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Remember every choice has a consequence. You may kid yourself by convincing yourself that a bad choice feels right. The bad choices are the easiest ones to make. It’s the right choices that feels like work.

You can fool some people but there are others who will always know your true intentions. Often, they are the ones that keep quiet.

Don’t fool yourself, you are not fooling them.

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 I am not embarrassed to say I love to waitress. I don’t feel inferior to those who have careers rather than jobs. I have the ability to carry on an educated conversation without sounding like I am pretending to know something. Which I have to say is a pet peeve of mine- A person who knows a little bit about something but tries to incorporate their knowledge of that something into most conversations. All that shows me is, they don’t know much about anything else. I know a little bit about a lot of things. And I have learned from the people I have waited on. They have taught me things I would have never learned in school. Lessons they learned from living life. A sweet man in his eighties instructed me to cherish all moments with my children. He told a story about dates he took with his daughter when she was a little girl. First he would take her shopping for a pretty dress. She would come out of the dressing room smiling. She would twirl around and loved a dress that would fan out and spin. From there they moved on to dinner. I could see the adoration in his eyes as he told the story. What I didn’t foresee was what he would tell me next. At eighteen his daughter was hit from behind by a Mac truck on a highway and she was killed. Remembering those dates with his daughter is what kept him going. When I get mad at my children and find myself annoyed I think of the lesson he taught me. He also advised me that my son will treat his wife the way he sees his father treat me. He said the best thing a father can do for his children is love his wife. I love that, and you better believe I passed that lesson right to my husband. An older woman who comes in solo most of the time educated me on the love a child has for their parents. From her I learned you are never too old to love your Mommy and Daddy. She is well into her seventies and loves to tell me stories of her youth and the time she spent with her parents. Her father taught her to garden and every time she speaks about him she refers to him as– my daddy. At first I thought it was odd that a seventy some year old woman would refer to her father as daddy. But then I saw in her eyes a little girl. The little girl she once was told it. I have waited on well educated people and people with no or little education. I am not knocking education because lord knows it is important to have. But education does not make you a good person or a smart tipper for that matter. I have had doctors tip me less than the men who mow their lawn. I have had teenagers tip me more than two of their teachers. I learned a lot about people from being a waitress. I know when to walk away or approach a table cautiously. When I see a certain glare in a woman’s eye directed at the man across the table. Every once in a while I am still fooled. And it can go either way. The couple who is dressed impeccably and speak so kindly and compliment the service I give hand me the bill with an embarrassing tip. I was sure they would have tipped well. Why you ask, because I fell for the polished well spoken version of a customer. In the end they didn’t pay well. I am ashamed to say I have looked at the man with dark blue mechanics uniform, dirty fingernails and thought “This one won’t be good.” It happened to be the best tip of the night. Most restaurants don’t require a degree upon hiring but I can guarantee by the time you leave a waitressing job you will be well educated in life.I do have a degree but waitressing is what allowed me to be home with my children and that is what is important to me.A friend of mine directed me to the writing below a while back and I loved reading it. It is about a Genius Waitress written by Tom Robbins. I wish I wrote it      

Of the genius waitress, I now sing.Of hidden knowledge, buried ambition, and secret
sonnets scribbled on cocktail napkins; of aching
arches, ranting cooks, condescending patrons, and eyes
diverted from ancient Greece to ancient grease; of
burns and pinches and savvy and spunk; of a uniquely
American woman living a uniquely American compromise,
I sing. I sing of the genius waitress.

Okay, okay, she’s probably not really a genius. But
she is well-educated. She has a degree in Sanskrit,
ethnoastronomy, Icelandic musicology, or something
equally valued in contemporary marketplace. Even if
she could find work in her chosen field, it wouldn’t
pay beans–so she slings them instead. (The genuis
waitress is not to be confused with the
aspiring-actress waitress, so prevalent in Manhattan
and Los Angeles and so different from her sister in
temperament and I.Q.)

As a type, the genius waitress is sweet and sassy,
funny and smart; young, underestimated, fatalistic,
weary, cheery (not happy, cheerful: there’s a
difference and she understands it), a tad bohemian,
often borderline alcoholic, frequently pretty (though
her hair reeks of kitchen and bar); as independent as
a cave bear (though ever hopeful of “true love”) and,
above all, geniune.

Covertly sentimental, she fusses over toddlers and old
folks, yet only fear of unemployment prevents her from
handing an obnoxious customer his testicles with his
bill.

She doesn’t mind a little good-natured flirting, and
if you flirt with verve and wit, she may flirt back.
Never, however, never try to impress her with your
resume. Her tolerance for pretentious Yuppies ends
with her shift, sometimes earlier. She reads men like
a menu and always knows when she’s being offered
leftovers or an artificially inflated souffle.

Should you ever be lucky enough to be taken home by
her to that studio apartment with the jerry-built
bookshelves and Frida Kahlo posters, you will discover
that whereas in the public dining room she is merely
as proficient as she needs to be, in the private
bedroom she is blue gourmet virtuoso. Five stars and
counting! Afterward, you can discuss chaos theory or
the triple aspects of the mother goddess in universal
art forms–while you massage her swollen feet.

Eventually, she leaves food service for graduate
school or marriage; but unless she wins a grant or a
fair divorce settlement, chances are she’ll be back, a
few years down the line, reciting the daily specials
with her own special mixture of warmth and ennui.

Erudite emissary of eggs over easy, polymath purveyor
of polenta and prawns, articulate angel of apple pie,
the genius waitress is on duty right now in hundreds
of U.S. restaurants, smile at the ready, sauce on the
side. So brush up on your Schopenhauer, place your
order–and tip, mister, tip. She deserves a break
today.

Of her, I sing.

Tom Robbins

Who are the people on your street? Do you know what life they live? I have lived on the same street for most of my life but barely know my neighbors, most of them anyway. In the small one level home on the corner is an elderly woman. Growing up she was not the kindest woman. She barely said hello. Rumor had it she did not like young children. I recall her husband being equally distant. He was always outside watering his sidewalk of all things. He died of a massive heart attack and the woman was left alone. After his death she would acknowledge me as she passed taking her dog for a walk. First a small smile, then a soft hello. The dog seemed to keep her company but he died too. The small smiles turned to wide grins and the soft hellos became loud hollers. “Hello, come talk to me she would say.” Surprised but intrigued I did. It turned out she was a nice lady but she was lonely. She faced hardships in life. She lost a young daughter years before I was born. I understood a little better why she wasn’t nice to children. Perhaps they reminded her of the little girl her daughter never became. Often she would invite me over for a chat. Occasionally I would go but having three children takes up a lot of my time. Late at night when the street is dark I think of her and how lonesome she must be. Diagonal from my home is a cute ranch style home. The home was built long ago and the man who built it still lives there with his wife. He is in his late seventies possibly early eighties but still full of life. He can always be seen on the front lawn planting flowers or tidying up his quaint yard. He loves my son’s curls and always asks if he can cut some of his hair. I admire his work ethic and find his smile endearing. Directly across the street from me is another elderly couple. The husband jogged around the neighborhood for years until his age took away his stamina. They were the only ones on our street to have an in ground pool. The wife used to be active in our church and would throw pool parties for the youth group. I always had a blast at her house. Still I really never knew her. Last year an ambulance pulled in front of our house. When I looked out to see what was happening I saw them take her away on a stretcher. She had a stroke. Now instead of jogging her husband walks arm and arm with her around the block, so she can get her exercise. A few houses up the street are a young couple. They recently had a baby girl. They are friendly. I have had some quick conversations with the husband who is usually the one I see outside. I know he loves the Yankees and works down the road. He is a loveable guy who seems to adore his wife and was very excited to become a father. Another young married couple moved next door to them. They don’t come off as friendly. They may be the type that likes to keep to their selves. Actually, I have never seen the wife only the husband. He is a tall dark haired man with intimidating eyes. He did help the elderly woman this past winter per my request. Her driveway was snowed in up to her back porch. She yelled over to me and begged for help. I noticed him plowing his sidewalk and ran up and asked if he could assist her. I got the feeling he was annoyed but he did it anyway. There is a hippie dude at the end of the street. I bet he is a fun guy. He drives a white Volkswagen Beetle. His front yard is filled with wildflowers and his window treatments are Mexican blankets. Across from him is a recently divorced woman who has three Newfoundland’s. Don’t ask me how but she manages to walk all three of them at the same time. They are all people who I’m sure have depth. Their lives may be completely different from mine or more similiar than I know. I live in a surface neighborhood. Our knowledge of each other is equivalent to small talk. You throw something out there, “a hello or a how’s the baby?” Maybe a “How are you feeling?” but nothing more. They don’t know me and I don’t know them. It’s funny how you can live right next door to someone but be so far away. A song comes to mind as I write this. A song I heard repeatedly in my childhood years. Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? It was a song from Sesame Street. The lyrics summed it up. They are the people that you meet when you are walking down the street the people that you meet each day. But we were never told who those people really were. Sure we knew their occupations-a postman, a fireman just like I know a hippie, newlyweds, an older woman, and two married couples. I know their titles, their surfaces, but I have no idea who they are.  And I probably never will.