Double today at Lilly’s and I’m working with Momo. He got hired around the same time as me but he was in France for most of the time since. This is my first time working with him. He’s a funny little Frenchman. He comes behind the bar asking me for something. Get it yourself. He’s laughing. “You are so funny.” People never tell me I’m funny but these French people are always laughing at me.
Get to talking and can you believe? Momo is an actor. “Do you have an agent?” No. “Oh, you need to get one.” Yea, OK, I’ll just get one. Momo is in a theatre group that performs on Saturday nights. I’m going to have to check him out soon.
It’s a busy brunch when a guy walks in and waits at the hostess stand. “Do I talk to you about a reservation?” Sure. “OK, I have a reservation tonight for four people.” He tells me the name and I find the reservation in the computer. Yes, we have you right here. “Can you make it for the patio?” Sure thing. “OK, but can you just make sure we’re out there? I’m dining with a celebrity and she really wants to be outside.” It’s not a problem. Even if you weren’t a celebrity we could seat you outside. We’re very accomodating. “OK, she comes here all the time…do you know who it is?” Wow. I smile. No. Who is it??? I’m DYING to know. If I ask, will you please leave so I can get back to work?? “Patti Stanger.” I don’t know who that is. “The Millionaire Matchmaker?” Ohhh right. Yes. Cool. He finally leaves.
Truth be told, I have spent a few afternoons getting sucked into The Millionaire Matchmaker marathons. Afternoons I can never get back. Patti Stanger does make me laugh. She’s blunt to the point of coming off as a total bitch, so I feel like I can relate in that way.
We close after lunch and it’s a beautiful afternoon. I walk down Abbot Kinney and stop at a taco truck for lunch. The guy is totally cool and he hooks me up with two tacos: jalapeno terryaki chicken and bbq pork burnt ends. Dig into the chicken first. Not too spicy with good flavors. The pork is even better – juicy and delicious. I sit on the side of the street eating my tacos while rating the MovieWiseguy films of 2011. Walk back towards Lilly’s, stopping at a cafe to write.
Before my shift starts, I look in the mirror and apply chapstick. I’m tired, I’m dirty, and all I keep thinking is how Patti Stanger is going to look at me and wonder, ‘do you care what you look like in public?’ I mean, that’s what she does all day: judge a woman’s appearance, at least in the show she does. The guy I spoke with earlier arrives first with his date – definitely Patti’s sister. She’s her with blonde hair. They head back to their table and Corinne waits on them. I love Corinne. She doesn’t know who most famous people are (probably), and she doesn’t really care. People are people, and in this case, customers are customers.
Patti and her husband arrive but I don’t see them because they come in through the back – there are two entrances. Corinne gets them started with drinks but then comes and asks me to wait on them. “You tell them the specials. They don’t understand me.” Corinne has a thick accent. Every time she asks me for something I ask her to repeat it. Still learning.
I walk up to the table, a little nervous, which I hate. Who cares? Patti looks very…put together. She has on a nice red dress with red lipstick and of course, thin. Everyone is smaller and thinner in person. She’s with her husband, so it appears to be a double date. Of course they have questions about the food, of which I still know very little. So unprofessional. I never lie, so I tell them I’ll go ask the kitchen. Patti orders the soup to start and the rest have salads. I put their order in and it takes forever because they have all these substitutions. It’s not really that they are picky or difficult, it’s that our computer system is from 1927 and it’s slow and it freezes and it’s difficult to modify anything. I didn’t forget to put in Patti’s soup, but it didn’t go through. I see them all with salads, and nothing in front of Patti. Shit. I run into the kitchen. I need a soup! This is silly. I frantically bring it to the table. She seems unphased and thanks me. Overall, the table is very pleasurable. Patti’s husband is a typically good-looking guy. Very Ken-ish. Both guys are chatty and friendly with me. We have battery operated candles, so he touches it and screams, ‘Ouch!’ while I’m standing at the table. This joke was for me. I laugh accordingly. Patti’s sister is very polite. It’s not that Patti isn’t, but she’s the only one who makes little eye contact with me.
When they leave, the guy who first spoke with me in the afternoon makes a point of saying goodbye and thanking me for everything. He’s really not so bad. After they leave I realize how much better it is to be bartending rather than serving when a “celebrity” is the clientele. Behind the bar, they tell you when they want something, but at a table you have to check on them. You don’t want to be annoying, but you want them to know that you’re there if they need anything. It’s also way more casual when you’re behind the bar; so much less formal. This is in no way celebrity sighting No. 4. Reality stars don’t count.