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A Conversation I Overheard as I Was Patiently Waiting for the Waitress

“So my husband’s business began to go down the toilet about three years ago, and the only thing to do was to go back to work. My problem was that I’d never really done anything outside of taking care of my kids and spent most of my time going out to lunch and shopping, you know, and getting my hair colored, and — Well, there were the weekly manicure, too. You wouldn’t think that would keep me busy, but by the time I took the kids to school and came back and worked out for an hour, showered and dressed, it would be almost lunch time. Then with a few errands and picking up the kids from school and all their afternoon activities, we would get home just in time for me to start dinner. Anyway, I had to go to work. Thinking about it was awful. I mean, I had no idea what to do. So I ended up here because it seemed like the only solution that made any sense since back when I was in college, I had a part-time job waitressing. It was fun then because I was working with all my college friends, and we’d stay late and have drinks, and we were all working toward the same goal of getting through school. Of course, now it’s not the same. I drop the kids off at early care , and then pick them up at late care. I hate it. They’re always sick cause the other kids there have working parents, too, and that means even if they’re drop-dead sick, they’re sent to school. You should see some of those little shits. They’ve got green gunk rolling out of their noses, and they’re coughing down to their toes. And then of course my kids get sick, and I keep them home until they’re completely well and lose time from work. Then when I finally send them back to school, they get sick again from the other kids that go to school sick! I mean even the pre school director contributes to the problem by keeping the bathrooms unsanitary. At first you think it’s kind of cute to see all the labeled potholders lined up on hooks above the sink until you realize that the kids can’t read their own names and grab the first one they see. And of course they’re only washed on the weekends, so it’s really disgusting. Then when I think it’s all clear to bring them back again, the first thing I see is a notice of head lice or chicken pox or tuberculosis on the door. Well, I’d better check on my other tables. Are you ready to order yet or have you lost your appetite?”

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Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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