You go through stages in life. For a long while, you’re obsessed with yourself. Everything revolves around what you want and what best accommodates you. This stage goes from birth to a variety of different ages, depending on the person. The next stage is the transition from being obsessed with yourself. You wouldn’t think a transition would have it’s own stage, but it very well does. It’s a crucial stage because this is when you give up a little selfishness. You try to decide if it’s what you really want, because everyone holds on to a little self-obsession. The third stage is the bliss. It’s the utterly beautiful time in your life. It’s when nothing seems to go wrong. You are happy all the time and sometimes laugh midst pure silence, because you are just that happy. This stage may take one year, it may take five. Regardless, you don’t know how long it is because you are so happy. Stage three goes by so quickly and before you realize it, it is gone. Perhaps at the end of this stage, you say something like, “Time needs to slow down; I can’t believe it’s already ____”. When you make this wish, you don’t think it will really happen. You expect time to pass just as quickly. However, time granted your wish and it does slow down. Welcome to stage four. This stage kills the buzz of stage three, slightly. You brush your teeth and stare in the mirror more often in stage four. You have a little more time for the simple things. You might even start flossing in this stage. You may doodle or read or get a facial. Maybe a massage here or there, even though you are still young. You try to catch your breath in stage four; you try to rest. That’s not to say you don’t go out bowling on a Friday night or ski in a calm bay at the lake. You might roll your coins and cash them in at the bank or paint your toenails a soft shade of pink. You may look at someone’s faded swimming trucks and smile, because you were the one with them through the fading. Stage four is a smooth stage. This time is special because you feed your self obsession with entertainment from the world. And I suppose stage five is next. I have not lived to see stage five yet. I’m looking forward to it.
It’s 8am and my alarm clock is going off. If it were anything else, I would hit the snooze. I have to work at 9am and I have to take a shower and try to eat some breakfast before going to the very place that serves breakfast. It’s only about 15 minutes away from my house so around 8:35, I start to put on my work attire. I wear a white collared shirt and black pants and a green stained apron that spells “Bob Evans” across the front. I put on my black shoes I bought from Walmart. I wear black socks too, because my pants are too short and you can see my ankles when I’m standing a certain way. Then I make sure I have my nametag on and my waitress writing pad in my apron pocket. By this time, it’s 8:47 so I rush off to my car to head to work. When I get there, I get out of my car and go in the front door. It’s a Sunday morning and the place is hopping. There are about ten servers going this way and that. Most of them take the time to tell me good morning. Some don’t talk to me for the entirety of their shift. I look at my section on the floor chart and notice that all of my tables are being occupied. My section was in the old section of a server named Faye. She is very sweet and is always courteous as to make sure her tables are cleaned as soon as her tables leave so that I can start getting tables and making money. I am her relief since she was the opener which means as soon as all of her tables leave, she can go home. In the mean time, I try to stand somewhere out of the way. There is no silverware to roll and really, nothing for me to do until I get a table. They start opening up and I get my first table of the morning at 9:32. It’s a man and a woman. They look to be in their middle 50’s. I grab two things of silverware and make my way to the table through the crowd.
“Good morning, my name is Mesa and I’ll be your server this morning. Can I start you out with some hot coffee or tea?”
“Black coffee and a water,” the man says.
“Large white milk with my meal,” follows the woman.
They look down the entire time, both staring at their phone. I wonder why they didn’t get separate tables because they aren’t cherishing their morning together. I grab the coffee and water for the man and get nothing for the woman. She wanted her milk with her meal. I take it to the table and the woman decides she also wants coffee in the 2 minutes I’m away.
“Yes ma’am, any cream for you?”
“No, just extra milk. And you might also want to bring a pot of coffee to leave at our table. We drink a lot.”
We aren’t supposed to bring a pot on Sunday mornings because the dining room is so full and we don’t have that many pots.
“I would if I could ma’am, but we can’t bring pots on Sunday mornings because we are so busy. I will make sure your cups are filled as well as I can! Plus, I’ll bring hot coffee each time,” I say with a smile, hoping they are okay with that.
“Okay,” the woman says, still looking down.
“Are you all ready to order, or do you still need more time to look through the menu? I can also answer any questions you have about our menu.”
“We are ready I guess. I want the Farmer’s Choice Breakfast.”
I paused for a few seconds hoping he would continue to tell me what he wanted so I didn’t have to ask him about everything.
“Hotcakes or french toast? Bacon or sausage? Hashbrowns or home fries? How would you like your eggs?”
He mumbles answers to all of my questions and the woman orders a sunshine skillet. I go to the computer and scan my card and punch in their order. Then I stand around waiting for something to do. I go to the fridge in the back and bring up more milk, butter, and salad base. One of the servers thanks me and says she had been meaning to do that. I smile back at her. There is now some silverware to roll so I stand in my corner and start rolling it. There are about 6 servers standing right in front of the grill line when the cook yells “ORDER OUT!” None of them bother to scan the ticket and take the food to the appropriate table. Apparently it wasn’t any of their orders. I scan the ticket and see the order belongs to a lade named Denise. She has worked there for probably more than 10 years and has gray hair. Scraggly grair hair. Not like the sweet old grandma gray hair. I look at the ticket and get the food all on a tray in order by seat number, like we are supposed to do. I look around for Denise and see her walking by. I tell her that her order is up and she quickly thanks me and takes the food out. I then see my order come up in the window. Everything is there except the sausage links that I see sitting on a plate near the grill. I take a second to double check if everything else is ready and then get the nerve to ask the cook if my links were done, because I see them sitting there. I realize that she hasn’t sold my ticket yet; however, I know she has a lot of tickets back there and perhaps she forgot to give me mine. I was not prepared for what happened next. She yells at me in a voice that could be heard through the whole dining room. She says that I had no reason to ask about my order because she hadn’t sold my ticket yet. I apologize as she throws my sausage links on the hot plate and hands me my ticket and screams “ORDER OUT!”. She knows I am standing right in front of her. She didn’t have to scream in my face. One of the sausage links falls off the plate because she slung it so far. There were supposed to be 3 links and now there are just 2. I don’t say anything. I just grab the milk for the woman and take my order out to my table as tears form in the back of my eyes. This always happens to me. I don’t want to seem like a cry baby because I rarely cry for reasons that you would think I would. And I don’t even cry now. I just have that feeling like I’m going to cry and it makes my head pound and my voice shaky. As I deliver my food to my table, I try to sound calm and collected when I ask, “Do you all need anything right now?”
“No that’s all,” says the man.
“Enjoy your breakfast!” I say.
I get seated again. It’s an old couple at a table by the window. I introduce myself and they order their drinks. I bring the drinks and then take their order. It’s a simple order and they say thank you after everything they say. They even tell me how sweet I am and how much they appreciate the good service. The old man tells me I look like their granddaughter. I smile and carry on conversation with them for a little bit. Then I go put in their food and check on my first table. They are doing okay and I bring them some more coffee. A little while passes and my first table leaves. They leave me $5 on the table. I put it in my pocket and clean the table. Then I take the food out to my second table. They say thank you as I knew they would and ask if they could bother me for some napkins. I grab the napkins and smile as I deliver them. Then I tell them to enjoy their meal. I get sat again. It’s nearing noon and the customers are starting to order lunch items. I grab two silverware and go to the table.
“Hello, my name is–”
“I want a water with no ice and a coffee with cream only if it’s fresh and a bowl of beef vegetable soup with lots of crackers and a cup of ranch and Linda over here wants banana nut bread and a water with lots of ice and two lemons. But who’s asking?”
“I guess Mesa is asking sir.” Even though I didn’t really ask anything.
“Mesa will you be back to our table with all of that stuff?”
“Yes I will try to remember all of that.”
“It’s not that hard Mesa, just remember….” as he goes on to repeat all of the stuff he just said.
I make my way back to the server line and start gathering the list of items he requested. I never heard what Linda’s voice sounded like. She just smiled and giggled at her jerk of a husband. I manage to make it back to the table with all the correct things for this round. Then round 2 begins.
“Now I want a cheeseburger, just the cheeseburger. No fries or anything. And I want that with pickles and onion and tomato and lettuce and ketchup and mustard. Please don’t forget the mustard.”
Well that please sounded weird coming out of his mouth. Even if it was sarcastic.
“Oh and don’t put that order in until I tell you. I want to finish my soup. And also, Linda wants a farmhouse garden salad with ranch dressing. But she wants her salad the same time I get my cheeseburger. So don’t make her salad until I say so either.”
I started out writing the order in my writing pad, but that ended very quickly as I started drawing arrows to what I did write and writing instead “jerk, jerk, jerk”.
“Do you want me to look in your pad and make sure you got everything right?” he asks..
“No, I got it.” I say in a very monotone voice.
As I start walking away I hear him call my name again.
“Mesa, I usually don’t eat my whole cheeseburger. Are you hungry? You can have half.”
I wanted to throw up in my mouth. This wasn’t an offer that makes you smile and remember how everyone has some good in them like you might think. This was a degrading offer. An offer that made me want to spit in his cheeseburger when it came out.
“I don’t like mustard. I’ll bring you a to-go box. Thanks though.”
The man ate all of his cheeseburger so the to-go box wasn’t necessary. He must have been unusually hungry today. It was time for my break so I ordered a kids cheeseburger. I get everything half off so the kids burger ended up being only $1.29. I got my cheeseburger and put mustard all over it and devoured it.
The rest of the day went on. I can’t remember much else about that day.
And all of this to say one thing. Everyone is human. Everyone likes hearing please and thank you. Whether you are a manager of a large corporation or a server at Bob Evans. It’s my job to serve food. And I would run around all day bringing things to that old couple who said I looked like their granddaughter and wouldn’t think twice about it. But Linda’s husband must have thought when he stepped foot in Bob Evans, he was the king. I know the rule is “customers first”. But I added an ending to that saying.
“Customers first, jerks last.”
Sorry for the negativity. I really do enjoy working at Bob Evans. The people are very pleasant for the most part and I enjoy serving the majority of the people who walk in. I appreciate sweet tables and I certainly have had enough of those tables to write a whole other story. But I felt like this story should be shared. If nothing else, next time you’re at a restaurant, just smile. You might just turn your waitresses day around. :)
Oh how many times I fall in love with the world.
The utter beauty in campfires and long hikes in the woods and country music and the lake.
The beauty of all the things here, all the things that mean so much to me.
Good laughs with family and friends and precious time with a boyfriend.
The blueness of the sky and the whiteness of the clouds.
The fresh air I never can breathe in as deeply as desired.
The morning birds who sing their songs…always make me want to sing along.
The cool, crisp fall nights.
They happen in a blink, but always leave their imprint on me.
And then when I snuggle in my bed, I think how blessed I am to be a part of this forever changing, forever glorious, forever bliss we call life on Earth.
The black clouds
Overtake the blue skies
The land becomes dark
But how can I despise?
For the realization of an instant
Began the agonizing thought
That nothing is the same forever
Why does this make me distraught?
I put my love and trust into forever
And now that is gone in a blink
The mourning lasts for a couple days
I can only hope the pain will shrink
When my view of everything
Was only days to come
I felt as though I had no other moves
And my once uplifting spirit was so very glum
But when the tears vanished
And my blurry vision was no more
I could see the future with determined eyes
It was like nothing I’ve felt before
For now I walk with a smile on my face
Not because loved ones can ever be replaced
But rather because I know my life has a plan
And the lesson being taught has only just begun
With that being said
The knowledge of the pain
Will be forever present in my brain
But the uttermost hurt, with time, will shed
Time with my precious kitty
Meant the world to me
And although she is gone
Her spirit lives on
My head is held high
And I do things to make myself happy
I can’t dwell on the past
Because what then is my future?
How can the dark clouds make me angry?
I have much enjoyed the blue skies
But everything must come to an end
I will muster my strength by knowing there are worse cries
You must experience the pain in order measure the pleasure
Love the clear skies, but believe in the overcast…
P.S. We got a pregnant kitty and she had five healthy kittens on Tuesday night. :)
I tried diligently to make this into a poem…but 3 sit in my computer’s trashcan. I felt as though this topic should be expressed more similarly to the words I would speak. (P.S. Sorry for the lull in my writing…the sense seemed to vanish in the transfer from my mind to paper.)
I spend many nights worrying about where I am headed in life…career, location, and mental condition. I know this seems foolish, beings that I am only fourteen years old. My sister and I went to public schools through my freshman year and her sophomore. That being said, we are very familiar with what public schools feel like and had a stable basis to make our decision to become home schooled. We are both very good students, likable people, and had no problem “fitting in” at public schools. We had straight A’s all through elementary school, middle school, and the part of high school we attended. There was no struggle for either the academics nor social life. Our decision to become home schooled was based on our need to learn at a faster pace, and our yearn for freedom.
Public school for some students is great. It gives working parents a daycare for their kids and provides the sometimes much needed routine in kids lives. You learn the basics of responsibility and communication, and you learn reading, writing, and arithmetic. I am glad I attended public schools for the time I did. However, sometimes when I think about still being in public schools, I feel trapped. I feel like I am sitting in neutral with no ability to shift into drive.
Having the opportunity to be home schooled was a blessing (thanks Mom!). I feel free and smart and independent. I have a blank page at my fingertips with every color available. A common misconception about home schooled students is that we are antisocial and never get out of the house. When people make snarly comments about the home school stereotype, I almost chuckle under my breath. Being home schooled has made me the opposite of that.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about life. We go to school to prepare ourselves for life; then at twenty years old, we set off to become something suitable for society. But what is the definition of success? Making all A’s through high school, going to college, and choosing a good paying career? I always pictured myself doing just that. However, since we made the change, I not only feel stronger in my academic ability, but stronger as a human being. Being different is tough. It’s hard to get the average person to understand…therefore I suppose that’s why they are average. Having the yearn and the confidence to break away from everything you’ve ever known is difficult. You get looks and questions and furrowed brows. But when I grow old, I want a story to tell. I want a depth to my childhood. And most importantly, I want to develop a tough skin to face the rest of my life.
When I picture my life in ten years, I see a blurry picture. But in reality, what kid has their life totally planned? Of course I want to go to college, I want to own my own house, I want to live somewhere that makes me happy, and I want feel thrill as a part of everyday life. Writing down the things I want is the easy part, but making that happen will have to be worked on with each bridge I cross. But really the biggest challenge is figuring out in my own head what would accomplish those hopes and goals…and that, will take many years of trial and error.
When things are all said and done, my goal in life is to do the things I want to do. I want to experience things worth experiencing and I want to leave the world having done something I’m proud of. I want to make my own decisions, be my own person, and be happy wherever life takes me. But as a part of being me, I want to create dirt paths veering off from the pavement. As I travel down my path, I will stumble upon gloomy premises and dark nights. I will be frightened and will think of the worst case scenario. But when I reach the ravishing blue skies and waterfalls, I will know that my path is the only one that ended up here, past comfort and into magnificence.
I can stand
With my pain
She offers her hand
With her humor
With her tickles
With her open arms
With her uplifting spirit
I stand tall
With her sadness
With my wrongdoings
With her mother-like qualities
I am cared for
With her warm heart
I will be loved forever more
I want to wish my big sister and best friend a Happy 16th Birthday! Thank you for all you’ve done for me and for giving me a friendship that will last forever…I am truly honored to have you as my sister. You are my role model and I look up to you in every way. Happy Birthday! I love you!
I remember when…
The word “fun” was associated with the outdoors
I remember when…
We came inside with grass spots on our jeans
A little mud beneath a fingernail didn’t spark a conversation
Our lack of patience for darkness was for the fireflies
And we knew the sound of the crickets
I remember when…
Rain didn’t mean frizzy hair
Everyone called the creek their “pool”
Neighborhood friends devised intricate plans
And a walk down the road was an exciting venture
I remember when…
Laughs were contagious
Smiles were pure
Frowns were rare
And we played on the jungle gym created by mother nature
I remember when…
The call for dinner was a disturbance
The holes in our jeans were accidental
We had more play clothes than nice clothes
And the art of creation was exhibited by our little fingertips daily
I remember when…
The clouds were bunnies
The air was clean
Being naughty had a different definition
And fun was created rather than being placed in our hands
I remember when…
Why are friends, friends?
With what rubric are friends chosen?
I have cringed at the fact that our friends are based upon who we go to school with
Becoming home schooled..
I’ve had to make a special effort to find things in common besides math class
Some would think that being home schooled would mean a lack of friends
And so did I, as we made the move from a classroom to my kitchen table
But to my surprise I have come closer to the people whom I wish to “bond” with
By not being privy to the latest gossip at school…
I’ve had to do things outside of school in order to maintain the friendships I value
Being home schooled, I’ve realized that the memories worth saving forever
Are the fun memories of tubing and skiing and sledding
And long walks and adventures into the depths of the woods
And having deep conversations about life
And forming a bond with your friend..cleansed of gossip
You may be able to “chat” with any Tom, Bob, or Harry
But a true friendship must be based not on the lives of the “hottest couple in school”
But rather experiences and journeys together
To My Dearest Friend Alli,
Words cannot express how much I value your friendship…
Through ups and downs
Through smiles and frowns
Through drought or snowy weather
Through pain, we’ll be together
With many moments cherished
With memories until we’re perished
With humor and wit
With a seal difficult to split
Life is a journey
With the level of difficulty depending on how you face it…
And with confidence I can proclaim
That a journey with friendship
Is a journey worth embarking upon
Thank you for being my friend
And here’s to many more years of dirt roads and knapsacks…
We go to the theaters and watch happy endings
But why are the movies so different from real life?
Would the movie be a hit if it ended in tragedy?
What if the conflict is not resolved?
The public couldn’t see something like that
What a horrible scenario we would have to endure
Isn’t it nice to watch a divorced couple get back together
Just before the wedding to another mate
Or long term friendships sprout into love
The good guys always win
Just when you think they are outnumbered
There is always one guy who comes in and saves the day
Are there only a few story lines that send us home happy?
And is that even one of the jobs of the producer?
Can we not watch as sorrow overcomes?
If we experience a realistic ending, would we enjoy the movie?
Or would we rather see something that seldom happens?
Most movies are the best case scenario where everything works out in the end
Everything doesn’t always work out in the end…
Is society so weak that we won’t handle reality?
Is this why we go to the theaters?
So that we can watch only what we want to see?
Here we are on this planet
All we can see is green grass and a blue sky
Could our population handle what we see when the backdrop gets taken away?
We have been shielded and protected from what we weren’t meant to witness
And when everything is sugarcoated…
It is hard to differenciate between reality and merely a dream