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thanks, yanks, for not continuing to fuck up my business. i owe you one.

18 Oct

Last night I was chillin’ with my entourage (which, ever since Charlie moved to Queens, consists only of Nicole) and we drove past the shopping center that housed one of my family’s restaurants (the one that inspired this very blog, in fact). All at once, these flashbacks popped into my head – learning how to carry a tray, steaming milk to make frothy caffeine drinks, developing a strong opposition to customers, falling in love with every waiter who strapped on an apron… Aah, the memories of a sincerely unique childhood, one filled with laughter, joy and a fuckload of spilled milk.

Perhaps some of you have considered dropping your well-paying job and (stupidly) investing in a restaurant in which to raise your children and give the a very (demented) special special experience. That’s all fine and dandy, but just know that you’ll be raising your very own Owner’s Daughter, and she’s probably gonna come out a whole lot like me.

So if you ever become the offspring of some fools who raised you thinking that a refrigerator is a room and a dishwasher is a dude, this post is for you, and here’s some shit you need to know:

  • You are the center of the universe, except during the dinner rush, at which point you are invisible. My babygirl runs around the restaurant like she owns the place, and usually my stepkid is chasing her. And even though they are being the typical annoying turds that everyone totally hates, they’re totally adorable according to everyone who works for me. They treat the kids royalty to the max. Like, if my stepkid asks for a soda, they say “how high?” and if my babygirl sneezes they’re cleaning up that snot in no time. And I fawn all over them too, so don’t think I just pawn them off on the hourlies. I move all the furniture in my office so my stepkid will have the most entertaining fort available. I blow up 3′ balloons for the girl, just small enough so she won’t float away. BUT. The moment the restaurant fills up and the dinner rush sets in, I literally forget they exist. This is not an exaggeration. One night my stepkid called the host stand asking for a drink and I told him to ask the babysitter. Because I really really really thought he was at home with her.
  • You are always rooting for the local sports team. To lose. Take today for instance, I have a Yankees hat and shirt and whatever, but the fact is, I would have cried had they won. (Go ahead, stop reading here, diehard fuckers. See if I care.) Tomorrow is Friday and this is like the 3rd weekend in a row that the Yanks are FUCKING UP MY BUSINESS by being on during dinnertime. Like SORRY WE’RE NOT A PIZZA PLACE, customers, but maybe you can skip the damn game and settle on some app with alerts, ever consider that?? I could suck it up and get TVs in the dining room, but I’m just not ready to go there, and encourage the public to ignore each other for yet another illuminated box. I’m not exclusive to dreading successful sports teams either. I also hate sunny weekends, holidays that fall on Friday or Saturday, the first week of school when everyone is trying to be a good parent and actually cook, and Halloween because apparently nobody eats anything except Fun Size bars and I’m too disheveled to plan a decent costume party.
  • People don’t necessarily like you. I used to take this really personally, especially on one memorable evening during which a middle-aged waitress approached me to inform me that the staff is only nice because I’m the owner’s kid. At that point, I was still under the impression that everyone thought I was totally adorable and fabulous, and that they weren’t simply attempting to score points by being sugar sweet nice to the boss’s snotbag superiority-complex socially awkward total wannabe daughter. But you know what I learned from that awful night? That you pretty much have to be nice to me if I’m in the family, and that just really sucks for you. Chances are, if you don’t like me, then I don’t like you (chances are also pretty high that if you do like me, I still don’t like you, but we’re not keeping score). The following people have disliked me: waiters, bartenders, busboys, (line cooks and dishwashers always like me. Go figure…) the computer guy, (but then it turned out he really actually really really liked me) customers, advertising people, a few people on Yelp, one lady who came to a murder mystery dinner we did dressed as a ladybug, a liquor salesguy, and this girl who lives in my neighborhood and is 9-years-old. 
  • You will have ample material to write a musical/novel/TV series for ABC Family. At least I hope so, as I am newly at work on developing this very blog that you’re reading into something that can generate enough cash to pay for a jolly trip to Disney World for the fam, and possibly a motor home. You also have a lot of material for frequent psychological analysis, but I’m really trying to focus on the writing thing, because I’d rather bestow my issues on the masses, as opposed to just one social worker. If you feel like maybe you would read a book form of this, would you please tell me so? And if you have any particular favorite posts or subjects, will you mention that too? If you’re nice and do as I say, (because I’m the owners daughter and therefore I get whatever I want, and what I want is your feedback so you have to do it or my daddy will yell at you) I will reward you by announcing a date and theme for our (FINALLYYYYYYY) next popup adventure. I know, I just got a little tingly inside, too.*

*Sidebar: My mom and I had a detailed discussion about 50 Shades of Grey today and I feel like it was a little uncomfortable. Can’t figure out why.


memoirs of a tired restaurant mom.

15 Sep

Once upon a time it was 10pm and I knew where my children were. My 2-year-old daughter was running laps through the bar, around the dining room and into the server station over and over squealing in delight while discerning parents shook their head in disgust that someone has their child out so late. My 9-year-old stepson, on the other hand, was climbing up a tall waiter’s leg trying to get to his upper body so he could punch him repeatedly for not pouring him a Sprite. I was nowhere to be found, because I was hiding in the walk-in, “grocery shopping” for Rosh Hashanah, collecting ingredients for twice baked sweet potatoes such as butter and a martini. I spent a few extra minutes because it was the only quiet moment I’d had since 7am and it just felt so fucking delicious that I wanted it to last forever and ever and ever and ever, or until my babygirl pooped and I had to go change her diaper.

My day today consisted of my very first wedding at the restaurant. My finest planning contributions were peach bows (to match the peach-clad groom, as well as the rose petals which I was instructed to flutter onto the table) tied onto the tablecloths and a handcrafted Spotify mix consisting of the bride and groom’s specific specifications (Depeche Mode, Adele, Rolling Stones, 80s alternative, Twisted Sister and “user friendly” country music). It was so good that I sat in the middle of the room the whole time singing at the top of my lungs.

Then after the wedding was dinner service, which was a little disappointing because I had to expedite the window which meant my Saturday Night Cleavage was wasted on the kitchen staff instead of the customers (Vocab of the day – EXPEDITOR: if the kitchen were an orchestra, this is the conductor. See also: most important person in the entire world on a Saturday night, and in my particular case, the most attractive). Plus I got bangs, and nobody got the pleasure of complimenting me on how awesome they look.

Except Charlie, because he worked tonight, and he told me that I look like a cool mom and I was like “I KNOW!” and then we talked about tattoo ideas for a little while (new thought: heart shaped peace sign with wings but now I can’t figure out where that can possibly go because it for sure won’t fit on my finger and I want it to be visible to me because what’s the point of body art if you can’t see it? That’s like hanging a painting underneath your bed. It makes no sense). Then we chatted about how he flooded the bar the last time he bartended because he’s careless and irresponsible and was probably high on drugs and how we want to go to a lounge and eat good food and drink yummy mixologies. Then I told him that he’s the hottest guy I know because he’s been working out and starving himself lately. I don’t usually have a thing for Asians, especially Gay Asians but I’m making an exception for Charlie.

My stepkid had a lady friend come over to the restaurant for a playdate, so I set them up in the party room to watch Ghostbusters on the big TV. Next thing I knew they had the lights out completely and their shoes off. They had moved my fancy schmancy Ikea chairs from the office to the party room and were having a pillow fight. Then they ransacked the server station because they had heard a rumor about a hidden bag of M&Ms. Then they ate spaghetti and fell asleep googling cheap horse adoptions across the US.

Last but not least, my babygirl got dropped off, fresh off a day filled with ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and milkshakes with her Papa. My dad had loaded her up with so much sugar that the end result of running laps in a full restaurant was in no way shocking. I was a bit saddened to discover that she is now faster than me. Had I been wearing a sports bra and sneakers instead of a Saturday bra and high high high way too high for working 12 hours in a restaurant heels, perhaps the situation would have been different and I would have been able to catch her. But alas, that wasn’t the case and I looked like an asshole.

And the kids fell asleep in the car and I had to carry them in and I hit the cat with the door on my way in and may have broken her foot and they all lived happily ever after.

The end.

it takes the owners to raise the owner’s daughter.

26 Aug

Something that probably crosses your mind every so often is what sort of strange people made me the lovely lady I am.

Well, this is my dad. In this photo he’s doing one of his favorite things, “treasure hunting.” He learned it from the classic Steve Martin film Housesitter. His other favorite movies include Spaceballs and Rudy. He does not like movies with more than one word in the name.

And this is my mom, wearing one of her favorite shower caps. She wore it to a bridal shower we had today because she didn’t like the way her hair came out. I thought it looked just fine, but who am I to vote?

Here’s a picture frame that they proudly display in their kitchen. In it are their two favorite children, and me. Kindly note that the dog is the only adequately captured subject.

Here are some closeups, just in case you can’t exactly figure out what these are photos of.

Here’s me, sitting on my parents’ boat.

On this particular afternoon, they invited a few too many people to join us, so I didn’t get a seat. I was sad. I recall them cackling when they snapped this shot. Also, I was expected to serve boat drinks when I wasn’t in my hole. And pizza. It is for this reason that I now refuse to board a boat that is less than 50′ and fully staffed. I’d like to point out at this time that I bait all my own hooks whilst fishing. It doesn’t matter if the bait is living or dead.

And then here’s my brother standing on the front porch with his head cut off. Not literally, silly! But the dog looked really good in the photo so they were like fuck it, we’ll just frame this one. My therapist told me not to fight my brother’s battles, so I’m just letting it be. But honestly? All the other photos in their house are JUST of the dog, so they could have swung for a full face shot of my bro. Since this photo was taken, my brother has not returned to the house. He got his own dog and stopped shaving because “mom and dad don’t give a shit anyway.” It’s a little awkward, maybe I shouldn’t talk about it, I don’t know who you’re going to tell. By the way, he won’t bait his own hook when fishing. Even the lures made of rubber.

And those are the people who shaped me in a nutshell!!

perks of sleeping with a chef.

10 Aug

Something that might make you be incredibly jealous of the fact that I get to be in the restaurant business that you don’t is that today we had to taste test hamburgers from a new meat vendor. If you’ve never sat around a table prodding at perfectly charred rare meat patties with your family, I assure you that you are missing out!! I should probably mention that in the regular restaurant business, managers and other front-of-the-house employees don’t usually have the pleasure to taste test unless they’re sleeping with the chef. Fortunately, I am doing just that!

Basically the way a taste test goes down is simple. The delivery comes (usually via salesman but in today’s case, from the delivery truck) and Harry calls my dad to come to the restaurant, then cooks up whatever shit we’ve got that day. Sometimes it’s dumplings or tortillas or salad dressing or pork chops or, in my favorite instances, molten chocolate lava cakes and flourless chocolate raspberry tarts and chocolate chip cookie dough and if we’re fortunate enough, small batch farm-to-freezer hand churned ice cream in flavors like dark chocolate sticky toffee pudding deliciousness and jumbo marshmallow honey roasted almond madagascar chocolate rocky road. Today it was chop meat. I’m not trying to sound unenthusiastic about that but honestly compared to the flavor I just invented, would you really have any desire in the slightest to eat a burger with no cheese or bread or pickles or bbq sauce? No, I didn’t think so. Well you know what? We have to suck it up sometimes and taste test what the sample gods put on our plate.

Anyway, my dad got to the restaurant, and Harry placed a fancy post-it label on each of 4 plates. And we grabbed some forks and glasses of water with which to cleanse our palates, and we dug into each hunk of juicy fatty meat one by one. We all taste differently. Harry takes a big giant bite and rolls it around his mouth like it’s a fine wine. I try to fork a decent cross section of the specimen and judge my opinion immediately, because you can’t take back a first impression. My dad really mulls it over. He grabs a medium-size bite, chews a few extra times just to drain the meat of any life that may have remained, and then makes some sort of “tsk”ing noise by pressing his tongue on the roof of his mouth, as though to extract each minute element of flavor from whatever it is he’s eating. By doing this with something like a sauce, he can tell you in no more than 4 tsks each and every ingredient that comprises it. I’d say he’s a genius but I’ll just let him tell you that himself if he sees you.

SPOILER ALERT!: Don’t look at this photo if you’re a vegetarian.

So we all chew the meat and then we discuss each bite as we take it. We analyze how the fattiness in one creates a terrific sear, and how the mix of meats gives another incredible depth of flavor, and how the packaging on a pre-formed patty might make the burger become too overworked and therefore make it chewy. Bet you didn’t know there was so much to a burger! Well when you serve the best burgers in town, there sure as hell is a lot of shit to analyze. Next week is bun week, another personal favorite of mine. The best part of bun week is that we’ll have to try many breads from many bakers. It’s a tough job, but somebody (bloated) has got to do it!

My father-in-law was also at the tasting. He thought everything was delicious, but mostly because instead of chasing it with water he opted for more of this scenario:

We concluded our tasting with a family high five and final decision to switch meat vendors stat.

Speaking of burgers, I AM NOT A PIECE OF MEAT. I get it, random middle aged man customer, you are really happy to see me and you think I look great and you can’t even tell that I had a baby. But my eyes are located approximately eighteen inches above my breast, and it would be like totally awesome if you could perhaps pay a little attention to them. Your wife notices when you do that, just so you know. And she thinks you’re just as pervy as I do. So stop.

In other news, next week I’ve decided to write an exposé about the difference between Shelbytown and Regular Shelby. Surely it will be as enlightening as the Hunger Games and/or Great Expectations (the movie version with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Deniro, but it’s kind of you to equate me to Dickens). Also, Harry brought me a cheeseburger for dinner but after looking at the above photo I’m reminded that 4 is enough for 1 day.

a deep reflection on my mediocre parenting skills.

4 Aug

I had a camp reunion last night so probably some people are only going to be reading this so they can get juicy gossip, like was dancing on the bar and who went home with whom and who looked like shit and who was a douchebag this time, but I don’t really feel like divulging any such information just yet. I need more time to let it all marinate before I analyze the evening. Plus I want to rope you into reading about other parts of my life, you egomaniac. It’s not all about you. Get over yourself. And please stop reading my blog on the toilet, it’s kind of awkward.

So tomorrow is my babygirl’s 2nd birthday. I feel like it’s right about now that I really have to start parenting, instead of just going with the progressional flow, which is basically what I’ve been doing for the past 1 year, 11 months and 30 days or whatever. It’s not that I want to, but she probably isn’t going to raise herself in the way that she’s been doing so far. Like, for the longest time I’ve been putting her in her crib and she just goes to sleep. There is literally nothing I do except turn her little noise machine on to the sound of the waves. And she can even do that now, so my one responsibility became sort of unnecessary as far as the bedtime hour goes. But now I probably have to do things like get her a big girl bed and maybe a pillow and/or blanket. Other things I’ll have to start doing is crazy tedious – sign her up for nursery school which starts in like a week, get her to stop peeing in a diaper and teach her that sprinting away from your loved ones in crowded malls is unacceptable behavior unless you have an alternate ride home. Oh jeez, she’s already getting rides home from the mall? Where the fuck is the time going? I feel like it was earlier this afternoon that I was flipping through “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” trying to find an answer to whether or not my kid would be born with hair because I had so much heartburn. (Yes, she was born with hair. No, I do not miss Tums.) Now she’s tramping it up on (play)dates with all these little baby dudes and going shopping and walking on the balance beam (yes I’m going to exploit her because I want my kid to be worth $9 million in endorsements whether or not she needs to leave the state to make that happen). I feel like I just want to slow down and make time stop so I can take it all in.

Well, maybe time can stop on Sunday, because her birthday party is giving me so much anxiety that the 14 Xanax I popped a little while ago aren’t even making a dent. I mean, I’m totally hallucinating right now and I’m typing while standing on my head and the cat keeps asking me if I’ve got a light, but other than that, seriously they have no effect. I don’t understand why my family is unable to throw a low key party. People do it all the time. They go to a restaurant and they sit at a table and have a meal and everyone goes home. That’s all I wanted. Actually, I really didn’t want a party at all. What the hell does my babygirl know? Is she going to turn 13 and be like “Fuck you mom, you didn’t throw me a 2nd birthday party. I wanted to play paintball and you shafted me. You’re a bitch and I never want to talk to you again” and then get in the car with some 17 year old from LA who wants to take pictures of her for his photography portfolio? Maybe, but you can’t live your life in fear. Not that it matters, because my nonexistent party turned into a circus once again. Why does every party have to be a fabulous soiree?

Oh, that’s right, because I’m an ass kicking party planner and Harry goes along with whatever I want because he’s smart like that. And my parents like to have parties at their house because my dad has a gardening fetish and my mom likes to give gardening tours culminating in a hand-picked lunch of cherry tomatoes and string beans. So weather permitting, that is what will go down tomorrow. This party wound up being low key. It’s pretty ghetto in fact. So ghetto that I ordered the cake from a bakery and used a matchy matchy Party City pattern (peace owls, which I have to admit is cute even if it is mass produced  and totally unoriginal). Normally if the theme were peace and owls we would have an actual owl at the party, embroider owls into the tablecloths and hire a John Lennon impersonator. But like I said, low key.

Luckily my dad has some totally homosexual hat that he bought in the Caribbean, so nobody will notice that the strings on the balloons aren’t color coordinated with the liner in the bread basket. I mean, I’ll know and it will be somewhat devastating but I will probably survive. I’m dressing my babygirl in one of those cotton candy looking tutus that those British girls on the Ellen Show wear (ugh I like totally wish my kid were British it would be so awesome). Harry thinks she’s wearing a polo shirt and patchwork Ralph Lauren shorts because his only request this year was that she dress like a normal human being and not a pom pom. But what fun is giving him what he wants? Then he might get used to it and I’m like totally fucked.

Tonight to celebrate my daughter’s coming of age, I did what any responsible adult would do. We got matching tattoos!!!! They’re little peace signs on our feet and they’re justalittlebit crooked and I love love love them and so does she. Even though they’re going to wash off in 1-3 showers, I still feel like I’m influencing her in all the right ways, and I can already tell that she’s cooler than me, which I didn’t even think was possible.

ps. Dearest daughter. One day you will be old enough to read mommy’s posts. You shouldn’t curse this much, it isn’t ladylike. Other than that your mommy is perfect so do everything she does unless it’s illegal and then just don’t get caught. All my love, Mommy.

what i didn’t do on my summer vacation.

23 Jul

Well I’m back in town, currently buried under a sea of wrinkled tank tops and jean shorts and cover ups and crushed adorable dresses which I packed just in case my low key vacation to the Outer Banks magically morphed into a week on the Italian Riviera and the evenings consisted of romantic jaunts about town that didn’t include Ben & Jerry’s or mini golf. I don’t want to write because I haven’t been back to work yet, and frankly I’m not really angry enough to have anything remotely interesting to say. In a perfect world, my vacation with Harry’s family would have been shitty as hell and I’d have so much to bitch about that you’d be reading until tomorrow afternoon. But you know what? Making your own bed (and breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks) on a vacation wasn’t nearly as bad as I had originally imagined it would be. Also not as bad as I thought it would be was the beach (an inevitable aspect of the beach vacation) which I generally fucking loathe, due to sand all up in your shit and evil things lurking in the surf such as Man of Wars, Sharks, Moray Eels, the teeny tiny Sand Crabs (which my babygirl thoroughly enjoyed hoarding and occasionally crushing until their guts fell out. Give her a break, she isn’t even 2 yet). The beach was so not shitty, in fact, that I didn’t do anything that I drove down hoping to do. Basically all I did from sunrise to sunset was make my bed and sun myself, with occasional parenting and wifing thrown in for variety.

Here is a list of what I failed to accomplish on my summer vacation:

  • SURF – Our plan was to purchase some longboards and sex wax and some pairs of Roxy board shorts and hang ten like really hardcore every morning in the waves and then tie them to the roof and come back to New York looking way too cool for school. But then this thing happened, where surf boards are REALLY FUCKING EXPENSIVE and also this other thing happened where we have kids to chase and not necessarily any time to do things like catch a wave. So we nixed that. I did go on a boogie board, and it turns out it’s probably better that we didn’t buy the rash guards and accouterments because I like totally SUCK. Water sports I excel at? Outdoor showering.
  • KAYAK – I don’t understand why Harry’s family is too fancy for kayaking, but apparently they are. I would have gone alone but I couldn’t even get a ride to the place. They were all intimidated by my sportiness I think. Or they didn’t want to get roped into my antics. Because I would have made them race me for sure.
  • FISHING – Me and my sister-in-law had some pretty solid plans to go out fishing on one of those boats with sexy mates who load your hook with their bait one morning before the gang even woke up (we are both like totally vital to our families functioning properly so we wouldn’t be able to miss waking hours without husbands and/or children having temper tantrums). But then we realized that waking up early meant that we would have to wake up early, so we nixed it and decided to pursue renting poles at the pier, but upon discovery that it required baiting our own hooks we were like “Fuck this shit,” and we went shopping and drinking instead.
  • DRINK 7 DAYS STRAIGHT – I was SO PSYCHED to float through this vacation in a total lackadaisical buzz, clinging to a solo cup filled with coconut rum and pineapple juice or high-fiving my beer pong partner as we sloppily lost in the championship round of the family tournament. But then it was really windy on the porch so the tournament never went down and I ate so many chocolate chip cookies everyday that I couldn’t bring myself to consume the sugars in the boat drink, and so I remained basically sober save one night at this place called Señor Dicks where they were doing Shag Dancing lessons and had really really really cold beers and a guy named Tony who got dumped that afternoon and was sad.
  • READ 1 MAGAZINE – I was thisclose to finishing one, but alas it was not meant to be. It was Parenting Magazine, which is like such a waste of a publication because no parent has time to read a magazine.
  • WRITE “OBX” IN THE SAND AND TAKE A PHOTO – I’ve been contemplating heading over to a Long Island beach and doing it and just saying that it was in North Carolina, but now I just told you so I can’t even do that anymore. Darn. Why did I tell you? We did take a gay family photo on the beach wearing matching white shirts and jeans. Perhaps I’ll post a little photo scrapbook later this week of incriminating family photos and this will be one of them. It will all depend on how my hair looks.
  • WITNESS BABY SEA TURTLES HATCH + HEAD TO THE SEA – There’s no “s” in the sea turtle we saw. But one was enough to inspire me to get a tattoo of a baby sea turtle with a little peace sign on it’s shell. Thanks, little guy.

That being said, the week was not without its productive moments. Here are some surprising accomplishments. Don’t fall over with excitement, although it’s a pretty intense list:

  • PLAYED CORNHOLE WITH MYSELF – It would have been with the siblings, but they weren’t into it. Hey! This probably sounds really dirty if you don’t know what corn hole is. Don’t worry, I didn’t either until like 3 weeks ago. It’s beanbag toss, fellow Yankees! Like a tailgating game for hicks. The boards were really far apart and there was technically no light outside of the bar where we were (I was) playing, but it was still THE BEST.
  • FOUND OUT THAT IF MY MOTHER-IN-LAW COULD CHOOSE ONE PRODUCT TO BE SOLD IN A VENDING MACHINE, IT WOULD BE COCAINE – Regardless of whether or not this was a joke, it is not OK that this occurred. New rule: no more board games that say “Adult” when playing with parents, especially when any alcohol is involved.
  • COOKED AN ENTIRE BOX OF PANCAKES IN ONE POP, SANS GRIDDLE – Perhaps the most challenging hour of the vacation.
  • HIT A FOUL SHOT BACKWARDS OVER MY HEAD DURING A GAME OF HORSE – That being said, I lost every game we played. I also lost at Kanjam (I’m a better Jammer than Kanner, I have learned, AKA I can’t throw a frisbee for shit) and I lost at Hearts and if it is possible to lose at jigsaw puzzle then I lost at that too.
  • DRUNKENLY INTERVIEWED A 6’5″ HANDLEBAR MOUSTACHED BOUNCER AT A COUNTRY BAR ABOUT HIS TASTE IN MUSIC – I then proceeded to thank him for giving me the greatest night of my life (because the jukebox had lots of good country in the Top 100) and accused him of not being openminded about New Country and complimented his incredible mechanical bull operating skills. We had this conversation all without him cracking a smile, or showing one speck of emotion. I think he really enjoyed my company.
  • PLAYED JAX – The bouncy ball was a little puny for the size of the Jax and there were only 8 instead of 10 and my step kid is REALLY BAD at playing but REALLY ENTHUSIASTIC about trying, which makes every game take like 7 hours instead of 7 minutes, but it obviously kicked some summer ass.

All in all, you should be really jealous that you weren’t invited to my family vacation, and you should invite me on yours so that I an assure you’ll have a great time. According to me, I’m totally the life of the party. Especially if there’s a kayak.

Hamburger Harry’s it is!!! (plus harry’s shitty taste in dress shoes.)

26 Jun

So since you were all so overwhelmingly enthusiastic and only like 3 people gave me their opinions, I’ve decided to make an executive decision to go with Hamburger Harry’s for the next pop-up. I just feel like it’s the most “us,” don’t you?

I can’t be bothered with details like a date and time and place, and I’m not the biggest fan in the world of “I squeezed some buns at Hamburger Harry’s….” so we’ll consider it a work in progress for now, but you should know a few things that I’ve already decided:

1. There will be a Pick-Your-Pickle bar. I don’t know what this means, but it will be there. I’m assuming there will be quite a few varieties of traditional pickles, as well as some pickled other stuff.

2. That’s all. I haven’t decided anything else. It’s pretty pathetic, but I’ve got other stuff to worry about such as what shoes I’m going to wear to the wedding I’m going to on Sunday.

Oh, let’s discuss this wedding. I feel like I need to prepare you for the interesting evening to come. If I were an advanced blogger, I would draw you a simple family tree of sorts and all sorts of diagrams and shit like that and publish them so you could have a nice visual of the evening ahead of me. Instead I’ll provide you with an entirely written version. Sorry I’m not crafty. Here are the key facts:

  • Harry is the best man. He bullied Jimmy (the groom) into having all the guys in the wedding party wear patent leather Chuck Taylors. That’s my guy! Can’t go one night without wearing sneakers! He brought them home and let me tell you, those fuckers look like MISERY ON A SOLE. I’m either going to be an amazing wife and bring flip flops or a mediocre wife and bring scrunch socks as though we’re attending a Bar Mitzvah in the 90s or a regular wife and bring nothing but listen to him complain or, most likely, I’ll just be myself, and smack him shouting “I told you so” in his face every time he whimpers or asks for a BandAid to put on his blisters. I might even flick him in the nipple after I say that, just for shits and giggles.
  • I am planning on being drunk before I arrive. I just feel like I deserve it, you know? Mommy needs a stiff one. Seriously, do you know the last time I drank? I don’t mean like a glass of wine, because that was 2 nights ago. It’s been so long since I’ve gotten good and tipsy that I’ve never even sent a drunk text, I’ve only made phone calls. Harry and I already negotiated the driving situation and here’s how it will work – Harry can drink just enough to loosen up for his speech (which he won’t let me write even though I’d clearly win him some sort of best man of the year award or something) and then he has to stop drinking after the speech is over. I get to drink from before the wedding to after the wedding. That’s the deal. We shook on it. What will actually happen? My mommy and daddy will drive us home and pay the babysitter and tuck us in.
  • My work husband will also be there. So will Charlie and Nicole. We are going to dance to Mr. Brightside. I know this because I told Jimmy that he had to play it at his wedding or I would fire him. That’s the best part about a work wedding when you’re the boss. It’s sort of like you’re more special than the groom or the bride! Me, Charlie, Nicole and Ryan are going to have some sort of good time. The last time the four of us hung out for a night I woke up in a heart shaped bed in some motel in Pennsylvania next to a guy wearing a wetsuit. No wait, that wasn’t them… but it was me….
  • Our resident “Mom” waitress is bringing her hot husband. Seeing as Harry will be occupied with best manly responsibilities, I will be forced to dance with him. Just kidding, because Nicole would never allow that. She’s very protective over him and says that if anyone is going to flirt with the hot dad it’s gonna be her. I don’t think she’s kidding and I do believe she would throw elbows and possibly fists if I tested her. Plus if I have to choose one man to dance with other than my husband (who I’m assuming will be otherwise occupied doing things like cutting the groom’s steak and pouring him beers and carrying his train and shit like that) it would be Charlie of course!
  • My dress may or may not be too short. I just felt like the single most important role for the best man is to have a hot bitch on his arm. I went shopping for the occasion and I found this dress that’s like the perfect combination between a Floridian MILF in the 1980s and a Cabbage Patch Kid outfit. I can’t figure out why they only included half the fabric they were supposed to, but it’s a festive frock and I’m going to do my damn best to not expose my lady parts and/or Spanx.
  • My parents and Harry’s parents are going. This is unfortunate, because I will probably disappoint both moms eternally with my slutbag dress and drunken antics. Luckily, their expectations are probably pretty low at this point. I mean, if I were my kid I’d personally be proud as hell because I’m so fucking beautiful, talented and intelligent. But I guess I’m just being biased.

Poetry Tuesday! Tonight, a haiku to delight the senses!

Fuck 9-5.

My nights are empty

Without Gay Asian Waiter

And Nicole at work.

shit my babygirl needs to know.

22 Jun

Tonight I was going to write about how disturbing it is to see teenage girls with exposed side boobs and tweens wearing sheer tank tops and large Tory Burch totes hanging off a gel manicured, Hermes bracelet clad, limp wrist, but I really think it’s pretty obvious that this is not ok.

Instead I’m going to make a list for my babygirl, because one day she will speak in sentences, and then she will be able to write her own name in crayon, and eventually she will be able to read. So I figured that I should probably start working on an instructional manual for her, because if she’s gonna be hanging out with the side boobs and the Tory Burch 10-year-olds, she’s really gonna need it.

Here ya go, babygirl. In no particular order. Some keys to the kingdom.

1. The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and Charlotte’s Web were all books before they were movies. Please never forget this. Nothing pisses your mommy off more than hearing people talk about great literary works in terms of the film version, and not being aware that before it was a blockbuster, it was a book. Also please watch Jeopardy voluntarily and don’t worry about being smarter than everyone else you know. It runs in the family.

2. Your cool jeans will someday be mom jeans. You are always going to think that your new jeans are like totally the best, and maybe they are right now. But no matter what Calvin Klein says, there is no such thing as a timeless jean. Today I threw on a pair of my favorites and as I zipped them up and sighed about how great they make my ass look, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror. “What the fuck jeans are these?” I yelled at my reflection, “They must have fallen out of a “donate” bag.” Um, no. These were, in fact, my favorite jeans as recently as 1 year ago. I can’t figure out how this is possible. The ass pockets are as big as a legal size piece of paper. The “low-rise” comes to my belly button. They are worse mom jeans than my mom wears. And the saddest thing is that I can’t wait until fall jeans season arrives so I can wear them ’cause they’re sooooo comfy! In other words, don’t make fun of your mommy’s pants. That will someday be your tush.

3. A woman’s place is in the home. Hahahahahhaha just kidding. Take a look around mommy’s unused kitchen. Don’t let anyone tell you that takeout is not an acceptable form of food. Go out and do whatever it is you want to do. These days you appear to want to be a hockey player. Go for it! Kids pretty much raise themselves these days. You really don’t need to do much except give them an iPad and organic milk, so you’re good to go do whatever.

4. Men are jerks. This tidbit was passed down from your Mimi (my mommy) and it is the greatest thing she ever taught me. Because even though there might be some exceptions, (not that I’ve found any other than your daddy, who is only a slightly occasional jerk and your Grandpas who are accidental jerks) you go into every relationship with significantly lowered expectations, and that will prove convenient and save your lots of frustration. Is it fair that boys get an automatic excuse for every stupid thing they do? No. But they’re so cute, so we give them a free pass.

5. Never ever ever pair a short skirt with a low-cut shirt. I know some people are going to tell you that less is more, but this does not apply to clothing. Please don’t confuse accessories and clothes. Dressing like you’re at some sort of porn convention can only lead to trouble.

6. Wearing a thong as a necklace becomes inappropriate once you reach school age. It’s sooooo cute that you do it now, but you’re gonna need to stop soon. In fact, please stay away from thongs until you are at least 30 years old. I promise, it is totally alright for people to know that you’re wearing underwear. Here’s a little secret: They are too!

7. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels. Except chocolate. And ranch dressing. And really good pancakes with melty butter. And biscuits. And birthday cake. Please never ever deprive yourself of something delicious because you might be bloated the next day (unless you’ve entered a bodybuilding competition or the Miss American Pageant or the Olympics, in which case you should limit your intake somewhat because you made a commitment and should most definitely follow through).

8. Dishwashers are people too. 

9.  Learn to waitress and bartend, then get out of the restaurant business. Honestly, babygirl? It’s 12am and I just ate dinner. Now I’m going to be up all night with heartburn and regret.

10. Never be too good for Sears. Sure, it’s nice to go shopping at Bloomies, but sometimes Sears is where it’s at! Can you buy a ride-on mower or Kardashian Kollection at Bloomingdales? Nope. And you also can’t have your portrait taken or pay your Discover bill. Be flexible enough to shop, eat and play wherever you find yourself, and the world will be your oyster!

Ok babygirl. Even though you still haven’t had a haircut yet ever in your entire life, and the only color you know is blue and you wear feet pajamas like a superman cape every morning for 2 hours, I think you’re officially ready to face the world…

why it’s my father’s fault i’m in therapy.

17 Jun

In celebration of my dad’s second favorite day of the year, (you don’t have to share birthdays with other people) I’ve decided to point out a few of the many things that we have in common.

  • Looks: My dad and I are a handsome duo. Whenever people tell me how much I look like my dad, I am quick to point out that I am the more feminine and beautiful version. Oddly enough, people rarely agree with that. They merely reiterate that we are just soooo similar in appearance. Not a mention of the fact that we are an entirely different gender. I used to be really excited by this photo I had of him pretending to smoke a cigar when he was a kid because it looked Just. Like. Me. But now I’m just sad that my face continued to age just like his. Fortunately, I’m free of facial hair. Oh, 
  • Toes: They’re extra ugly. I’ve looked into plastic surgery and veneers, but it’s just not practical at this point in time. They’re called “The Bloom Toes.” That’s what my dad’s side of the family does. They take every awkward body part and trait that has been sent down the family tree and add the word “Bloom” to it. So I’ve got the following, all thanks to my Daddy-o: The Bloom Butt. The Bloom Stomach. The Bloom Voice. The Bloom Laugh. The Bloom Boobs. The Bloom Body. The Bloom Appetite. And most famously, The Bloom Arms. Maybe you have them too.. here’s a quick test to find out! While standing, let your arms hang down to your sides. Do your hands face behind you, sort of like a primate? Then CONGRATS! You’ve got the Bloom Arms!
  • Eating Habits: We’ve been known to fight over a hot dog. I prefer sweet treats to my dads salty, but we both like to indulge in pretty much whatever we can get our hands on. My dad used to eat off everyone’s plate at dinner when he finished his meal, but he quickly halted that behavior when it came to mine because I would throw a huge temper tantrum if he tried to touch my shit. I wasn’t big on leftovers back then. Not like these days. My dad’s diabetic and I switched from ice cream to frozen yogurt unless I’m pregnant. 
  • Music: We both think that I have excellent taste. Most of it is derived from the quality programming he provided over the years (Queen, Rod Stewart, The Judds, etc. etc. etc.) but boy can I make a mean playlist. See? 
  • Friends: We both seem to go by the thought processes that “less is more” and believe in “quality over quantity.” In other words, we both have pretty much no friends. We’re geeky loners who occasionally fool the customers into thinking that we’re cool. Our social status from high school on has been meager at best. We could be reasonable and blame it on the fact that we work alternative hours that prevent us from socializing with the bulk of the population and going to weddings/bbqs/birthday parties/dinner. Or we can face the facts and acknowledge that we rub most people the wrong way with our abrasive and highly eclectic personalities, as well as certain other undesirable quantities. Which leads me to….
  • Vanity: My dad and I are perfect. We are each limited to only two flaws: My dad is short and has an unhealthy attachment to Lifetime Television for Women. I am nearsighted and my C-Section scar won’t heal. That is all. We are otherwise awesome. We can literally both talk about ourselves for weeks on end, and we honestly don’t care who (or if anyone) is listening. You have already figured this out about me. But in case you were curious, it’s all my dad’s fault. Egomania is genetic. 
  • Spacial Acuteness: My father is extraordinary at packing the car with so many objects that you can literally fully furnish a large condominium. Some girls had things shipped to college their freshman year but not me. My dad shoved so much shit in that car that I couldn’t even have an extra snack before the trip up because he hadn’t planned for needing that extra square inch. Like him, I am also able to make things fit properly in places. Yesterday I managed to fit the surround sound system he picked out for himself for Father’s Day, my babygirl’s stroller, two cases of Poland Spring and a pineapple securely in the back of a compact car. Also, the other day when I was doing a craft project, I cut a circle that was EXACTLY the right size and I didn’t even use a ruler. 
  • Occasional inappropriate outbursts: Last night, my brother and his wife came for dinner at the restaurant with my dad, so we were all sitting around talking about random people. At a particular juncture, my dad, who had been unexpectedly quiet for at least like 45 seconds while Jen was discussing a friend of hers shouted out “AND THEN DID THEY HAVE SEX ALL NIGHT??” We still aren’t quite sure about where it came from but it bore a striking resemblance to a staff meeting the other night during which I blatantly outed an undercover couple at the restaurant with a totally hilaaarrioussss inappropriate and unnecessary joke. 
In all seriousness, I love my therapist so maybe saying that it’s my dad’s “fault” is incorrect terminology. I’m grateful that my dad provided me with the gaggle of issues I’m proud to call my own. Otherwise what would I do on Wednesdays? 

where jews come from.

27 May

Tonight was like Christmas or something at the restaurant, because alllll the Jews were out. I wonder what it is about Memorial Day that makes every tribe member skip the family BBQ and call in a babysitter. Maybe it’s because everyone wants to show off their new summer wardrobe and absolutely cannot wait until a less family-friendly weekend. Or maybe since Jews don’t cook and this is a holiday where burgers and ribs are a must-have, we fit the bill. Regardless of the reason, they were seriously in every nook and cranny of the restaurant tonight. And I’m not talking about the vanilla difficult-to-identify variety who send their kids to schools like Princeton and University of Texas and don’t wear designer jeans or have any elective plastic surgery. I’m talking about your SUV driving, huge ass diamond sporting, Tory Burch toting creme de la creme Long Island Super Jews (who, if you’re wondering, send their kids to schools like Cornell, Wisconsin, Indiana and, yes, Syracuse).

There are some distinguishing qualities that we (I’m throwing myself in with the masses for this one…) tend to display. While I’m generalizing and completely stereotyping my peeps, these are all for the most part 100% completely and entirely true.

  1. We get too loud too fast. It happens in an instant. Tonight I asked the new waitress if she was a Jew (after she complimented Harry on his excellent guilt-dishing) and when she said yes, there were suddenly four of us screaming at the top of our lungs about which direction you light the candles on the menorah in. Which leads me to…
  2. Nobody actually knows anything about Judaism. There are exceptions. We have a few customers who go to temple and do things like talk about religion and celebrate non-gift-giving holidays. But for the most part, Jews these days are in it for the food and the free birthright trip to Israel.
  3. Everyone went to camp. Tonight when I found out about the new Jew girl, I didn’t ask her if she went to camp, I asked her what camp she went to. Because camp is pretty much non-negotiable for adolescent Jews. This has nothing to do with wanting to ditch your kids for 8 weeks (although now that I have a 9-year-old step kid I can say that the temptation does pop into my head now and then). Camp has to do with passing down amazing experiences from generation to generation. Such as getting fresh bagels on visiting day and joining the inter-camp soccer team just for the ice cream sundaes on the van ride back.
  4. Like Asians, we are completely undistinguishable when in a large group. On an individual basis, we all display our own unique style, whether it’s the type of music we listen to or color of Essie nail polish that we use or the way we pronounce “Bendels.” But when we get together for a girl’s night, we all dress the same, talk the same, complain the same, and order the same salad (with well done salmon, dressing on the side, extra garbanzo beans, no olive and make sure it’s chopped).
  5. Jews hire night nurses when they have babies. I didn’t put this as “we” because I didn’t marry a Jew, and so I didn’t get a night nurse. Harry insisted that “we’re the parents, so we should wake up with the baby.” While I sincerely hated him at the time, and our social lives probably took a major hit (as though we had one at all) because we couldn’t go out drinking with the other new parents, I will always fondly look back on those days of sitting on the couch at 4:30am watching Pretty Little Liars with my itty bitty baby girl in my arms. Still. I deserved a night nurse.
  6. Every Jew knows Artie. Something about our recently deceased original restaurant is that it was like the number one spot for Jappy women to have lunch for literally decades. So my dad really got to know them, as well as their husbands/boyfriends/sugar daddies. And he was friendly and super sweet and made everyone feel like he was their buddy. Not like me, who flips people the bird before they’ve completely turned around and refuses to schmooze with anyone who rubs me the wrong way. Yes, he’s the Penn to my Teller. And as a result, not a Saturday night goes by at the restaurant where some balding dude comes up to me or my manager and says “Where’s Artie?” And I say “Artie hasn’t come to work for 5 years,” followed by “Maybe if you were a devoted customer you’d know that, huh?” followed by “Stop looking at me like that, asshole” followed by “Fine! Don’t come back! See if I care! My dad doesn’t even remember who you are!” I can’t figure out why they don’t want to get to know me better, but it’s their loss for sure.

Anyway, that’s the deal with Jews, at least this week. Because if one thing is true (other than the aforementioned items) it’s that we love a good trend.