“Dear God, Please Burn Down Table 32.”

You know you are a writer when it is 3 a.m., and your mind will not rest until all your coworkers have names associated with dogs. Yes, it is neurotic, but mind you, I am used to it. I am always writing in my head, and I admit, I am the lady you are honking while sitting at a yellow light, the one frantic for a napkin to write “Calamity Jane” down, a blog name you can’t afford to forget, dropping the pen under my seat, right as the light changes.

Honk away, assholes.” That is the bumper sticker I would like to have, but don’t, because I know the only thing harder than being a writer, is being behind one in Atlanta traffic.
I have a new project.

Over a period of time, various coworkers, mostly my good friends, have asked me to write a blog about work. Somehow, it keeps being brought up.

Even my boss, at the chip machine once said, “You should write a blog about those people.”

I believe he was referring to that particular day about the man who called himself “The Country Fried Steak Connoisseur.”

His wife followed me into the kitchen, asking my shoe size, not partly, but fully in the kitchen, at the ice machine, to be exact. It was an entertaining moment for sure, to pretend everything is absolutely normal as I fill ice into cups, nodding my head to her I am listening, the cooks all staring, as she babbles on and on about my name, one she gives me in fact, in the Native American Indian tongue.

I repeat it with her slowly, her hand clasping mine.

Funny enough, I am wondering if Table 32 has wing sauce, while she whispers, “You have been just given the chosen name for “Happy One.” I nod my head in appreciation, wondering where the hell I am and how did I get here, this woman a reflection to me I have gone to some place of no return when you are willing to rain dance if that is what it takes to make a good tip, to not get fired.

“You have been given the chosen name of “Crazy Asshole” is what I would like to say, wondering if my manager is still around the corner, discussing Country Fried Steak and the fact today it is chewy, with her husband, who is the “Connoisseur” after all. Rain dances and Steak experts scare me, but if you order an Arnold Palmer (1/2 tea, 1/2 lemonade), I don’t trust you. I do not care for you if you are a man who wants lime in his diet coke, and I don’t want to have a play date with you if you give your kid five cokes at 7:00. I just want you to give your three year old a choice between two sides, not forty, that’s all.

Who are you people anyway?

Sorry, I was talking about the staff before, not the customers, and the fact is, we can’t even judge any of you, because the truth is that restaurant people are total wack jobs.
I don’t even know what that says about me, because personally, I love waiting tables.
I may have lost friends over that last statement, but sadly, it is true.

Every night is really about survival, which is why we understand how creatures in the animal kingdom sometimes eat their young. We know this after weekends of 14 hour doubles, 500 silver to have rolled, 30 million birthday songs. We are the ultimate performers, even after salsa ranch gets splashed into our mouths at dish, some dumb ass throwing it in without thinking, walking right by the empty ice bin, which is how rage begins to settle in, the manager asking why you didn’t bring full hands in from dish, already calling for runners before you even get a chance to respond.

So, I have been going over these requests very carefully, knowing full well after a night of rednecks and ten percent tips, my tires could be slashed over giving the wrong person on the wrong day, the wrong blog name.

That is why I decided to write from a different angle.

I decided we would all be dogs, each named for particular reasons only we would know, an idea everyone jumped on. It was hilarious to realize dogs really do carry personality traits so closely to our own, some small and yippy, others playful, some potentially vicious, but all unique, with important roles to play.

I plan to write a story on a bunch of dogs, surviving in a big corporate Puppy Mill, and how it begins or ends I don’t know.

Just know if you see me at a yellow light, prepare to honk.


When it comes to matters of the heart, I used to believe the highest form of love involved passion, the inability to think, breathe, or move when the one you loved was near or far. Romance is definitely a beautiful thing, even for me, a cynic with a lot of dark humor and dry wit. I think most fairy tales are toxic codependent relationships. Lola loves The Little Mermaid for her red hair, and yet something makes me cringe every time Ariel gives her voice box to the sea witch to capture Prince Eric‘s heart. I realize its not that I don’t want my girls to believe love isn’t out there, I just want them to have the real thing, something so much better.
I want them to keep their voices in the process.
I have learned a lot about myself in finding my dearest friend Clyde. We are going on a bear hunt (that is code for adventure between the girls and I) to pick up 5,000 bees on Saturday. Yes, he has decided to become a beekeeper, and has a bee suit and everything, even though he lives in total suburban land. He loves bees. I know all kinds of facts about them now, bits of information I find surprisingly fascinating.
Did you know the Queen bee gets one week to go out and mate with as many bees she wants? She gets to be as selective as she wants, collecting their semen to bring back to the colony. Did you know when she gets fat and pregnant, the other bees have ways they make her exercise? Who knew?
It makes me laugh till I hurt imagining him in his back yard dressed in full suit retrieving honey as his neighbor, a famous drag queen in Atlanta, looks through the window. I think about how we have evolved, how blessed I am, how dear he has become to my heart. When M first waved her blind date wand at me, I wanted to run for cover. Actually, I wanted to break her damn wand and lay it at her feet, my arms crossed, pouting in protest.
I had been tending to my wounds, recovering, and she was telling me to take off the bandages, believe her that no man was as good as Clyde, to suck it up, get back on the field.
So I went out with him and as always, the battle was within myself, with this notion that romance and sex would somehow make my life great, complete, whole. The conversation was fabulous, the phone calls endless, the energy between us felt real, healthy, and being around him felt better than good. I would not use the word romantic to describe it. More like delight.
There was just one small problem.
Her name is Margaret. I would change it for the purpose of this blog but I just can’t. The name itself describes her in my mind, and she is everything Clyde has ever dreamed of, and she was the center of our first talk, him letting me know he was having a hard time letting go of his ex.
That was the understatement of the year.
I disliked and feared her at first. She was a ghost, someone I would never live up to, and no matter what I did or would become to Clyde, she would always be first. I was cautious, a little in denial at first, thinking he might just be stuck. He would come around. I felt my heart strings pulled and in reaction, I wanted a magic wand to make her disappear so that I could run into forever after land with the man I love to make laugh, the man I could spend every second of my day talking to.
Where is my fairy godmother?
It was hard at first listening to him speak of her, his relentless agony over how he let the best thing that ever happened to him slip away. He went over and over the details in his mind over what he had done to lose her, how he struggled to move forward. She always reminded me that my dreams were silly, that I wasn’t good enough.
And despite bringing up all my insecurities, she has began to grow on me, and I knew she had to be special and beautiful for Clyde to love her so, and I took her side in many of her issues with him, my jealousy easing over time.
I saw a book that had changed my life spiritually, excited he had the same one, picking it up just to see her handwriting on the first page, an obvious gift sent from her. It was the first time she spoke to me, her energy burning through my hands, staring right into my heart, asking me what I was doing and if I belonged. I clearly did not.
I went home in despair, and knew I had to face myself or I would lose him, and I was exposed for wanting what did not belong to me, and it hurt. And yet, it was the first time I saw something real in me for a long time. I saw that I didn’t really even want the passionate tearing off of clothes, tearful goodbyes, the romantic ending. I wanted Clyde. He was enough. I want to be someone’s Margaret. I want to be living the dream, not chasing it, asking it to change its mind.
This realization was transforming for me. I see now that in loving myself enough to ask for what I deserve, I got the best gift of love in return. I got a best friend. The magic is not always in our expectations. Its in our courage to face our fears, and this is the truth about my happy ending. Never lose your voice. Its all you got to bring you home.
As for Margaret, I don’t know if she can imagine how loved she is. I watch Clyde struggle still, talking about it just today, and I heard him say he had lost all hope. And yet, I can’t let him. His desire to move forward, to work on himself, to accept defeat has made him the hopeless romantic, completely heartbroken Prince women dream of.
I have to hope that one day she will return to him.
It goes completely against my nature to pull for her, the cynic in me never seeing these stories end well. I believe false hope is a terrible waste of energy, that lessons are in the hardest places, that Clyde and Margaret are exactly where they should be.
It is a silly ridiculous notion indeed to dream. It could possibly break you wide open, hurt you, humiliate you, send you spinning into a darkness so great you may never recover.
Or it just might find Margaret.