I could, like a better, less self-absorbed person would, wish for things like world peace (better, less self-absorbed people are sooooo predictable and pedestrian, aren’t they?) or a final solution to global warning. (More well-educated seekers of national office who, incidentally, also “invented” the Internet have, I am certain, been making this wish for years— to no avail. If Santa hasn’t seen fit to grant this wish to Al Gore, what chance would I, a mere waitress, have? Who am I to waste a wish on something that is evidently beyond even Santa’s powers?)
Please let me prove to you, Santa, that winning the lottery will not ruin me. I know that in the past I have actually verbally AND in writing admitted that I would use a lottery windfall for evil. I promise you that I will do nothing of the sort.
I will not hire the neighbor kids or round up any illegal immigrants to leave flaming dog poop on the doorsteps of my enemies while I remain at a safe distance in the Bentley. (I will do the deed myself!)
I will not purchase an untraceable cell phone, pretend to be a pharmacist, and “accidentally” leave a message on that bitch who talked smack about me all over town’s husband’s cell phone to remind her that the refill on her genital warts cream is ready for pick up. Because that would just be wrong. Surely the opportunity to use my spot-on Indian accent will present itself in another area.
Altruist that I am, I would like to use my second wish for the benefit of mankind. So, Santa, if you could please, pretty please with a candy cane on top (or, a starlight mint— your choice), leave some old-fashioned manners in stockings worldwide. Doing so should put an end to daily conversations that go something like this:
Me: Hi! How are you today?
Ill-mannered member of the populace: *unintelligible grunting noise*
Me (soldiering on in the face of adversity): May I get you a beverage? A soft drink or something from the bar?
Ill-mannered member of the populace: Yeah. Gimme a coke. And I’ll take a salad. Don’t put no cheese on it. I’m whatchacall intolerable to dairy and shit like that. Capice?
Me (perkily— yes, I said “perkily”— it’s my story, I can tell it any way I want to!): Sure. Let me just jot down here that you’re intolerable. I wouldn’t want to forget that!
Do you know what would be a nifty trick, Santa? Endowing the masses with math skills! That would sure be super! Service professionals the world over would be ever so grateful. I know they would! (To my comrades-in-arms, I say, “You’re Welcome!”) At the very least, might I suggest filling stockings with calculators and/or tip cards? That might be helpful. Focus on the cheapskates. You’ll know who they are. (Hint: they’re the folks that leave you celery sticks and left over eggnog in lieu of the fancy cookies and hot cocoa that you get here.) They need to understand that leaving $2 on an $18 check is barely 10%. It’s close to 15%, but it’s not actually 15%. Perhaps you are familiar with the expression “close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes”, Santa?
Once the math-challenged are gifted with the ability to multiply, we can only hope that they will be able to grasp the concept that leaving a measly 15% is basic and that 15% is what people should leave for ADEQUATE service. And if they aren’t a pain in the ass. 18-20% is really the percentage that any normal human being should leave for attentive, pleasant service. (You’re familiar with inflation, aren’t you, Santa?) The 18-20% rule is particularly true if they, or anyone in their party, made any of the following requests during their meal: extra lemons, hot tea, and/or anything or everything “on the side”. If they let their children use the sugar/sweetener caddy as a toy, if more food ended up on the floor than in their child’s mouth, and/or if anything was spilled whilst they enjoyed their meal— these things would also be grounds for a tip in the 18-20% range. Other annoying behaviors/requests that should automatically bump up the percentage would include forcing your server to listen to your stupid jokes, staying too long, and/or being an attention-seeker of any variety. Finally, for those of you who expect the service staff and the immigrant kitchen staff to be trained allergists, please a) let us know in advance of your severe allergy to pepper (which is, frankly, a lot of hooey) and b) tip accordingly.
I always like to ask for things that I need but that I feel guilty about spending money on— things like perfume and books. If I live long enough, I may actually get up the nerve to ask for Shelby Foote’s Civil War trilogy, all THREE glorious volumes— in HARDCOVER! Or a First Edition “A Prayer for Owen Meany” (signed, of course, by its author, John Irving). Either of these would be swell! But, they don’t really fall into the category of “things I need”. Not because I don’t consider books necessities (I definitely do!), but because I’ve already read them. More than once.
While a nice bottle of Chanel No. 19 wouldn’t go to waste, what would really be a luxury is an organizer. By this I mean an actual human being who comes to the hovel and ORGANIZES it (and, by extension, me). Hopefully he or she will bring along a cleaning crew and a carpenter. (No self-respecting organizer would walk out of here without suggesting some built-ins!) Also, just to give you a “heads up” here, Santa, you may want to throw in a dumpster if you see fit to grant this wish.
The lapsed Catholic in me knows that I should really be praying to St. Jude (The Patron Saint of Lost Things— there really is a patron saint for everything!) about this, instead of including it in my Christmas wishes, but part of the reason I am a lapsed Catholic is that none of my prayers were ever answered. Maybe because they were (mostly) vapid and silly. (Still, I would have given anything to have met Donny Osmond back in the late 70’s— Thanks for NOT listening, patron saint of adolescent crushes!). Whatever.
Misplaced knitwear may not be important to you, Santa (clearly, we’ve all seen your stunning choice of attire), but I have to tell you, I really miss my long black fine-gauge ruffled sweater. It was sold by Kohl’s a few years back and manufactured by Daisy Fuentes. (Well, probably not by HER personally— more than likely there were some Taiwanese children involved, but whoever it was, they turned out a damn fine garment!) It was my favorite sweater and somehow we became separated. I tried to replace it with a gray Ann Taylor number. I convinced myself that even though the gray one was only waist-length and had a larger ruffle, that I would like it just as much. I was wrong, Santa. I know that now. There really is no substitute for that black Daisy Fuentes sweater. None. If you happen to see one in a size large while you are out and about this Christmas season, do you think that you could pick it up for me? I understand that this may require some grand scale rifling on your part through the closets of similarly built (to me) middle-aged women, but I think that my happiness would be well worth the effort. Let’s just say that if that sweater were to turn up under the tree, there might be a little something to make you “Ho-Ho-Ho!” like you’ve never “Ho-Ho-Ho’d” before. (Mrs. Claus would never have to know!)
One more thing, Santa: These are a few of my blogging buddies. I’m hoping that they’ll all write five-wish lists and that you’ll take the time to read them. I’m sure they’ll be interesting! (And probably funny, too.)
photo credit: Christmas list