I spun circles for you I danced for you I did the little jig and the little song and dance I performed it all, and not only did you never smile back, you never even gave me the courtesy of looking me in the eyes.
There’s no excuse for being disrespectful. There’s no excuse for being greedy there’s no excuse for being rude. And if you decide to be any of those things, then expect the results that you will, inevitably, receive.
I am a server, not a servant. Consume that. Maybe you’ll even burn a few calories trying to think that one through. See? I’m doing you a favor.