Because of the restaurant's close proximity to UCLA, we receive a fair share of potential college students, as well as their proud parents. Bridget and her bitchy mother, Brenda, deigned to dine in my section one afternoon after touring the Westwood campus.
"Is this the full lunch menu?" Brenda asked with a snarl before I could even say "Hello."
"No," I responded, "I bring it out in installments."
"Not a lot of salads," she said, ignoring me. "At least not a lot of good salads."
I was ready to be a bitch to the daughter as well, until she turned out to be gracious and polite, no doubt used to compensating for mama.
"We'd both like waters with lemon to start, please," she said. "And Mom, didn't you want a glass of wine?"
"Not here," she replied.
(As a quick side note, our restaurant actually features an impressive, eclectic, and usually farm-to-table list of menu options. Our wines hail from some of the finest vineyards along the Western coast. The stick up Brenda's ass was without warrant.)
Brenda eventually settled on a quinoa and kale entree, while Bridget opted for the burger.
"Careful," Brenda said, "You don't want to get those Freshman 15 early."
"Oh, get what you want," I scoffed. "Better to have a burger now than try to justify one in your 30s."
"You would know?" Brenda said with sass.
"Yes," I laughed. "And if that's the standard, I can't imagine how long ago you must have given up burgers."
As I refilled their waters, I overheard Brenda bitching about everything - the weather in L.A., the weather back home, the traffic in L.A., the traffic back home, their friends, their family, even life itself. She wasn't even witty or bitchy about it; just dour and miserable.
Finally I cleared the plates. Whereas Bridget ate about 3/4 of her burger, Brenda licked her plate clean.
"Oh, I see someone liked her meal," I said patronizingly.
"Well, I was hungry," she said quite defensively. How dare I insinuate she enjoyed something! I can only imagine the pre-coitus pep talk her husband must give himself before sex.
They skipped dessert and Brenda paid. She left a 12 percent tip.
I don't know where Brenda and Bridget are originally from, but I gather it's far from California. I hope Bridget elects to attend UCLA so she can put some distance between her and that miserable mom of hers.
Once my shift was finally over, I decided to treat myself to dinner at the restaurant bar. I ordered a burger, and I loved every damn bite of it.