Sunday, November 22, 2009

Children and Mad Men Think I'm Pretty

Today at work an older gentleman dressed in various shades of plaid and drab told me that he would come back to eat sometime, but only if I was working. He would have to call, he said. He told me that he was getting over a heart condition, that is, a woman had just broken his heart, and that it didn't hurt to see a pretty girl. I assured him that we have other pretty waitresses and he waved his hand dismissively and said, "They aren't hags or anything, but..." and proceeded to give me a long and dubious metaphor involving double-bagged groceries and how you don't really need two bags but it's good to have them in case the primary one bursts. I believe I was the primary bag. At some point he also wandered to the rear of the restaurant to commend the chef.
A few weeks ago I met a man named Jimbo who lives on the streets in my fair town. I met him on the street, actually, walking from the health food store to my apartment. He was carrot haired and beet faced and swayed a bit as he walked. Approaching him I could not help but admire the way he owned the sidewalk. We said hello in passing and he called me Sunshine and asked me for some change to help a brother out. I told him I'd just spent all my cash money at the grocery store, and after he assured me that was alright I moved on and he paused to let me get ahead before he continued his walk. Later that same day I ran into Jimbo again, on a different street some miles from our earlier encounter. "Sunshine!" he hailed me, a grand bellow full of gravel and oboe, "Marry me! You are beautiful!" "Not today!" I returned, feeling every bit a Sunshine.
The day after Halloween I had the pleasure of serving a fairy princess, a Harry Potter, and their beautiful mama, who was herself dressed as herself. They ordered chocolate chip pancakes, sourdough french toast, eggs over-easy, fruit, and grits. The fairy princess ate only bacon and did so with tiny bites from baby teeth and pinkies out, like a lady. As I asked if they needed anthing else, the fairy princess hid her face in her mama's tummy and her mama said, "It's alright, you can tell her." The little girl looked up at me, her eyes like sugared gumdrops in her berry face and whispered, "I think you're pretty!" and then quick! back to the safe dark hide-away of mama's blouse. I blushed and cut my eyes at Harry Potter, who gave me a wicked chocolate grin.
People's eyes are as variable and unreliable as shop-store windows. In some we are tall and thin and young forever, and some cast every awful angle in sharp and haggard relief. I was once told by a manager that if I could not be cute, I would have to be good to cut it in the serving world, and I took that to heart. It's true, I'm not cute. I wear black framed glasses and have severe hair, which I call my Frida Kahlo hair. My bosom is small and my bras perpetually ill-fitting with straps that tend to slide off my shoulders and peek out my short sleeved black t-shirts. When I am thinking of a lot of things at once (which I am always doing while serving) I scrunch my lips and furrow my brow. However. Children and madmen think I am beautiful, and if anyone in this world can speak the truth as it springs flashing from the mind to the mouth it is the insane and the very very young. And if the man is not only mad but also drunk? Oh my, then it must be true.


Ms. Moon said...

You could do this every moment with every thought you have and it would be marvelous, wonderful, and beautiful, yes, too.
Oh baby. I breathe in and then I breathe out when I say that. Oh baby.
I love you.

SJ said...

Spoken like the girl who said that her dance card spoke like the plaque at the Statue of Liberty... ;) Alter that to include madmen, and children that admire you.

Oh, and me. I think you're beautiful, just like your whole wonderful family!

May said...

Mama- Thank you Mama! Wouldn't it be lovely if we could write every moment of every day? But then we would have nothing to write about! I'm just glad you're home. I love YOU.

SJ- You and your memory! Thank you! You are beautiful! I am certain of it even though I've never had the pleasure of laying eyes on you.

SJ said...

I posted one on the blog today, funny you say that! And I never post pics of me :)

May said...

I'll say it again- You really are beautiful!!!!

SJ said...

It's all in the eye of the beholder :) You're the best!

michelle said...

I think you're gorgeous. And I'm not a crazy old drunk guy or a little girl in a tutu. I don't think...

Mwa said...

That was so great.

I always try to remember a girls' night out when we were "rating" boys in the pub (not a nice thing to do, I know - but revealing that time): the scores were so much more variable than I could have possibly imagined. There was a guy there I gave a 10/10 and one of my girlfriends rated him a 2! That night taught me a lot.

Also - I have freaky curly hair and never did anything girly before my thirtieth, and I'm 100% sure Babes thinks I'm beautiful. So there's a lesson, too.


May said...

Michelle- I just love you.

Mwa- It is funny how variable personal opinion on attractiveness is! And yet we all seem to think that we have to conform to some standard in order to be seen as pretty. So ridiculous! Especially since I don't generally find "pretty" women all that pretty. My eyes want to follow people with a little more character.
I love curly hair! My best friend in highschool had the best wild, unruly mass of gorgeous curls. It was like a secret forest, and it always smelled good. I bet Babes loves your hair.

Anonymous said...

well call me a madman that acts like a child.
oh, and where are you currently working? Inquiring stalkers want to know, and damn! he already used the double bag metaphor-that's my line!

Steph(anie) said...

I can't decide which I am, a mad man or a child, but I must be one of the two.

downtown guy said...

Hey sisteroni, you know you are beautiful, you just have to remember it.

juancho said...

I'm no child, so I guess that makes me a madman.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love you, May. You are fucking gorgeous. I'm very far from a child, and I may well be a mad woman, but not a mad man, I assure you. I think I see just fine, as long as I have my fucking glasses on.

Shitloads of love,


Bethany said...

Great writing.
Love this.
And yes, it MUST be true.
Madmen and children are tapped right into the TRUTH and we all know "Beauty is truth and truth beauty... and something like "that's all ye need to know."

Petit fleur said...

Dear Sunshine,

... which one am I ? Wait. Don't answer!

I certainly hope the self deprecating humor is just that, humor. And that you know how stunning you actually are.

That day I saw you at Borders, I did not recognize you at first because your hair was loose. I couldn't keep from gazing (ok, staring!) at this beautiful woman with the wavy flowing locks walking all poised yet casual. You know, like those Euro chicks. The ones with miles of hair and boots and extra large shades. When I realized who you were, I thought, ahhh, yes. She now knows who she is and is shining so brightly we might all go blind!

Keep writing and keep shining.
xo pf

May said...

Magnum- I don't believe we've ever actually met in person, so you could very well stalk me. Especially if you wear lots of disguises. I recommend mustaches. I don't want to say on the interweb where I work, so I will say it in code: I work at "Musion" on "Fonroe St".

Steph- We are all madmen, we are all children. You, my dear, are beautiful too.

DTG- Thanks Bro! You know, sometimes when I'm not thinking I'm pretty I think about the time you told me, very critically and seriously, that I have a better face than Summer. That always makes me feel better.

Juancho- You regularly engage in an activity wherein you travel many miles for no reason and with no destination and then come back with body aching and nipples raw and then write about it as if it is a fine and sensible thing to do. You are MAD! MAD MAD MAD MAD!!!!

SB- I love you absolutely and completely. Aside from my goal of being just famous enough to get on Dancing With The Stars, the idea of you someday coming to visit us gets me through my days. I adore you.

Bethany- Thank you! Yes, truth is beauty and beauty is truth... And that is what all we mad bloggers are doing isn't it? Telling the truth? Creating beauty. I feel the love. Thank you for your sweet words.

Petit fleur said...

ps My friend BD who lives on the row, responded to your comment on his blog. When you get minute, take a peak.

He thinks your beautiful too.

Anonymous said...

aww May, ready for the creepy. We've met, even hung out once, you now work somewhat across the street from your former employer.

May said...

Petit Fleur- You must've left those comments right as I was leaving my replies. I hope you don't think I would ever ignore you. You are so sweet! That was a fun day, seeing you and Griff at Borders. I'm trying to wear my hair down more often now, and after a comment like yours I might step up the attempt. If only it didn't get in my way so much!
And yes, I read BD's very thoughtful reply to my comment, I need to get over there and say hello. Thank you for reminding me and for giving him a voice. You are such a good friend!
I also want to say, because you don't post pictures of yourself and I think people should know, that YOU are a beautiful woman. Just gorgeous, really. You always have been, but to me, especially since you became a mother you just have this great grace and depth that makes your already striking outside that much more lovely.

Magnum- Now I am embarrassed. Email me and tell me who you are, and remind me of when we hung out. Was I drunk? No, don't answer that here. Have I mentioned that I've been sober for two years now? Whatever I said or did, that wasn't me. Must've been some other waitress, I swear. I hear there is some slag that looks like me, slagging up my reputation.

Petit fleur said...

Awe May... You make me well up.

I think you may have met Mag at your mom's Blogday party... just a guess.

Danielle said...

i m a mad man then i guess..or am i a child????...well..i ratrher look like a mad child today....:-)

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Kathleen Scott said...

Lovely writing.

I came to you from Ms. Moon's blog and I'm glad she pointed us this way.

Elizabeth said...

This is just awesome. I've noticed in my middle age (and I know you're not there, yet) that "special" people think I'm beautiful, particularly those who bag groceries at the grocery store. And they think I'm beautiful when I'm crying, no less. From this post, I now know why.