my friend Caprice briefly dated this guy named Ryan years ago when we lived in Florida. Ryan and the boy i was dating at the time really loathed each other (to the point of stabbiness), so the four of us didn't ever hang out together. eventually, i dont remember exactly why, Caprice and Ryan broke up and he went back to his old girlfriend (he might have been still dating her during the time he was with Caprice - this was something like 15 years ago so you'll have to forgive my foggy memory). it was one of those un-pretty, decidedly unattractive breakups that we all sadly fall prey to once in a while.
a few months later i was at work, waiting tables during lunch rush, and we got slammed in about 2 minutes after opening. we usually had the same group of servers who worked during lunch, girls like me who were taking a break from college until they figured out what they wanted out of life, and some career waitresses as well. if we got a table of people we didn't care for, repeat offender customers like the weirdo middle-aged professor accompanied by a young female student (different student each time) or plain ol' someone we didnt want to wait on, we'd agree to switch tables with each other. so anyway, this particular day, we got slammed, and i looked towards the front entrance when who should be standing there but Ryan and his hoochie.
immediately, i turned to Lori, the daytime manager who was also waiting tables that day and begged her to take the table, as they went and sat in my section.
"No can do. I'm so deep in the weeds i think i'm gonna cry".
"PLEASE! i'll give you ten bucks to take it. he dumped my friend on her ass. i dont want to look at his face".
"Sorry, chach, normally i'd say yes, but i can't do it".
defeated, i slumped over to the table where Ryan and hooch were sitting, and took their drink order. i pretended not to recognize him at all, made myself pleasant, even though he was glaring at me so hard that i could feel his eyes burning into my brain. i came back with their drinks and proceeded to take their order.
"You guys ready to order?"
"Yeah, i'll have the chef salad, and could you please not spit in it".
i looked up, shocked, and my jaw dropped as i stared at him. his hooch was also staring at him, but in more of a pissed off way. clearly he hadnt mentioned to her that he knew their friendly server.
"I'm sorry... what did you say?"
"i said, DON'T SPIT IN IT".
i think i laughed.
i got a pretty decent tip from them (she paid). i wonder if he ever told her how he knew me - probably not.
the thing is, i hadn't even thought of spitting in his food. if there is one thing i never did in all my years of waiting tables and tending bar, that was to fuck with customers' food. i may have not liked a lot of my patrons, especially this particular one, but i didn't think to do anything funky to his food that would, God forbid, lead to me losing my job (there weren't many available jobs in Gainesville in those days). so i may not have liked the jackass who broke my friend's heart, and i probably should have asked him to leave the restaurant when i first saw him come in, (and frankly, he should have turned around when he saw me and walked out the door), but it didn't occur to me to screw around with his food.
but there are people out there who wouldn't think twice about it. a lot of guys on the line would talk about phlegm globbing food if it was going to a customer they didn't like. after that fleeting moment of vindictivness has passed, after you've dropped a piece of food on purpose, put it back on the plate and sent it out, does it really make you feel that much better? i guess a lot of people would answer Yes to that question, but i just dont get it. i once had to be the middleman in a fight betwen a cook and a customer. the customer sent the food back saying it was too spicy to eat, so the cook, angry that his food got sent back, poured hot sauce all over it and had another server send it back out when i wasn't looking. i had to deal with the angry patron, pushing him out of the swinging doors that led to the kichen while he shook his fists and screamed; meanwhile the cook was just laughing it up. i just don't get that mentality.
i had one last Ryan sighting a few years later. i was hanging out with my ex (the same guy i had been dating when Caprice and Ryan were dating) one night at a crowded bar; it was about a week or so before i moved to Savannah. actually, i have no idea why i was hanging out with the ex, but i do remember ignoring him and pretending he wasn't there because he was being his own special brand of dick. so anyway, who should slide up to the bar right next to me but Ryan , with some sorority girl on his arm. Ryan and I recognized each other immediately, and i began to laugh. Ryan also recognized my ex, and this made me laugh even harder, because he probably thought that the horrible ex and i were still together. the ex had no idea what i was laughing about, didn't recognize Ryan, and was really pissed off at me because he thought Ryan and i were making eyes at each other.
i took a cab home.