If you clicked on this expecting your typical “family and friends and egg nog and good feelings inside and woven sweaters with black bears humping on them and sipping hot chocolate by the roaring fire place while Tiny Tim giggles and runs around playing with his new train set and grandma telling tales of the good ol’ days and snowflakes and relaxation…” then you have expected wrong. Christmas does not mean those things to me.
No, Christmas means two straight weeks of delivering extra condiments to patrons, boys that wear scarves (it’s true, they actually do) with gelled hair and plucked eyebrows making passes at me, children ripping the wrappers to disposable chopsticks into a million pieces that they throw on the floor and I have to clean up, being pulled in a thousand different directions by people who have chosen my home as their vacation destination, refilling soy sauces, pretending to laugh at the same awful jokes over and over and over, sweeping and mopping, and drinking too much only to work another twelve hours– day after day after day.
That’s what Christmas means to me.
As much as I love the money, as soon as the last two weeks of December begin to loom in the near future, I began counting the days until it’ll all be over. You know, days when I’ll be able to sit down and maybe eat a meal uninterrupted and my lower back and legs will go back to feeling only marginally overworked. When all the tourists will return to their little lives wherever they may have come from and the Joeys and Chads will have no choice but to accept the fact that they couldn’t woo me and the village will become deserted once again.
I work at a ski resort so the fact that winter is our busiest time is no shock. And Christmas is when they come in a blizzard of ugly Bogner one pieces and boots covered in mink fur and umpteen pairs of ski goggles and black cards and with their fancy cameras and bratty children in the hopes of “epic” shredding and massive turns…or whatever they say, yo.
To be fair, I’m not being fair. Not all of the tourists have black cards and $4,000 snow pants and bratty children and of the ones that do, many are pretty awesome. Some suck, but that is the same in any area where people flock in droves to spend money and enjoy themselves.
I’m just a bitter waitress, so bare with me.
Christmas time is a time of having no time. A time of running up and down stairs 1,275 times in a single day. A time of delivering california rolls with no tobiko and waters that no one drinks and extra spicy mayo. A time when regular chopsticks need to be turned into kids’ chopsticks and asking people how everyone is doing over and over and holding my piss until everyone has a full stomach and enough salad dressing. A time when I prove once and for all that -yes- a body can sustain itself on sesame noodles, and sesame noodles alone.
A time of making sure everyone else is happy but never asking myself the same questions. Becki, is everything okay with your dinner? Would you like a refill on your water? Oh, you need some more ketchup, Becki? No prob! (FYI: having the proper and correct amount of condiments equals happiness for some.)
Fear not, because this year I stopped dead while bringing a spicy tuna roll to a man wearing Ugg boots and said “self, are you happy?”
The problem? The answer was decidedly no. (Although, I was happy that I know not a single man personally that would wear Ugg boots…)
I’m not happy. I have the best waitressing job in all of the land– but it’s still a waitressing job. And that sucks. I have a great boyfriend– but I don’t love him. And that sucks. My car is dead. I’m broke. Getting wasted is the only extracurricular activity I partake in right now. School feels like a waste of time and money. I haven’t worn lingerie in months. My mom still hasn’t given me a dollar to pay back the bills she racked up on my credit report.
Christmas time starts the winter season for many at the ski resort I work at. It kicks off the only time we make any money. It kicks off absolute straight debauchery and hilarity. This time last year, I woke up on the booth of a restaurant completely bare-ass naked from the waste down and asked myself “my god, where are your pants?” Only to realize I had taken them off to use as a pillow. (Merry Christmas, folks. Put some pants on, Becki.)
That can only mean one thing– this year I’ll pack a pillow. (No, I won’t. Who needs a pillow when you can just use your pants? Duh.)
I’m shaking things up, I decided. I’m going to break up with my boyfriend, because love is better than this. I’m going to buy a new car. Mainly because I have to, but whatever. I’m going to finish the book I’m writing and hope I spelled everything correctly. I’m going to wear lingerie in public. I’ve done that before and it was fun so great. Maybe I’ll meet a new dude and maybe his pick-up line will be “I have a helicopter.” And I’ll be like “well, call me Shania because that don’t impress me much.” And then he’ll be like “let me buy you dinner.” And I’ll respond “I don’t like helicopters, but I do like free dinner.” And then we’ll make out.
But maybe that won’t happen. Maybe instead I’ll break my leg having a solo dance party. Maybe I’ll learn how to line dance. Or box like Ali. Or maybe I’ll finally throw caution to the wind and move to Hawaii. Or Minnesota. Or anywhere. Maybe I’ll develop a tumor and ‘make-a-wish’ will come a-calling and I’ll finally get to play basketball with Obama.
Who knows? I don’t and that’s exciting.
Christmas time is a time where people gather around with their families and drink too much wine and tear open presents and come to the restaurant I work at so I can bring them some dinner. It’s a time when you’re supposed to appreciate what money can’t buy, but everyone shows their appreciation by buying things. You know, like “I appreciate you because you’re great and I don’t need to buy you anything because I just appreciate you but here is a ridiculously over-priced cheese log anyway. Enjoy.”
But this year, Christmas time doesn’t just mean bringing the patrons extra lemon for their free water. This year, it means for me that next year at Christmas time I could be the happiest I’ve ever been. It means, next Christmas I could get a killer whale, just like I’ve always wanted, but if someone doesn’t buy me one -it’s okay.
It means I’m not sitting around anymore letting my life pass by one table at a time. One shot at a time. One ‘I-don’t-really-feel-this’ “I love you” at a time.
Basically, it means we can change shit at anytime, but Christmas time works, eh?