To Read on the Journey

Friday, July 2, 2010

bringing home the bacon

my mom worked as a waitress at a Cindy's Restaurant when i was young.

in my little girl opinion she had a fun job; serving hot cakes and coffee to early risers, carrying 20 plates at a time, and wearing the coolest uniform in all of Oakdale! 

i thought she was the prettiest when she wore her uniform; a white ruffly blouse, "Belinda" name tag, brown polyester wrap around skirt, nude nylons, waitress shoes, the whole ensemble made complete with her permed hair pulled back in a banana clip.

tips were the highlight of her waitressing job. helping her sort, count, and roll the change that jingled in her brown polyester pockets was a highlight of my younger years.  i believed we were wealthy when we took rolled coins to the bank, then drove off in our baby blue datsun to rent-to-own to make a weekly payment on our washing machine and dryer.

it's obvious why at 10 years old i wanted to be a waitress. with my magnetic personality i was bound to have pockets full of my own jingly change, annnnnddd  i REALLY wanted to wear that cool Cindy's Restaurant uniform.

one hot august day while my mom was at work, i decided it was time i began working at Cindy's Restaurant too.  i didn't call and ask for an interview, i didn't fill out an application, i decided to take action, i planned on walking right in to Cindy's and going directly to the manager's office and asking for a job.  (i've always been the type to take the bull by the horns... maybe this is because i grew up in "the cowboy capitol of the world").

i believed i was old enough because i finally owned my first pair of high heel sandals. adding to my new maturity was the nude nylons i owned to wear with them.   nude nylons and high heels had launched me into adulthood, and would guarantee me a job for sure!

 i grabbed my only white ruffly top and paired it with one of my mom's brown polyester wrap around work skirts. then i pulled my permed-like-mom's-hair up in a banana clip, and finished the ensemble  with some of my mom's hot-pink avon lipstick.  in my 10 year old mind i had grown from 10 to 16 in minuets!
(photo of banana clips for those of you who sadly missed the opportunity to wear them in the 80's)

and then i waited...

waited for the baby blue datsun to pull into the drive way with my mom home from work. i knew she'd be thrilled at my enthusiasm to start bringing home some bacon too. she wouldn't hesitate to drive me down to Cindy's to ask her boss, Manny, for a job of my own.

i was devastated when she walked through the door, thought i was playing dress up, and refused to drive me to Cindy's. i was adamant about having a waitressing job of my own, and begged to walk to the restaurant on my own.  my mom agreed.

Cindy's was easily 10 blocks and 1 highway crossing away.  my mother thought i'd make it two blocks in the august heat and heals,  turn around and return home. however the thought of my own jingling change in my pockets kept me walking.    

i arrived at Cindy's, walked right in, past all the customers, and directly to Manny's office.  there i entertained him with my plea to be hired, and how he wouldn't be disappointed.  Manny was just promising to hire me when i was 16, when my embarrassed mother walked in (she had been driving the streets of Oakdale looking for me).  she grabbed me by one arm, and escorted me out of Cindy's, as i waved a proud goodbye to her paying customers!

by the time i was 16 brown polyester skirts and jingling pockets didn't appeal to me.  my banana clips were retired , as was my childhood dream of becoming a waitress.
Manny should have hired me when he had the chance.  

this post was written for flashback friday. 
to read other flashback friday stories visit 
together for good.


Home's Where My Heart Is said...

Such a cute story! I remember around the same age wanting to start contributing. It seemed so glamorous to get dressed up for work. And I so remember those banana clips..weren't those the best? :)

Tasha said...

I love it!!

Simply Sara said...

you are the best story-teller EVER!

and i'm sure you rocked those banana clips :)

Sharone said...

Oh, you are beyond cute with your banana-clipping, polyester-clad self! The Avon lipstick too :) Just reading about those things takes me back to my childhood!

michelle frasher said...

oh denise, i was hit by this big wave of nostalgia when i saw the picture of the diner. my dad's mom and pop owned and ran a couple of diners in reedly/dinuba area in the fifties and sixties that looked just like that one. we used to love to come visit and belly up to the counter. they served THE BEST hamburgers, fries and milk shakes and home made pies and cobblers. i can almost taste them now. thank you for this memory.

Anonymous said...

oh, this just makes me giggle on so many levels. I love it! We used to go to Cindy's when I was a kid; I've never seen one anywhere else so I never realized it wasn't just a local place. Crazy!

P.S.-- if it makes you feel better, I wanted to be a miner when I grew up. Because I liked rocks so much. Snort.

Lelan @ Good Gravy! said...

Fantastic story!!

denise said...

I bet you were a really fun kid. I never would've had the guts to do that when I was 10!

Fun story.

Anonymous said...

I miss those days, very simple, my tips would average from 20.00 to 50.00 on a good day, the rent to own payment was 21.00 every friday for three years.the washing machine and dryer we had for 15 years.
A few weeks ago i was in oakdale ans visited luz and manuel, i love them so, was able to sit in there home and talk,laughing over the times we had together, denise's journey being one of them. we laughed, we huged, and i was able to wish someone very special in my life a Happy Father's Day, much deserved.A mentor in my young years and now i look back and see what a blessing they were.Cindy's this is and always will be a place i call home.