I was in the middle of another intricate dissection into the allergy affectations of The Newport Diner when I realized that I’ve never really followed-up on one of my favorite waitresses of all time. I’ve gotten so many questions about her. She is Miss High Apron Wearer. You know who you are. I will tell you first that, as you may have ascertained, she wears her apron very high. Way high. She wears it (1) above her waist and (2) barely below her chest line. This is the first thing you’ll notice about her.
Now I’ve been asked by many future-head-servers-in-training how to wear your apron. There’s only one correct way to wear an apron. This applies to the common two-pocket+pens-slot double-sided black apron of 27″ length (obviously the very best kind of apron) as well as other aprons, including but not limited to the lazy “half length apron” favored by cocktail girls and the supremely annoying three-pocket apron. Who ever needs that third pocket? And the third pocket is in the middle. It’s the crotch pocket protector, I suppose. And by the way, if you’re wearing a full body apron, you have a whole different post coming to you.
There’s only one correct way to wear an apron. It must be worn below the waist, right on top of your belt, with low-rise pants, with the apron strings pulled around your back and tied neatly under your apron in the front. This is how the International Association of Waiters, Waitresses, Butlers, and Butleresses have prescribed it and this is what you must do as well. All other forms of apron wearing will be subjected to ridicule. Hence, Miss High Apron Wearer, you are the subject of this post.
The next thing you’ll notice about Miss High Apron Wearer is that she’s always 9 minutes late. I never understood these people, the ones who are always exactly on time in being late. If you’re always the same number of minutes late to the job you’ve had for nearly a half-dozen years, why not just leave 9 minutes early? It’s not like this your first day at work. It’s not like you live far away. And it’s not like you had so much else to do with your day besides shopping for craft supplies at Joanne’s Fabrics. By the way, if you ever wanted to see what a Spinster convention looks like, drop on and look inside a Joanne’s Fabrics store. It’s a store dedicated to fabrics. It’s 2013….who is still buying fabrics a la cart? Even Miss Havisham looks at the women shopping at Joanne’s Fabrics on a Friday night and says, “Wow, do I feel sorry for them.” Seriously. And I know that all you young spinsters out there know exactly who Miss Havisham is.
Even though she’s late to her 5 pm shift, she’ll proceed to fill up a 64-ounce Double Gulp with Diet Coke from the fountain. This is her routine. She’s finished a 64-ounce Double Gulp on her way to work and needs to refill it for her five-hour shift. She stares blankly into space and declares how much she does not want to work at the same job she’s had for the past five years. This is always curious…..there are more restaurants in the world than any other type of business and yet you choose to stay at this one. She’ll then proceed to mention all the important work that she’s had to do for her liberal arts major at a local state school. Liberal arts at a state school….I’ve discovered another oxymoron. This will go on for another eight minutes before she’ll finally approach a table. I will note that when she does approach a table, she’ll demonstrate her perfection of the earnest posture and polite voice necessary to succeed in the front of the house. This is in stark contract to the marked condescension she displays with all her coworkers, all of whom are perhaps too chauvinistic to understand her deep appreciation of romance novels.
The romance novels. This is how she’ll spend her e x t e n d e d thirty minute break. Never has anyone been so able to take thirty minutes and make it 42 like Miss High Apron Wearer. She will sit in her decade-old German Fastback, slurping down yet-another-64-ounce Big Gulp of Diet Coke, and read the latest from Harlequinn. 42 minutes later, she’ll return to her post. This is how I imagine her $97 of tips is spent each evening: 20% white wine; 20% Diet Coke; 10% Misc; 10% Traffic Tickets; 5% state school tuition; 35% books, of which 1/2 are Harry Potter and 1/2 are romance novels.
What she doesn’t do is save any of the $1s and $5s from her previous night’s work and BRING A BANK OF $80 TO WORK LIKE ANY PROFESSIONAL SERVER SHOULD ALWAYS DO. Seriously. It’s easier for you and easier for the manager. It’s far easier than lumbering up to the bartender who’s already too busy discussing the failures of his life with one of his regulars, getting his attention, and asking him to change a $20 into small bills. But noooo. On her very first table of the night, she’ll ask for change. Her excuse is even better: “I don’t bring any cash to work so I’ll know how much I made that night.” Or you could just remember how much money you had at the beginning of the shift. There is that.
Finally, she’s one of those Servers Who Wear Their Sunglasses Into Work From Their Cars Even Though Their Cars Are Only 20 Feet Away. She literally cannot be bothered to leave her sunglasses in her car for the 12 seconds it takes to get into the restaurant. If you ever asked who these people are, now you know. They’re high-apron-wearing, romance-novel-reading, Diet-Coke-at-work-refilling, sunglasses-keeping, Joanne’s-Fabrics-crafting, non-bank-bringing servers who, I might add, also obsessively claim that everyone else has stolen their pens. It’s a restaurant and they’re pens. They’re going to get lost. You can always do what banks do and put a chain on it, if they matter so much to you.