i am imploring you to help keep my beloved daughter safe.
enlightenment comes through unexpected channels sometimes. this morning i read a post by a brilliant woman who was my piano student 40 years ago. she forwarded a writing by a young woman who is a server in a restaurant who detailed her experiences in just one of her shifts.
my friend-who-was-my-former-piano-student prefaced it with this: “I know it will feel so good to feel normal again and go out to dinner. But please, read this WHOLE DAMN THING before you do. You BETTER tip your server like they are risking their life to bring you a drink, because they f*ing are.”
the server wears a mask and gloves, carries sanitizer with her to work, stands back 6 feet from her guests at the tables in the restaurant. the guests? they remove their masks, which were required to enter, as soon as they sit down and never put them back on, even while ordering, even while their server is present. it is cavalier at its best. her safety is compromised over and over, at every breath, and she is painfully aware, as you read in her candid outpouring.
is the safety of this server any less important than your own? is she dispensable? is your dining-out experience so important you cannot sacrifice a bit of comfort? where has this message of it-doesn’t-matter-if-we-protect-each-other come from? hmmm. let me think. might it be that the “leadership” of this country has made it a fashion faux pas to wear a mask? might it be that the “leadership” of this country has made it seem unnecessary to protect each other? might it be that the “leadership” of this country thinks everyone’s breath doesn’t matter? might it be that the “leadership” of this country doesn’t really give a flying flip about the populace of this country? if i sound pissed, it’s because i am. enough already.
where do you stand?
i, for one, was breathless when i read the detailed narrative of this young woman’s shift. with angry and worried tears in my eyes, i read it aloud to david. i would love to read it aloud to you.
an expert at piecing-it-together during off-peak, My Girl, among other things, bartends and serves. she busts her butt working hard in high mountain towns, waiting on tourists and locals alike. she is a hard worker at everything she does and i have sat on her barstools watching her move in blurrying pace getting it done. the last thing i want to have to worry about in the middle of this pandemic as it actually continues, despite the “leadership” and a percentage of the country’s population ignoring its steady presence, is whether or not the people who are sitting on those barstools or at the tables in her restaurant are (with sarcastic voice) oh-so-tediously pulling up a mask when they are breathing at my daughter. i want to assume that they are. i want to assume that the meager income she is hour-after-hour-after-hour trying to earn will not be dangerous for her. i want to assume that the people who have chosen to go out, have a few drinks, eat a nice meal prepared by a chef, will generously, even at least appropriately, tip her. i want to assume good although i fear selfish, unconcerned indifference.
the server ends her writing with a plea: “For the love of god..if you go out to eat please please please pull up your mask for the few minutes that your server is at your table. Why are you not already doing this?? And oh my god..tip your server like that burrito you are eating may cost them their life…”
have you gone out to dinner? have you gone out for drinks? did you ecstatically plan your outfit and put on your favorite shoes? did you make reservations at your favorite restaurant? did you pile into your favorite downtown bar? did you wear a mask? did you even bring a mask? or did you leave your mask at home because it’s not mandated by the local, state or federal government? does respect have to be mandated? does protecting each other have to be mandated? can we choose respect and protection regardless? there is still a global pandemic. can we connect the dots? can we think???
WILL you be going out to dinner? out for drinks? will you wear a mask? will you carefully protect every breath of your server – someone’s daughter, son, mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, best friend, caregiver? will you recognize their safety? will you tip them for risking their life to bring you your margarita? will you protect the others inside the restaurant or bar? will you give a flying flip?
EVERY BREATH from AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood