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Monday, June 6, 2011

26,527 Steps

I worked this weekend, a serving job. Please accept this earlier tale of hand-passed foodstuffs whilst I rub my feet and apply chocolate internally...

Saturday night, during service at my third Annual Pretentious Private Preparatory School Gala, I took 26,527 steps.

On a normal day, I barely hit 5000.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the fickle god of Banquet Serving (Steve) pointed down from the balcony and decreed “You shall run!”

And from 3:30 to 11:10 I ran.

We ran.

For a little over seven hours, the picture in your mind that you should be carrying insofar as my tale is of black-and-white-wearing servants prowling the Silent Auction area for empty wine/champagne/cocktail glasses, beer bottles, and crushed napkins; smilingly passing trays of champagne; walking ever so briskly with covered plates of food into a room with 44 tables of eight.

It was everything I suspected it would be; and while I can say that I was brisk, accommodating, and good-natured throughout, I stored up a million tiny details of the smug, glad-handing and insecure people moving in that particular circle.

For instance, there was a woman there in a strapless evening gown whose strapless bra rode higher than the back of her dress all evening. I found it interesting that neither her husband nor the host of similarly clad women who certainly looked and sounded to be her friends told her. Surely they noticed. The dress was black. The bra was a neutral. Why didn't they tell her?

I passed “Italian Egg Rolls” (phyllo dough wrapped around Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, spinach and some cheese I no longer remember) to two married men who did not stop discussing the shape of a woman that wasn't present. Aside from the surprisingly immature words from these men, I was disturbed that they spoke as if I wasn't there. They seemed not to notice that there was a woman holding the tray they were eating from.

Ah, but who cares? I was paid in cash.

And after the cash? The deluge.

Erin hosted an “after” party, and the first meeting of the Right Tired Knights of Whatever You Got settled on to the couches, chairs, and floor of Erin’s Little House in the Hood.

Details are now sketchy, but I’m pretty sure we were working on a new super hero at one time: The Budger. Based on the opinion of my grandfather for a neighbor who claimed grandpa’s fence was on his land, The Budger became loud, drunken fodder for our hyperactive minds.

The Budger is a bitter old coot, skinny and stooped, likely to liberate you of your cigarette lighter or some small decorative item on his way out the door of your house. He used to work as a housing inspector but now dedicates his daylight hours to watching the neighborhood, for which 90% of his neighborhood is glad.

But what is The Budger's super power?

The Budger cruises those 10-Item-Or-Less aisles in the supermarkets. Got 11 items? The Budger doesn’t want to hear about it. You’ll just need to move along.

He also enforces societal mores such as butting in line.

There is no butting in line, and no, you can’t “save” a spot either, either. Unless it’s for your mom. Or your dad. But that’s it.

I’m sorry. Those are the rules.

And so we went, my iPod plugged into Erin’s stereo (at her request, of course), our bruised (me), blistered (April), sore (everyone) bodies relaxing. We laughed the exhausted laugh of the overworked, and it was good.

I was home by 4:00.

My name is Pearl, and I took 26, 527 steps* while at work Saturday.

*They were giving away pedometers at work last week.
I’m thinking that at the next “event”, there should be a pool to benefit the person who has taken the most steps that evening. There would have to be rules against shaking your leg unnecessarily or taking the pedometer off and jostling it to jack up the count, but I think something could be arranged, don’t you?

But what could the prize be?


Georgina Dollface said...

The prize should be a pedicure! After all racking up all those steps, I'd say a good foot massage was in order! - G

Glen said...

A more accurate pedometer could be the prize. Or maybe a lighter tray to carry at the next function? Perhaps earplugs? So you don't have to listen to us men, and our whimsical conversations, generally about the fact that you are getting a freebie look at someone's bra, and being most excited about it until she turns around and turns out to be your own wife - humph!

Anonymous said...

A quart jar of liniment might be good. --vanilla

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

"Dress was black, the bra was a neutral." Someone should have said something.

I remember working as a server, and remembering my invisibility - as though I was just a tray and maybe an arm. At parties now, I find the servers are sometimes the most interesting people to talk to. At least they would tell you when your neutral bra was hanging over your black dress!

powdergirl said...

Maybe you should have rubbed your feet BEFORE hand-passing the appies to the silly buggers. A real lesson in female anatomy for their delectation, haha.
Still, the after party sounds like fun : )
We had one of those old coots as a neighbor at the beach lot, quite the little busy-body! We called him The Mayor of Everything.

jenny_o said...

At the events I've worked, what struck me was how disgusting the tables were afterward. One expects dirty dishes; however, one gets jolted by the shocking mess left behind by people paying a hundred bucks a plate and wearing formal attire.

Sioux said...

How about a jumbo vat of vaseline, to soften those chapped feet? And maybe a jumbo chocolate bar, since the one who took the most steps also burned the most calories?

Joshua said...

The only prize that should be given: Whiskey.

Simply Suthern said...

There is a rumor going around that it was only 25363 steps. You care to change your story??

Eva Gallant said...

I vote for a pound of Godiva Chocolates going to the winner.

Pearl said...

Yesterday's serving job was, as we gardeners say, in full sun; and today I am a freckled study in immobility. Wheeeeee!

Pearl said...

Yeah. I'll be writing about yesterday's job today. :-)

jabblog said...

Sounds tough - but full of material for a writer.

lisleman said...

a free pass for cutting in line, your name engraved on the serving tray, a six pack,

You don't need to be a clown to play.
I put your blog into play.
Come over and try the game.
i didn't ask for this

Tom G. said...

Did you know that 26,527 steps is enough to climb the Empire State Building fourteen and a half times?

Well done.

Gigi said...

Applying chocolate internally - that's my solution to a lot of aches and pains too!

Daisy said...

applying Godiva chocolate internally while having a nice foot massage and pedicure!

Susan in the Boonies said...

I really, really, really want to go to a party with you. Do you think we'd enjoy each other?

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Would someone please give Pearl a writing deal so she doesn't hafta work like this!?
But then we'd have nothing to read

Belle said...

Very hard work. You certainly don't need a treadmill if you did this full time. also:Rich people are a pain.

Flea said...

I'm tired just reading this, Pearl. :)

Pearl said...

My life is exhausting.


Susan, I truly DO think we'd enjoy each other. :-)

And yes! Dawn, I like how you think. Just know that I have no plans to leave. But would getting paid be too much to ask?!

HermanTurnip said...

The picture I have of you formed in my mind:

"(S)he was the guerrilla terrorist of the food service industry..."

Fight Club has irreversibly warped my sensibilities.

StephanieinSuburbia said...

The prize should be a pedicure.

And also? Who the hell wears a neutral strapless bra with a black dress???

Crystal Pistol said...

My fave part is where you apply chocolate internally. Clever and far less messy than applying externally. You always write the best one liners and then I'm tempted to use them but that would be stealing and I'm no thief. I kicked that habit weeks ago.

You're funny, Pearl. Very funny.

Barbara Blundell said...

What about a thinking, talking pedometer that congratulates or castigates you (in a very loud voice) as necessary ? ( It could be open to bribery and corruption and made to work as an ego booster)

aBroad said...

Regarding applying chocolate internally, we have Chocolate soap here !!!
Just so you know where to go when you want to buy some :)