At the beginning of my shift last night I looked up and saw a girl across the bar whole-heartedly waving and smiling at me, and even though I didn’t quite recognize her from that distance, I returned the wave with childish enthusiasm , only to realize a sickening second later that she was waving to someone right behind me.
Yeah, that actually happened to me, and I’m not sure why a genuine mistake like this would make me feel like the biggest donkey in the stable, but it totally did, and so I had to quickly pretend I was shooing away some imaginary stench in the air, and then I buried my head in the sink and pretended to clean out the drain for like twenty minutes so I wouldn’t have to make eye contact with anyone who had witnessed me wave at the girl who had no intention of being my friend.
It wasn’t fair, to be caught in this predicament, to be feeling this way. I was just trying to be friendly and now I’d been tagged as the guy so desperate for companionship that he had to resort to acquiring friends by intercepting waves from people.
The worst part is that the girl who waved to me–or should I say “waved in my general direction”–saw me wave back which means she was perfectly aware that I didn’t know her and that by me waving back I was fully prepared to pull the whole “I-have-no-idea-who-you-are-but-I’m-going-to-pretend-I-do” routine, which makes me look like a moron AND a liar.
Wait, I take that back. The even worst-est part is that even though she saw me wave at her, she chose to participate in our little charade, acting as if she didn’t see me either, so now we’re both doing this pretending game, only she has actual friends who are receiving her warmly and all I have is this cold stainless steel sink I’m pretending to scrub.
So I have my head buried in the sink while she heads in my direction to hug her friends and all I can think is, Please don’t order a drink from me, and now I double-take-it-back because this is where it could actually get worse than the previous two worsts because I just know that the second I look up she’s going to be standing there staring at me with a holier-than-thou smirk on her face, and she’ll say, “Did you really think I would wave to someone like you, idiot?”
Thankfully she was merciful and now we have a really clean sink at the bar.
I can’t figure out why something like this needs to be embarrassing at all, but it is. It’s like when you stumble on a sidewalk crack while you’re walking down the street and you either 1) stop and look back at the crack like you’re all baffled and angry and thinking “Who the fuck put a sidewalk crack right there in the middle of the sidewalk?” or 2) you break into a light jog and look down at your watch as if you suddenly forgot that you were late for a meeting even though you’re wearing sweats and a baseball cap backwards which means there’s no way you’re going to a meeting unless you were meeting with Run DMC or something, and now you’re committed so you have to keep up your run for like two-hundred yards to get out of site from anyone who may have witnessed the initial stumble because you have to make them believe that you really are late for something because who runs ten feet when they have to be somewhere?
The moral of the story? Be very careful when dispensing waves to your friends by making sure no one is in the line of fire. Or maybe the moral is to learn some humility by learning to deal with embarrassing situations in a mature manner. You know what? I don’t really care what the moral is. Just don’t fucking fake wave at me if you come into my bar because it’s MY goddamn bar and I shouldn’t be made to feel small and friendless in my own bar. Not to mention I hate fake cleaning drains and sinks because it’s both humiliating that I’m hiding from you and it’s also often disgusting.
Cheers, until next time.