adventures in catering…

December 4, 2007

This week has found me dressed in crisp white shirts and tailored black pants. My dear friend Windsor got me a job working as a caterer’s assistant by night, it’s one of my many jobs right now to get us through this crazy time. I’m also delighted by the fact that I’ll be old someday telling stories of the 1,000 different jobs I experienced. It’s like the old man at parties that tells about how he traveled with the circus as a young man or something. Not that catering is at all like being a trapeze artist (well, it can get a little loopy) but I hope I get to try a a bit of everything in my time.

It often feels like an honor to be at someone’s special event, like serving the cake that is the sweetest end to the day you promised to be with your beloved forever or listening to speeches from the top of the stairs in celebration of the birth of your wife so many years ago. ….and then there are days when it’s simply about pure decadence and wealth. Yesterday was my funniest experience with such a crowd. We were catering for high tea to 200 women from the local women’s club. These were probably the wealthiest women in my city all gathered together in one place. I have never seen so many big hairdo’s, fur stolls, and brightly colored suits in my life.

I passed the yummiest hor dourves and nodded my head graciously as the women accepted or rejected my offer. The oldest ladies in the room were painfully polite while the older women occasionally (actually) turned up their noses. I found myself completely taking in this crowd like I was observing some rare bird in the wild. I then realized I had been spontaneously giving curtsies to the last five women I’d encountered.

I ran back to the kitchen where Rose was washing dishes. Rose is a lovely african american women who was dressed in a maid’s uniform and has served these women for many years. She laughed as I told her my story of my subconscious response to perceived royalty while we scraped dishes together. “Look at this….”, she said. We chuckled at the brightest red lipstick print on the china tea cup you have ever seen. I imagine Rose has many more stories and I wished I could have stayed by her side for a little while longer. I realized I’ve always preferred the company of the kitchen.

8 Responses to “adventures in catering…”

  1. clay Says:

    Wow, that sounded like some kind of dream!

  2. Amy Says:

    lest you feel stalked, let me assure you I’m finding this week to be one of ups, downs and incredible inspiration. I enjoy reading. I’m glad you write.

    your story reminds me that I often feel as though I’m walking in the pages of someone else’s book, where situations are so surreal and I feel so distant that it’s got to be fiction.

    I wish I had a neighbor like Rose. I probably do.

  3. Terra Says:

    What a cool experience! Just to see how the upper crust mingle and act would be oh so amusing to me.

  4. Ann Says:

    I worked catering through college and beyond. Peter always worked in kitchens. When he was working for a hot shot law firm, we always found ourselves chatting with the caterers rather than with the partners at holiday parties. I felt like the fancy-pants people were going to realize that we weren’t fancy and throw us out at any second …

  5. Elaine Says:

    Hi to the kind and lovely Soul Sister…
    … who so carefully packaged and mailed the Great Things Altar Kit to me…
    … so that I could give it to my mom this Christmas.

    And thank you for the kind words you wrote on the envelope flap — my mom will be getting that, too.

    Blessings back to you, your family and jen. I’ll also let her know the package arrived.

  6. Elaine Says:

    Oops, I also forgot to say thank you for the Trust magnet. What a sweet surprise and treat. It’s already on my door (it has a metal coating) so that I could remind myself to do this as I come and go.


  7. kindnessgirl Says:

    elaine…you make my little job so meaningful…thank you for your kind words and may they be returned ten fold to you.

  8. Melissa Says:

    I love this. While I appreciate that we all experience wealth in different ways in each of our lives, this makes me ever more grateful that my wealth is to have friends in their coziest sweaters gathered around, drinks in hand, while I make dinner for them in my tiny apartment kitchen. Thanks for the bit of perspective.

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