Restaurant Gal Daughter was supposed to work today. Then she spiked a 102-degree temp overnight and garnered a paste-white complexion and fevered glisten to her eyes.
She knew she couldn’t call out (not allowed in The Gal family), and we had no clue who else to call to cover for her. I don’t really know all the night and weekend folks, and Restaurant Gal Daughter is too new to know anyone.
I took pity on her and picked up her shift. Besides, I figured it was good to get outside of my realm now and then.
Boy, was I outside my realm.
Gone were the power suits and cell phones and BlackBerries. In were the shorts and flip flops and sun dresses.
Gone was the self-important, feed-me-fast attitude. In was the dreamy, I-have-all-afternoon-to-enjoy-brunch mood.
Gone was iced tea with extra lemon. In were mimosas and lingering over each other.
Because I took Restaurant Gal Daughter’s shift, I was simply a seater. In a way, I got to relax, too. I didn’t have to make decisions about who to seat where. I had no worries about how to keep the delicate balance between reservations, regulars, VIPs, and walk-ins.
I simply took customers to the tables the weekend maitre’d told me to. And for the first time in a long time, I had time to engage with everyone.
I learned how one older gentleman had owned a restaurant in Midtown for decades, and now he hopes his grandson marries the cute girl he brought to brunch today. I shared one group’s excitement to meet friends they hadn’t seen in eight years. I made a young couple smile and clap when I cajoled their tiny baby girl to smile at me.
I kind of liked it.