I’ve always told people that if I would have to be the poster girl for any of the seven deadly sins, it would be gluttony.
I love food. I love food. I love food.
I don’t go on a diet because I literally can’t. I’m more willing to spend my money on Burger King or Dairy Queen than on clothes and shoes and accessories. I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m stressed, I eat when I’m done being stressed. Just, okay, let’s put it this way: as long as there’s food in front of me, I eat.
I love food and I know I’ve said that already but I feel like I have to say it again for you to realize how totally serious I am about loving food. Sadly, my love for food doesn’t mean I’m good in the kitchen. It’s ironic, really, since I absolutely suck at cooking. I once tried to make carbonara pasta and it ended up looking like scrambled eggs that even then looked questionable… and I’m not at all being modest.
The thing I love most about food, besides its taste and its mastery in making my stomach happy, is how it brings people together. From my experience at least, the best conversations always happen when you’re in the presence of food, or when food is in the presence of you. And I know for a fact that friendships born out of anything food-related are the really memorable ones.
For about 6 years now, my family and I have been regulars at this Italian restaurant near our house. We eat there once a week, sometimes more. They come out to greet us just as we hop out of the car; they always give us free desserts; they know exactly what we mean when we tell them we’re ordering our favorites; when it’s someone’s birthday, the whole staff (chefs included) would sing happy birthday accompanied by tambourines and maracas. Most of all, I’ve come to regard all of them, especially the waiters, my friends.
And all that started with me committing gluttony. Six years ago, I was sixteen then, I had dinner at this particular restaurant with my family. My dad’s the type of parent who doesn’t care about the amount of food we eat (as long as we’re physically healthy, of course) as long as we finish it. He doesn’t like having leftovers. I’m not sure why because one of the best things in life is discovering leftovers in the fridge when you’re hungry and, if you’re like me, can’t cook to save your life. My mom, who has taken it upon herself to finish whatever we ordered but couldn’t finish, was out of town which should have made me think twice about ordering as much as I did that night. But it didn’t because I ordered soup, Caesar salad, calamari and pasta. I know it doesn’t sound a lot but it’s only because I have yet to mention that I was also sharing another pasta dish with my brother and a risotto dish with my sister.
Now doesn’t that just scream “GLUTTONY!” ?
Needless to say, I did not finish my order. I pleaded with my dad to just bring the leftovers home but he wasn’t having it.
We arrived at the restaurant at around 7. The restaurant closes at 10. We stayed there til 11:30. All because of me.
And it was during that time when we got to know Steve and Eds, two of the waiters. You’d think the staff would be mighty pissed at me for staying that long. They couldn’t leave unless me and my family did, after all. But, for some reason, they were super cool with it. They even cheered me on. And I must say their encouragement is what pushed me to finish everything on my plate without puking any of it out. I did not just come out of that restaurant that night 1000 pounds heavier, I also made new friends.
I’m telling you, food and friendship is a wonderful combination.
Since then, we’ve befriended other members of the staff, from the manager to the busboy. There’s J, Mags, Jake and a whole lot of other people who I know by face and not by name because I also suck at remembering names.
Yesterday, I found out that Steve had been transferred to another restaurant and that we just missed his last shift. I can’t tell you how sad I was when I heard that. It literally feels like a friend had just moved to a different state and you weren’t able to say a proper goodbye.
But if there’s anything to pin my hopes on, it’s those small pieces of paper you see on your table that you are encouraged to fill out. That’s right. Customer feedback.
So to Steve, don’t fret, buddy. Operation get-you-back is now in motion.