Maybe it was owing to the time of day (2:30), but the parking lot uncharacteristically had vacant spots available! This parking lot services a large sit down restaurant and a fast food chain store and it is located on a busy corner. Bottom line…parking there is a pain in the ass most times of day. It is nearly impossible to find parking, and in order to do so, you need to drive in circles around the one-way parking lot for a series of rotations in order to time it just right that someone is leaving right when you are in the position to arc perfectly into the spot after they back up and leave. It ain’t easy and this explains why I don’t eat at there often. The food is great. It’s basic diner/delicatessen food. They have an ice cream fountain as well, but after my Reuben sandwich, I couldn’t think of eating anything for at least a day. Reuben sandwiches are one of my absolute favorite food items in the whole world. I will drop everything for a Reuben sandwich or even battle a merry-go-round parking adventure. Jews got that right!
So I happily parked my car in one of the available spots. Images of bitter sauerkraut dancing on my palate. We rushed into the restaurant and the hostess was a pleasant looking 23-year-old girl with kinda sultry, Persian eyes. She was slender and dressed in a downbeat classy manner A veritable feast for the eyes. The kind of girl that obviously gets what she wants because of her combined familial wealth (major assumption there!) and physical appeal. She is the type that can easily lapse into snobitude and her dismissive greeting told me she was not the type to shower strange men with effusive warmth which made her choice of work curious. I expect a restaurant hostess to have the ability to summon a wide smile and faux warmth upon command each time a party of hungry guests walks into the restaurant. Who cares if it’s all bullshit. It’s a game. The customers feel good because they were smiled at and led happily to their table. This girl however made me feel edgy and judged; her subdued greeting merely brought to the fore my latent feelings of high school insecurity when the hot chicks didn’t give a shit about me. This is not how a restaurant hostess should make me feel. But alas, I’m seasoned (old) enough now that it didn’t bother me horribly, nor did I assume she was treating me in such a manner because of me but I considered perhaps it was simply her pensive personality. With maturity comes the ability to turn off the Take Everything Personally valve…this is the best thing about being my age now. She certainly didn’t frown at me or flash a sour look that the head cheerleader might have done if I’d asked her to the Junior prom. The hostess simply didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. This is what hostesses are supposed to do, damnit! Anyways, as is my MO, I have fine-tuned the art of reciprocation. I’ve gotten very adept at mirroring the kind of treatment I’m receiving. If I received smiles and am treated in a friendly manner, I’ll gladly return the favor. If I’m greeted quietly and in an unfriendly manner, I will echo that back as well, on the fly. Even though I might be thinking “wow, she’s pretty hot.” I turn that extraneous reptile-brained babble off when it comes to adjusting my behavior. So this afternoon, upon being greeted by the not-so-friendly hostess, I instantly reverted to my unfriendly mode (which comes quite natural to me) as well. I stopped looking at her and barely acknowledged her when I sat down. Our waitress, on the other hand, turned out to be the friendly, outgoing type so I shifted into friendly mode for her. Whenever Persian girl walked by, I averted her eyes. It must be difficult having a job where you must greet people and your uncooperative personality is not that of someone who “greets.”
This poor girl obviously did not have the appropriate personality. I’m OK with that. I don’t want anything from her or from any other girl who is just doing her job. However, there are guys who, having experienced a lifetime of female attention neglect, unconsciously (or consciously) seek to elicit faint but obligatory attentions from working women whose jobs it is to be friendly. I think I knew a guy like this once. He frequented establishments with hot waitresses and bartenders and was always hitting them up like some toy Casanova. Uhm. These were women paid to be friendly and whose livelihood depended on being friendly. The dude was a tool. Sorry, but waitresses and female bartenders need to straddle the thin whore line because after all, this is what they are. If they can flirt well and lead the suckers on just right, they will be rich. My friend was hooked on women like this because they supplied him the attention he could never get in real life, real life being life in which women’s attention was not contingent on a captive profit-for-smiles matrix. This is what strippers are. Strip joints are where lonely and dejected men can get, even demand, female attention and not worry about women running away from their craven advances. Strippers are the obvious captive female audience, but this dynamic filters into situations as banal as restaurant hostess stations. I suppose if I was inclined, I could have tried forcing her into acting as if she liked me by allowing my insecurities to pressure her into the professional role of “friendly person.” If I was so inclined, which I’m not. But I’m constantly amazed by how many desperate guys are out there who have no qualms about forcing such hollow falsities.