Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"Garcon means boy."

And then there was the time my dad and I were blue-skying about opening a restaurant in the Olde Hometowne -- I think this was after my freshman year of college, I'm home for the summer, he and I do this all the time (the blue-skying -- which, btw, is something I think makes people nervous about me the way they would get nervous around him because MAYBE he/I is/am just kidding around about getting motorcycles for everyone in the family and riding around the country for a couple of years [yes I can have a Vespa, but I have to be fourteen to have a license so we can't start the trip till next year], or getting a newborn baby tiger and declawing it and raising it like a kittycat in our home to see whether despite all the gentle upbringing it retained its killer nature or not [it's cool, your mom likes cats, she'll be ok with this if we just keep an eye on your baby sister, no problemo], but MAYBE he/I is/am NOT kidding and goddamn if you might not come home from eighth grade to find every stick of furniture in your house out on the lawn in an impromptu yard sale to raise cash for the Faberge egg we were talking about buying at auction ...).

So anyway, the restaurant (or reftaurant -- that one's for you, Mr. Gleemonex!). We discussed various possible locations, then agreed upon a place off the square, which used to be a car mechanic shop and was in this great old hangar of a building. Standing around in the kitchen, drinking sweet tea, we named it, picked out furnishings, planned the menu, booked a bunch of local bands to play, worked out the details of the liquor license (it would have to be a "club," thanks to local blue laws, but we would pay for the memberships so people wouldn't feel burdened), etc.

So then we moved on to, as I put it, "the wait staff."

And he's all, "Wait staff? We're not having a wait staff."

And I'm all, " ... huh? It's a restaurant -- what're they gonna do, go back to the kitchen themselves?"

He goes, "Not a wait staff. WAITRESSES."

The fun starts leaking out of this particular thought balloon.

I say, "But why does it have to be waitresses? Guys can do the job too -- it's good money! Whoever's good at it ..."

He interrupts, "No man wants some GUY waiting his table. They want a pretty little thing who'll charm 'em into ordering a lot of stuff. And they want to have something good to look at."

I am SPEECHLESS. I cannot believe what is coming out of his mouth. I can actually hear my eyes blinking (poik! poik!).

I'm like ... "DAD. That is GROSS. And it is SO NOT TRUE. Nobody cares what gender a waitperson is."

Him: "YES they DO. People don't like to see a man serving food."

More blinking from me (poik! poik! poik!) and then I start to get mad. My summer job is, of course, waiting tables at a "Mexican" joint in town, and it's fucking difficult work and I am not all that good at it, but I get decent tips. And I begin to wonder -- is that why? Because I'm nineteen and cute like most 19-year-olds are? Are they OBJECTIFYING ME with the MALE GAZE?

So I say, "That is not it! AT ALL! It's just that MEN are used to seeing WOMEN in service roles! That just shows how much you buy into the HEGEMONY of our GENDERED CULTURE!"

Yada yada yada I end up storming out.

And, curiously, we never did open that restaurant; I guess it ended up in the "tiger" category instead of the "Faberge egg" one, which is a pity, because up till the argument part, it was going to be a really awesome restaurant.

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Blogger Uncle Spike said...

I, for one have no problem with male servers. But that's just me. I once read a parody of Hooters about a restaurant called Peckers, in which the wife gets to enjoy objectifying the hot scantily-clad her husband squirms uncomfortably about the whole scene. Ahh...could be reality. But then again, I'd be objectifying with the male gaze, too. Guilty.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Panda!!!! said...

On my last visit to your home state, I learned of a steak house where all the wait staff - er, WAITRESSES - served food in the buff. Like, no clothes. Like, is that sanitary? Also, I sort of want to go there.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Unnnnnnnnnnsanitary. Yikes. And unsafe -- not that Texas cares about worker safety, but I am not carrying a tray full of hissing, spitting fajitas out in the buff. I don't need burns in weird and private places.

Plus: hairs.

[shudder] [die]

9:47 AM  
Blogger Panda!!!! said...

It really is the hairs that I can't get over! I mean, the tables are probably approximately crotchular height, right?

8:20 AM  

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