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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

De Plane! De Plane!

I have a tattoo on my arm and I'm not talking about the Herve Villechaize kind. I got it about a year ago after one of my best friends died of some fucked up cancer shit that took him way too soon. He was diagnosed and given about six months to live and then 17 days later he was gone. It was and probably will always be one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with. Although he has been gone for over two years, I still wonder why I haven't talked to him in so long and why he never returned the poke I gave him on Facebook. I have tried to poke him again and it just says "Van has not received your last poke yet. He'll get it the next time he logs in." I swear to God it makes me cry every time I see that fucking message. I guess that feeling will never go away. I got the arrow on my arm for him because he was one of my biggest supporters in whatever I chose to do. "Don't give up, you can do it. Just keep going for it. Don't look back. Press forward." These are all things that he told me on a regular basis whether it was about auditioning, writing, substitute teaching at a high school, or anything else I had decided to throw myself into. I love the tattoo. It reminds me to keep pressing forward and it makes me happy to look at it. However, when I got it, it didn't occur to me how prevalent it would be at my job. My other tattoos are much more inconspicuous, but this one is right there for every table to look at whenever I hand them something. Just about every day, someone asks me what the arrow means. Depending on my mood or how much time I have, I either give them the long version about the death of my friend or the short version, which is "keep going forward."

More than once though, I have had people ask me about the tattoo and they think they know why I got it. "Did you get that because you're a waiter and the arrow tells you where the food goes?" Seriously? Do people think that I love waiting tables so much that I got a permanent marking on my body to always remind me where the fucking plate goes? That would be like an IT guy getting a tattoo that says "Control, alt, delete." Or maybe an English teacher getting the alphabet tattooed on her arm. Or a porn star getting an arrow pointing to her coochie saying "insert here." (Okay, that last one is totally a good idea.) So, no, I did not get the arrow on my arm because I am a waiter and "that's where the food goes." Whenever someone assumes that's the reason, I always say, "No, it's to remind you where the tip goes."

I dunno why I wanted to write about this today. A few nights ago someone asked me about the arrow and I told them the full story. People always love the full story because it's real. And meaningful. And sincere. It's not trite. The tattoo gives me comfort. Every time I feel down or worried or confused, all I have to do is look down to my right arm and feel the presence of my good friend Van who could always make me feel better no matter the circumstances. So if you see a waiter with an arrow on his right arm, you will know two things: one is that this waiter had a great friend who was taken too soon.The second thing you will know is that you are being waited on by The Bitchy Waiter and you'll find that he's not all that bitchy.



I miss you, Van. I really do.





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26 comments:

donna freakin' reed said...

Aw. <3 and a big hug to boot.

SkippyMom said...

Beautiful post BW. Take care :)

KB said...

Awesome story, Bitchy Waiter, thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

beautiful post. and not at all linked to the pasting that you got for your last post.

/meow.

The Bitchy Waiter said...

I didn't write this just to show the other side of BW after the previous posts. I wrote it several days ago and it just finally got posted.

Mary A. said...

That is a cool tatoo.

And people are such idiots.

Anonymous said...

your posts seem to be more and more real, less rants. incl. the previous one. this made me cry.

Marsha66 said...

Thanks for sharing that.

Chunky Mama said...

Lovely post.
I am very sorry about your friend.

Anonymous said...

Your best post yet non-bitchy, from a long time reader first-time poster whose read your whole blog...

Swimming against cancer this Saturday and will think of you...

id said...

i'm new to reading you blog, but dammit you just made me cry.
it's sad when the world loses good people.

ChiTown Girl said...

Aw, Bitchy, I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I'm so glad he was able to leave you with such a great message. I know you'll keep going forward, no matter what. I need to be reminded of that myself, lately.

I LOVED your "No, it's to remind you where the tip goes." retort, by the way!

Vicki said...

Not many people are lucky enough to have a memory like that. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

Adam Hawthorne said...

Very touching, I like the occasional glimpse of this side of you.

I can't even believe that people ask you if it's so you know where the food goes... ...they can't possibly think that they're being original.

Practical Parsimony said...

That reminded me of my best friend who died ten years ago. For over a year I would come ine and head to the phone to call him. I was always stunned when I realized that he was not going to be there. I understand how you feel about your friend. Now that you have given co-workers a way to identify you, do you not think that someone in the world of customers MIGHT read this blog, maybe even one of yor coworkers may be a fan.

The Empress said...

Love to you BW.

adoseoftlc said...

This story really hit home with me. My mom passed away 02/02/2011 this year, VERY unexpectedly in her 40s (I'm only 24). I plan on getting a tattoo of our initials we share (even after I got married strangely enough)... TLC. It not only reminds me of the bond I share with my mom, but ironically what people often take TLC to mean (tender loving care), my mom in short. I actually considered getting the tattoo near the same place you did.

Really enjoyed this post.

dirtydisher said...

Good story..meaningful tat. I think tats should have meaning. When my son died his sister got a tiny musical note on the back of her neck. Reminded me of that.

Gallo said...

Keep your head up to the sky, nothing down below.

Great post.

CarrieAnn said...

This makes me want to get an arrow tattoo. I luv you, Bitchy!

~watergirl~ said...

A wonderful way to honor and remember your friend.

And I'm sorry but, what? People actually said it's to remind you where the food goes? Wow. People are really stupid. And highly unfunny.

I sometimes wish I could make a button device that would allow me to zap people who do or say stupid crap. For example, "the food was terrible, simply terrible" on a cleaned plate and they're joking. Not funny, folks. Tired and overused.

BZZZZT.

;)
:huggles:
~watergirl~

SharleneT said...

I always knew you were a softie under all that incognito shit! {{{HUGS}}} It's very hard to say goodbye, and I haven't, yet.

Maria said...

Thank you, BW, for sharing a slice of your life with us; good, bad and ugly.

Posts like this are how you find you have friends across the globe.

Ela said...

Beautiful.

Crystal said...

I hate when people joke about something that you take so seriously. It pisses me off, but at the same time it really makes you think about things. It is good to see a compassionate side to you though. I knew you couldnt be bitchy ALL the time :)

Anonymous said...

I want to see your other tattoo's!!

And I'm sorry about your fiend. Big hugs.

*As for this tattoo, I'd definitely hand over your 20% lmao!