Cheers to Eleven Years

New York City, 2005—

I remember getting off the 1 at Franklin Street. It was the end of September, and even though fall had officially begun, summer wasn’t quite yet ready to relinquish its control. At nine in the morning, it was already hot and humid, and by the time I reached the corner of Hudson and Franklin, I was a gross, sticky mess. I found the job on Craigslist and without much restaurant experience, I was lucky for even landing the position. It was supposed to be temporary, a simple job that I could do to pay my rent while going to school and working toward my English degree. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I had no idea. When I walked through the doors all those years ago, I was a naïve 22-year-old who didn’t really know what she wanted out of life. Eleven years later, I’m walking out those doors a completely different person.

As I finish this last chapter of my life and start a new one, I’m fortunate to be bringing with me the lessons I’ve learned over the years. There are far too many to list, so I bring you one lesson for each of the past eleven years.

And they are:

1)    The term “Fine Dining” takes on a whole other meaning.

“Hey Cindy. Did you see the new server? He is so fine.”


2)    Psychologists/Psychiatrists are actually the crazy ones.

Because calling me the “C” word and then denying it isn’t crazy at all.


3)    When you have to scrap one friend because the extra person screws you from getting the reservation.

It makes you wonder which friend goes on the chopping block.


4)    “J” in the phonetic alphabet will never be the same again.

“My name is spelled B as in Boy, A as in Apple, J as in Jizz…”


5)    A restaurant is NOT the perfect place to get engaged.

Come on, guys. How about a little originality here?


6)    Thousand dollar bottles of wine do exist.

What I’m really thinking: That’s a lot of Two Buck Chuck I could buy.


7)    Small portions at $100 per person don’t faze me.

Or you can eat at The Cheesecake Factory and leave with a doggy bag and a few clogged arteries.


8)    You can be best buds with someone and not know his/her name.

I’m really good friends with that one guy who wears the suit and is always at the front.


9)    I’m like the Beautiful Mind of pronouncing and spelling names.

Jaime = High-may / Siobahn = Shi-vonne


10) I can spot a liar a mile away.

Pinocchio wouldn’t stand a chance.


And finally, the last lesson I’m taking away with me…

11) Family is more than just blood.

“…Our troubles are all the same. You wanna go where everybody knows your name.”

To my work family—I wouldn’t have been able to get through the last 11 years without you, so thank you. Thank you for your friendship. Your support. And your guidance. The love. The laughs. And the tears. It really is the end of an era.

With that being said, I suck at goodbyes. My ugly cry never fails to make an appearance and is usually accompanied by projectile snot. Lots of it. So in order to avoid that at all costs, let’s not say goodbye and simply say we’ll see each other soon.

Until then, I’m yama.