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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

R.I.P. Ethel A. Smith


Is it creepy to let you know that I was reading the obituaries the other day? It's not a regular kind of habit or anything that I have to sit around and read about people expiring, but sometimes they're full of interesting tidbits about the life of a dead person. It's sorta like reading a biography but instead of a whole book, you only have to get through a couple of paragraphs and you're done. I found one that caught my eye the other day:

Ethel A. Smith, a retired waitress and Highlandtown poet, died March 11 in her sleep at Bonnie Blink, the Maryland Masonic home in Hunt Valley. She was 101.

Did you catch the word that made me stop and read this obit? Ethel was a waitress. And a poet too, but a waitress. I went on to read the rest of the write up and learned that she was a waitress for twenty years of her life and the last time she waited tables was like in 1946. So she hadn't been a waitress for sixty-four years and had gone on to marry, own a couple of businesses, get some poetry published, and have a really full life but the first thing mentioned in her obituary is that she was a waitress? Is that how I will be remembered when I go to that great big side stand in the sky? How horrible that no matter what I may (or may not) achieve in my life, the person that writes up my obit could be like, "oh, he was a freakin' waiter for about fifty years of his life. Just put 'Dead Waiter' and call it a day."

I refuse to be remembered as only a waiter. This crappy ass piece of writing that is spewing from my fingers right this second will be around long after I'm gone. Maybe my obit could read:

Bitchy Waiter, retired waiter, blogger and kick ass tipper, died yesterday at 101. He was totally bitchy but he did a lot of other shit that didn't involve holding a tray so don't think he was just like this loser or anything.


I say we all raise a glass in honor of this kick ass lady who lived to be a hundred and one fucking years old. She had kids and grand kids and wrote some poetry. In a whole century of living she only used twenty years to be a waitress. 20% of your life waiting tables is not too shabby. Right now I am looking at 50%. You go, Ethel A. Smith. I hope when you got to the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter, Paul or Mary was there asking you how you wanted your burger cooked and then they threw in a free dessert and comped your check.

(In addition to writing poetry, she enjoyed knitting and crocheting.)

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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post!!!

SkippyMom said...

No one likes to be pigeonholed by one thing, and they didn't do that Ethel - but I see nothing wrong with being remembered as a waitress if that is what I did for a main job during my lifetime.

Cynthia said...

Maybe sweet Ethel wanted to be remembered for the two things that gave her the most joy in her long and full lifetime - waiting on people and writing her poetry. Who knows? Maybe her love of interacting with people while waiting on them gave her fuel for writing her poetry.

purplegirl said...

That's so weird! She owned a couple of businesses and waitressing is what they listed? Hmm!

dirtydisher said...

Maybe she was a REEEEEEEEEEEALLY good waitress.

FrothygirlzCJ said...

This post was really touching...in a bitchy sort of way. Well done.