Hello, my name is David and I'm a recovering server flirter. I was notorious in my day, no cute waitress was safe from receiving a hearty portion of my supposed charm. A couple times in college and grad school, I deftly wrote my name and number on the check, always a bit surprised when no call came. But no worries, I'm sure it had nothing to do with me.
Actually, it had everything to do with me and how completely irrelevant I was to the cute waitress. I understand that now. I also understand just how creepy the flirtation can be and will never be so rude as to burden a waitress or hostess with my banter. Yes, I am paying my penance at what has become the Cougar Cafe. And, no, readers… I do not want any of these cougars to bite.
What started as an isolated incident or two has become a regular occurrence on the line. One, two or three women between the ages of 50-75 (yes, 75 seems an accurate guess) come into the cafe, place their orders, and try mercilessly to flirt with me. I get it - I'm a stud. And please understand, I have no problem with older women in general. The day Jody Foster walks into the cafe and asks for my number (unlikely for so many reasons), I will be all over it. But with these customers in these circumstances, it's a little bit gross.
Ignore for the moment my feelings of helplessness, knowing that a negative response might undermine my commitment to providing good customer service and a pleasant dining experience. The feeling of dirtiness that someone is objectifying me, which honestly, I wouldn't mind if it came from some of my younger more appealing patrons. Part of what makes this so unnerving is just how bad these women are at flirting. Take, for example, my most regular stalker… I mean patron. I call her Toots.
Toots a middle aged woman of slender build who frequents the cafe sometimes as often as four days per week when I have shifts. She does not dine with us on Sundays, my day off. In addition to the usual batting of eye lashes, inappropriate comments about my eyes, smile or physique, and her desperate attempts to interpret our menu as one designed only with her in mind, Toots has the unfortunate habit of telling me just which foods wreak havoc on her bowel. In her more flirty voice and smile of course.
No joke, these exchanges are downright nasty.
You will hear more about Toots in what will be a sadly regular feature called The Toots Chronicles. Until then, here are a couple of the most memorable pickup lines delivered by some of my most seasoned patrons.
David: Would you like anything else?
Customer: How about your phone number, sweetie?
David: Anything else on our menu, perhaps?
David: Hi, what can I get for you today?
Customer: Well, dear, is there anything on the menu as delicious as you?
David: Try the chili.
David: Two small cups of the mediterranean vegetable soup. Anything else today?
Customer: You know, you have very beautiful eyes. Do you have a girlfriend?
David: Some crackers, perhaps? Maybe a half sandwich?
Customer: You know, you are so cute I could just eat you up.
David: I think your entree will be sufficient, ma'am.