28 November 2011

Belated Thanks

With the arrival and passing of Thanksgiving it’s hard not to think about all the things you’re thankful for.  I remember growing up and my mom always starting our holiday meal with a conversation based on all the things we wanted to give thanks for.  Back when I was six I was thankful for Barbies, at eight I was all about my set of Little House books, teenage years brought thanks for friends and boys.  But what am I thankful for now?  I might be a few days late, but here are a few of the things I’m thankful for:

I’m going to be honest here; I’ve dated my fair share of douche bags.  There was the guy who got angry with me if I had group projects with male classmates and the guy who dumped me for being “too nice.”  Yes, in the past my taste in men was poor at best.  I’m thankful to now have a guy who loves to cook me dinner.  He loves to talk about me and loves showing me off even more.  It’s nice to date a nice guy.

Just looking at it makes me
want to take a nap.
My Couch
Way back when, I moved into a studio apartment.  Actually it was a “junior one bedroom.”  I had everything in my junior one bedroom except a couch.  Mostly this was because I am a cheap person.  After sitting on the floor for approximately three months, I finally broke down and decided to buy an affordable sofa – meaning the cheaper the better of course.  This was a fine idea, until I walked into effing Furniture Row and saw the most beautiful couch in the world sitting about ten feet from the door.  It was big and comfy and awesome.  And it was $700.  I bought it anyway and have loved the shit right out of it ever since.

If something is flavored with pumpkin I will eat it.  I have tried everything from ice cream to Eggos.  I even put pumpkin in my oatmeal in the morning.  I am obsessed with its goodness.

The Kindle
I love everything about the Kindle, except for the fact they came out with a cooler one.  The Kindle is pretty much the perfect facilitator for my book addiction.  In effect it is my dealer.  It also helps me look cooler in airports.

Recently, I have developed this weird affinity for buying socks.  I’m not talking normal socks, but tall, snuggly socks that are usually cable-knit and remind me if nights spent drinking adult hot chocolate in a mountain lodge.  My favorites are a pair of over-the-knee socks I accidentally bought at Target.  I say accidentally because the fact that they were so tall was a total surprise even though the package clearly indicated that fact.  Evidently that Kindle hasn’t helped me much with my reading skills.

I love my regulars.  They brighten my day and make me hate shitty customers less.  Regulars just make my day better.  In fact this weekend, one of my favorite couples even brought me a gift they bought for me while they were on vacation.  Now that will really brighten a day.  I love my regulars and they love me and for that I am thankful.

Daytona Sauce
If you’ve tried this, you probably understand.  If you haven’t, get your ass to Hooters and get Daytona sauce on everything you order.  Everything.

Doing Al proud.
Joan of Artic Snow Boots
My mom got me these boots and they make me want to frolic in the snow just to show off how good I look.  Usually I’m the girl in wildly impractical shoes in two feet of snow because I have to look good no matter the consequences.  Somehow these boots manage to both look good and keep me from falling on my ass.  For that I am thankful.  And of course also for the fact that they make me look like a fashionable Al Borland.

My Family
Speaking of my mom, I’m always thankful for my family.  First off, my parents own a bakery.  Awesome.  And I have a wildly fashionable sister who plays the ukulele like a badass.  Basically we’re amazing.  This is of course before you consider the fact that my dad has a sweet accent.

So what are you thankful for?

22 November 2011

The Lady Who Gummed a Burger

Once upon a time – meaning Sunday – an elderly couple settled into a nice booth near the front of the restaurant.  They ordered two iced teas and a short time later ordered lunch.  Lunch was fish and chips for the gentleman and a big, juicy burger for the lady.  With fries.  Now I’m going to make it clear that we only serve half-pound burgers.  In addition, our behemoth burgers don’t come with fries but rather come with your choice of bake beans, coleslaw or potato salad.  Fries, at our store at least, will cost you an extra fifty cents because most people can’t handle all that food anyway.  All of that background information serves the purpose of proving just how impressed I was with this rather frail looking woman manhandling a giant burger and taking no effing prisoners.

It was only after their meal had ended and the couple had made their way back into the Montana cold that I really understood how impressive, and disturbing, the burger eating had actually been.  As I moved her nearly empty plate to begin busing the table, I was greeted by the upper-half of her smile staring up at me.  She had left her dentures right there on the table.

So do you come here often?  CREDIT.
My first reaction was utter disgust.  Here were a woman’s teeth just hanging out on the table under the edge of her plate.  She hadn’t even placed them on a napkin like I did with my retainer when I was fifteen.  That would make sense.  Instead, the elderly woman had taken out her slobbery teeth and just let them rest on a table in a busy restaurant.  Germs apparently weren’t a consideration.

After getting over my initial reaction of disgust, I began to contemplate how I should go about removing the dentures from the table and what to do with them anticipating the couple’s return for the rather important item.  I finally decided to go in with a paper towel and a plate and go after her teeth like a man.  Just so you know, even with a paper towel it is not an enjoyable task to pick up a pair of someone else’s dentures.  They felt warm and slippery and altogether unpleasant.  I would place it on the same level as picking up dog shit with a plastic bag.  I don’t care who you are or how many dogs you’ve owned, no one likes feeling poop on the other side of a thin layer of plastic.  Dentures easily fall in this category.

Once I’d finally worked up the courage to get the dentures on a plate and safely to the office, I had time to truly appreciate what an incredibly feat gumming a half-pound burger is.  That takes some serious skill.  This woman didn’t even go in with a knife and fork.  She picked that bad boy up and managed to decimate it without a full set of teeth.  And I didn’t even notice until I was left to pick her dentures up from the table.  Kudos, old lady.

The next time someone complains about our burgers being too big, I will suppress the urge to compare them to a toothless old woman who knows how to get shit done.  I will similarly suppress the urge to laugh at them and tell them that they – and their teeth – are not as awesome as they think they are.  Unfortunately, regaling my guests with a story involving picking up someone else’s dentures is not exactly appropriate mealtime conversation – no matter how incredible that story is.  This will just have to be an inside joke between you and me.

And don’t worry; she came back for her teeth.

17 November 2011

Occupy Hooters

I'm not one for discussing politics.  While I find them interesting, I find politics often have a way of turning pleasant conversation into something else entirely.  In fact, my Hooters manual smartly tells me to avoid the subject all together along with matters of religion. And I am very much a rule-abiding Hooters Girl.

Regardless avoidance of political topics, when this shirt arrived in our merchandise shipment today I decided to buy it immediately.  I liked it so much that I decided to spend $16.95 I made working at Hooters on a shirt from Hooters.  As a rule I don't buy Hooters things.  Instead I wait and win shit in contests - and I'm very good at winning.  This is because I am cheap.  And because I don't enjoy the idea of giving back my wages to my place of employment whenever possible.  This shirt was good enough that I didn't care about any of that.

I think I much prefer occupying a place with heat, indoor plumbing, a full bar and plentiful fried food.

Can you say LOVE?  I feel like I should wear this shirt, march down to the courthouse (because as a liberal college town we have our own occupy movement braving the Montana elements) and hand out wings or some shit.  Because can't we all agree on the goodness of fried food tossed in various sauces?  I like to think that we can.

I for one will be occupying Hooters all weekend.  Perhaps I should pitch a tent and just live behind the bar.

16 November 2011

Is Hooters Exploiting the Hooters Girl?

About 17,000 years ago – because that’s exactly how long the Internet has existed according to ancient pictographs – someone asked me the following question on my Formspring account:

An SAT word for sure.
Do you think Hooters exploits women? What do you think of the word exploit? It seems to be used all the time whenever a woman is showing skin.

At the time I decided not to answer it because it had all the makings of a great post topic.  Of course good intentions don’t always turn into good actions.  In some cases good intentions actually turn into you being lazy as shit and not doing anything at all.  That, my friendies, is what happened to this poor question.  So it sat there and felt all lonely as other questions were promptly replied to with all sorts of wonderful answers.  And now 17,000 years later this little question is finally get its chance to shine.  Cinderella is going to the ball, bitches.

First off, lets go ahead and look up the definition of exploit according to my totally intelligent MacBook:

verb |ikˈsploit| [ trans. ]
make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource) : 500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology.
use (a situation or person) in an unfair or selfish way : the company was exploiting a legal loophole | accusations that he exploited a wealthy patient.
benefit unfairly from the work of (someone), typically by overworking or underpaying them : making money does not always mean exploiting others.

There you have it.  Does Hooters make use of and derive benefit from me?  Yup, they sure as shit do.  But then again pretty much every restaurant and profit-seeking business does that.  That’s called being an employee.  You work, and they make money.  Capitalism is fun!

Moving on from there however, I’m forced to consider if Hooters uses me in an unfair or selfish way; in this case I have to say no.  While some probably won’t agree, I cannot see Hooters employment of me (or thousands of other women) as a Hooters Girl as selfish or unfair.  Yes, they make money because of certain traits I may have, but they also pay me for those same traits.  In my opinion as long as I’m being paid for a job that I willingly accepted there is nothing even the least bit unfair about it.  And as the last definition further points out, I have to be overworked or underpaid for it to be true exploitation.  I work three to four days a week and make enough to support myself while getting a graduate degree.  Seems pretty fair to me.

Besides, if Hooters exploits me to make money then whom am I exploiting to make my own?  It could be argued that in all reality I – as the Hooters Girl – am exploiting the countless people who come in and sit at my tables.  After all so many people, falsely, think Hooters Girl are all simply skanky flirts who practically rape people for tips.  If that were the case the real exploitation would be directed at the customers, not the staff.

Lets be honest, does Hooters use sexuality to its advantage?  The very clear answer is most certainly yes.  But this is hardly a phenomenon limited to Hooters.  A casual stroll in your local mall will easily prove my point.  In fact if you don’t believe me, I dare you to stop in front of an Abercrombie where a half naked, poster-sized man or woman will great you in dramatic black and white before you even step inside the store.

Sex sells, it’s a simple fact that countless companies and individuals have taken advantage of for a very, very long time.  Does that mean that someone is exploited in doing so?  Certainly not.  Exploitation by its very definition involves someone doing an awful lot and getting no return.  In most cases, including Hooters, all parties are willing participants who know what they’re getting into and know what they are expected to give and receive.  You eat, you pay, I work, I make money, Hooters gives me a wage and I in turn help Hooters make a profit.  That’s just business 101. 

So what do you think?  Is Hooters exploiting me?

15 November 2011

Slug Bug is Serious Shit

This is more than a game.
If you have the great misfortune of ever having to take a car ride with Dreamy and me I sincerely apologize in advance.  My apology is due to the fact that Dreamy and I play the classic game Slug Bug.  Actually, play isn’t really an accurate representation of intense rivalry that exists between Dreamy and I when it comes to tracking down Volkswagen Beetles.  For us Slug Bug is not simply a game, but a way of life.

In fact, we are so intense that we have alternative rules.  Most notably, we have several Beetles that may only be called when away from their usual locations.  For example, a local aquarium shop has a Bug painted like a clownfish (think Nemo).  Nemo is off limits unless he is away from his usual parking spot in front of the store.  If he is even a space removed from the usual spot Nemo is fair game.  This rule also applies to the red Beetle down the street, the silver one that belongs to an employee at Walgreens, the Geek Squad Bug and any being sold at any dealership (cars not for sale are callable).

If I haven’t made it apparent already, Dreamy and I don’t joke around when it comes to Slug Bug.  Every time I get in the car and buckle my seatbelt I’m on edge the whole freaking ride.  No matter the destination I am constantly on alert because the last thing I want to do is miss one.  We keep a daily count and every Beetle matters.  But of course as much as losing the whole thing sucks, get punched can suck even more.  In fact once Dreamy punched me so hard – forgetting his I’m-a-six-eight-giant-of-a-man strength – my instant reaction was to scream multiple obscenities and punch him right the eff back.  Yes, friends, he hit me so hard I broke the "no hit-backs" rule.

And that got me to thinking; Slug Bug is basically a perfectly acceptable form of domestic violence.  What other game can you play with you friends, your kids, your boyfriend or your grandma that lets you punch them?  When else is punching someone you care about considered appropriate?  Now correct me if I’m wrong, but generally punching your girlfriend as hard as possible would usually be called spousal abuse.

Let’s pretend for a minute that the police were actually called to handle a domestic violence case and it ended up being a game of Slug Bug.  You know, I’m just going to stop right there, because they’d probably laugh in your face.  Or at least look at you like you were nuts.  Because punching in Slug Bug is accepted, expected and just the right damn thing to do.

All of this has lead me to believe that a game of Slug Bug is perhaps the best way to relieve the everyday pressures of a relationship.  Why not solve any and all disagreements by hoping in the car, hunting some Beetles and punching the shit out of each other?  I think with a little Slug Bug we can make the world a better place. 


14 November 2011

Arizona vs. Frost

One reason why Montana, winter and I are friends.
It’s November and the snow has begun to fly in Montana.  Winter is here and likely will be here for the next four or five months.  Or it could be really awesome again this year and snow in May, drawing the whole damn thing out to six glorious months of ice, cold and overcast skies.  Now for the record I’m only partially complaining.  I like winter.  Winter lets me ski, wear cute sweaters, cuddle, buy boots and have an excuse to shave my legs less often.  I just don’t need to do those things for the half the year.

A lot of people don’t share my love for the colder part of the year.  With Montana being full of transplants from warmer climates – specifically California – real winter can be a bit of a shock to the system for some.  Suddenly they’re faced with lots of real, bone-chilling cold.  They have to deal with snow.  And then they realize they actually have to function in it.  Because in Montana life doesn’t stop for two inches of snow.  Or two feet.

Once upon a time, we had a Hooters Girl who had recently relocated from Arizona.  Just barely eighteen, she had followed her football-playing boyfriend who had accepted a scholarship at The University of Montana.  While he spent the day in classes and practice, she worked at Hooters.

And then one fall morning it was actually a little cold.  I say a little cold because there was no snow and the sun was shinning, but there was frost.  Trees, grass and windshields were all covered in a delicate layer of crystalized white.  After a little scrapping and a bit of a defrosting, I made me way to work ready to open the store.

Cleaning tables, the clock crept closer and closer to eleven.  At 10:40 one of the two eleven girls made her way into the store to ready herself for her shift.  Minutes ticked by and Arizona, our second eleven o’clock, was nowhere to be found.  10:40 became 10:45, which in turn became 10:50.  With eleven imminent, the phone rang.

“OhMYgod, there is something all over my car and I can’t get it off!”

Arizona was panicked on the other end of the line.

Arizona: “There is white stuff on my windows and stuff and I tried to like wipe it off with my wipers but it’s still there.”

Sauce:  “Do you mean the frost?  You need to scrape that off or turn on your car and let it heat up.”

Arizona:  “Well when I called my dad he said I could push the button with the wavy lines and that it would go away.  But I did that and it’s still there!”

Sauce:  “Well did you wait a little bit?”

Arizona:  “No, shouldn’t it just go away?!”

For a moment I was at a total loss for words.  I explained that no, it wouldn’t go away instantly.  She would have to wait – because of course she had no windshield scraper.

A few minutes passed, the frost cleared and Arizona let us know she was on her way.  It was very, very apparent that winter and Arizona wouldn’t be getting along very well. 

And of course I was right.  After just a couple months of snow, Arizona packed her things, shipped them back home and hopped a plane back to the sunshine.  Some people just aren’t built for Montana it seems.  Neither are rear wheel drive sports cars.

09 November 2011

Double the Devastation and Finally Getting Over It

I – once again – have failed you as a blogger.  It seems to be one of my greatest talents as of late.  And by talent I mean shortcomings.  And by shortcomings I mean ways in which I totally suck at my typical ability to be marginally awesome.  I suck.  I’m sorry.  That’s that.

The truth of the matter is that ever since the “Blog Change Incident of ‘11” things have been different.  Part of me honestly was very, very turned off by the whole situation and that lead me to not even want to blog.  In a way I was almost in mourning.  And as lame that sounds it’s totally the truth.  Eventually though, things got better and I once again found the desire to blog.  I had the desire to connect with all my readers again.  I realized that with or without Hooters I still had a voice and I enjoyed sharing that voice.

And then Hooters Magazine arrived at our store.  Before I even flipped open the first page I was devastated all over again.  I’d never been told the theme of the issue.  I’d never received a deadline.  I’d never even received a reply to the emails I sent enquiring about both.  I knew I wasn’t included and while I understood the reasons, I wasn’t prepared for the way it felt to actually see the magazine in front of me.  I wasn’t ready to not see my column in the table of contents or my name in the credits.  Holding that magazine in my hands made it all very real.

Just like that, I was – once again – devastated.  It wasn’t so much the situation that hurt most, but the way it was handled.  I felt unimportant and dispensable and not worthy of even the slightest consideration.  I felt like a nothing.  All I saw was an opportunity lost.

For a while that’s all I felt; I felt like my one great opportunity had passed me by.  Or more accurately, that my one great opportunity had been taken away from me.  It was an overwhelming feeling.  Yet as overwhelming as it was initially, I slowly began to get over it, step away from the situation and realize that regardless of the outcome the opportunity had still existed.  No matter what.  I had still accomplished something pretty amazing and that said a lot about me as an individual.  Perhaps the real opportunity was realizing the power of my own abilities.

That’s the thing about opportunities, it turns out that not all of them work out perfectly.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that an awful lot of them don’t work out.  But each and every one teaches you something about yourself.  You learn your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes; you learn all the things that will be truly valuable when the next opportunity comes around.  Perhaps the great value isn’t in the opportunity itself, but in the journey it creates.  In that way the real opportunity is internal.

In life people love to talk about their successes, but this situation has shown me that there is also great importance in apparent failures.  Sometimes things just need to not workout so something later will.  And I’m pretty darn excited to see what that later is.

Now I promise not to leave you out of the journey.


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