Sleep late. All I want to do is sleep. Mike wakes me around 10:30am. “Want breakfast? I’m going to make eggs.” Really? Yea, sure. “OK…how do I make them?” Oh, geez. I get up. I make myself a cup of tea and talk Mike through the eggs. Sonny calls on his way back from an interview. He got a full-time job and now he’s on his way to pick up the car he just bought. Looks like Sonny is going to make it in California. As soon as I’m done eating I go back up to lay in bed. Mike wakes me back up around 2pm. “This should get you up. You got a packageee.” I open it. A bunch more Christmas presents from Mom, wrapped with messages of ‘No peeking!’ on them. She’s the best. I bring them downstairs and add them to the pile under our invisible tree.
Now I’m up, so I shower and get ready for work. Get there early so I can be slow setting up. Doesn’t really help. No other servers are here yet so I have to set up not only the bar, but put candles on all the tables as well. A party of six walks in, so I have to take them…because no one else is here. Not a good way to start my shift. I have to be here at 5pm, but the next person doesn’t come until 6pm. We open the doors at 5:30. It doesn’t make sense. So I’m annoyed early. Then we get a somewhat dinner rush and one of the kegs kicks. I’m making drinks for about four customers and have a couple tickets to take care of, too, and Magali comes over. “You need to change the pilsner.” Right. I have to do that, too. Isn’t that what my barback is for? Oh, that’s right. I don’t have a barback. There’s a busboy, but he doesn’t help me. All he does is get bread for my customers. I refuse to change a keg while I have people sitting at the bar. Tropez comes back and changes the keg. Little things keep happening and building up and I’m getting more and more mad. Magali leaves after about two hours. Tropez tells me I can go, but not really. It’s like when Cinderella was told she could go to the ball as long as she did this, and this, and this, and this, and this. Tropez is my evil stepmother (not really I still love him, I seriously can’t get mad at him). By 10pm I’m fuming. I decide to say something because it’s better to just nip it in the bud. I explain how I’m working really hard and I don’t think that the way the tips are divvied up is fair. He says that the servers make more than the bartenders, so it is fair. I disagree. I’m making all the drinks for the servers, so part of their tip IS my tip. This is a lost cause. Tropez does not want me upset, though. He tells me that Magali doesn’t get to split the tips tonight. She’ll only get about 20%. OK, well that’s good. He says I won’t always have to close, but the bartenders usually are here the longest, so I will make more than the others because of the hourly rate. That’s not gonna cut it, Tropez. He is amused by me. “Wait until you get your paycheck. I will show you how it all works. Trust me. Just wait for your paycheck and then we will talk.” OK. He’s right. I’m freaking out a little and I should see first what I make. “You come tomorrow at 5 and be ready…we will be busy. And then you will close.” Yea, OK, I know. “I am kidding with you!” Big smile. Oh, Tropez.
I head home light-headed and tired, eager to see my pillow. Walk in the door, it’s dark, Sonny is snoring, and…what’s this? A Christmas tree! With lights on it! And smelling amazing! I gasp quietly and stand staring at this beautiful thing with my mouth hanging open in a smile. Finally I put my bag down and run upstairs where I know Mike will be sleeping but certainly expecting me to wake him up. I jump on him and kiss him. You got a tree! He smiles in his sleep. “Yea.” I love it. It smells so good. Thank you. A couple more kisses. OK, go to sleep. I put on my pj’s and get ready for bed. I’m so tired but excited about the tree. It takes me over an hour until I fall asleep.