Thursday, March 08, 2007

Another fault to blame Mom for

There's a young, attractive waitress at a local diner who is very fond of my girls. Whenever I happen to treat myself to someone else's a.m. epicurean entrees (every other week or so), she asks about the girls by name, wants to know what and how they're doing and seems genuinely interested to hear me talk about them. Her demeanor is pleasant, her make-up is tastefully sparse, and her food service skills are worthy of a 20%+ tip.

The other morning I was treating myself to a #32 omelette (avocado, green chili, olive) and hash browns. The girls were in school so for company I took along my latest public library loaned acquisition, (Deep Storm by Lincoln Child).

Lovely waitress (we'll call her Rita), asked me how the book was. I responded that I hadn't gotten to page 100 yet, and that I usually give the writer that many pages before I make a judgement on their single volumed tome.

Lovely Rita then told me flat out that she didn't like to read books.

The surprised and disdainful look on my face must have been obvious to a blind mole rat, yet Lovely Rita either chose to ignore my physical faux paux or didn't let it bother her. Either way, I felt like an elitist, snobby...bookist for reacting in such a way.

Who am I to judge another human being for their reading selection...or lack thereof. My M-i-L hasn't read a book in years and freely admits doing so with not a lick of shame to her proclamation (she reads tons of government documents in her work, which is as dry as the printed matter can get).

My own Father professes no passionate love for books as well, preferring to gather his information through direct conversation whenever possible. I hereby blame my own Librarian-book-loving-Mother for my bookist ways -- although something tells me she will carry this particular blame banner with pride and glory.

Perhaps Lovely Rita is a poetess and prefers to peruse her prose in periodicals.
Maybe Lovely Rita is a magazine maniac and marks her monologues in manuscripts.
Not impossibly Lovely Rita invents her intrinsic information and interprets the images internally.

Coming full circle (in a roudabout way), Lovely Rita dropped off the check while I was swathing my biscuit with a spoonful of orange marmalade taken from the plastic portable pull-top container that was sitting with the other flavored jams and jellies on the table.
"Wow," she murmured. "I've never seen anyone younger than my Gramma put marmalade on their biscuits."
"Blame it on Paddington."
I replied.
"Paddington the Bear. Little British Bear. Wore a rain coat and hat. Sign around his neck, saying 'Pleez look after this bear.' He loved marmalade. It was one of my favorite books when I was a kid."
"Oh him,"
she said. "I think my niece has that dvd."

Next time I go in, I'll have to remember to bring the girls.


WarWagon said...

Oh the joys of the small town diner. In ours we know the owners, the waitresses, their kids and their grand kids. It's almost like eating at your favorite Aunts house and keeping up with all the cousins and such. We wouldn't trade our diner for any of the better known chain eateries.

tuesday said...

But what do you know about her???

tuesday said...

Maybe you could encourage a joy of reading if you left her, as part of her tip, one of those little gift-type books that have mostly pictures, but some nice prose too, making sure to inscribe it with a personal note from you and the girls.

My mother never used to read, but then a few years ago, I gave her a subscription to Reader's Digest, and now she's like a reading fiend.

tammy said...

I find myself flipping out a bit when I find out other people don't read books. I simply cannot imagine it. But I agree, maybe if you left a copy of something interesting with a little note, maybe she would read it. I wouldn't start with On the Road, though ;).
We have a diner here like that - every time we go in there, the owner lets my kids pick something from the candy counter.