My love of Julia Child and her pearls far supersede my natural talent of ever cooking. See, I think I’m a remarkable cook. After all, I eat everything I make. However, I wouldn’t necessarily subject anyone I care about or care less about to my style of cooking. And for dinner we have.. lettuce. That’s it? Oh no– it has some oil and vinegar. That is it. Maybe make a dinner of some raw broccoli or asparagus? Last night I ate raw carrots. That’s all. Like I said, I wouldn’t necessarily subject anyone to my style of eating.
So when the wedding invite came from my best friend, whose mother is not only a phenomenal chef, but would be doing the catering, there was no contest. I would be available and in attendance.
Will travel for food.
Weddings are magical. They are like Christmas to me and they truly are, the most wonderful thing. As a wedding photographer, I’ve worked many a wedding, been in many a wedding, and been to a few outside of obligation. I’ve seen the gamut when it comes to the blessed event. Yet much to my surprise, once I arrived early to help out, I was promptly handed an apron and put to work. Suprisé! I would be a server for the wedding.
Personal beliefs, I think working in the service industry is a nice dose of reality. I did it for six years with Starbucks where I served the most pretentious, pompous, self-entitled jerkfaces. For the record, I never put decaf in the drinks, but I definitely thought about it. However, I also got to meet some of the greatest friends and scrabble players. My (kind and wonderful) former customers still keep in touch and even attend my shows. My biggest return, however, was losing any chip on my shoulder towards others who serve me.
With relish and delight, I wore the apron and stood behind wonderful food to serve the guests. The savory spices and green chile filled the portico where the droves all formed lines, a dazed look on their face. Transfixed on the romance many have with food, this was a holy matrimony betwixt taste and hunger.
There were some who said, “thank you” to each of the servers. There were some who quite literally would not look at us with their noses in the air. There were some who despite our kindness, were beyond rude.
It has been a long while since I’ve been treated as a “lesser.” I hold a steady, adult job that keeps my clothes decent, makeup on my face and a sense of security. Taxes, insurance, and rent I pay the same as everyone else there. Yet there I was, with an apron, magically downgraded in the eyes of some. The level of rudeness some are capable is truly horrific. Let us just say, if anyone ever spoke to my mother the way they spoke to me, so help me God, they would be without a limb or two.
Personal theory wholly, I think the most gracious of people are those who have worked in the service industry. Being on this level gives such an interesting scope of humanity. Serving others is what humanity consists of in all capacities. All businesses, churches, police officers, newspapers, and movie stars serve a purpose which involve others. In a way, this makes it just foolish to ever think one is ‘better.’ Whether is it paying $20 to see them in a film or $1.50 to read their latest scribes, even being rescued by one of these individuals– who is to say one is more dignified?
As servers, we did get to have the delicious food after all in attendance had their seconds, thirds, fourths, and upward of that. I ate each bite as slow as possible to savor the incredible flavor packed in every bite. The bouquet of character and tonality on my plate left me beyond satisfied. Removing then the apron, the signature of my unstated inequality, I joined the celebration with my friend donning a leopard mini skirt and a smile. Fading into the crowd, no one knew where I came from.
I didn’t bamboozle anyone. No one will remember the cheeky server who put potatoes on their plate. But as for me, I hope I never forget to say thank you to everyone who ever serves me. No matter my status in life, there will always be the joy of serving humanity.
**I’ll try to cook something special soon– you know– besides scrambling eggs or blending a fruit smoothie. I’ll try. No promises.