Wednesday, November 4, 2009

he said what?!

the man was tall, but not big. his roundness was evenly distributed for his height. his greying hair peeked out around the edges of his well worn cap.

his clothes looked as if they'd been washed a thousand times over, soft spots in the fabric were easily noticeable. the man's smile was friendly, despite the jagged bits of teeth that seemed to dance in every direction across his mouth.

the pungent, yet not altogether unpleasant odor of white lilies hung in the air as he rinsed their stems in the sink. his eyes were focused intently upon the work at his hands.

and so, with this initial impression, i was disarmed.

as i washed my hands in the adjacent sink, we said our polite hellos. i turned my back to him as i reached for the paper towels to dry my hands, thinking our exchange was complete.

'so you work here, in the kitchen?' he asked me as i walked back to my table.

i answered him with a friendly smile of my own, and a simple yes.

'what do you do, work the salad bar?'

this was confusing to me, someone who tends to take things literally more often than not, as there was no salad bar anywhere in the manor house that we catered events from. i may have shown this in my face with some sort of unattractive brow wrinkling and nose twisting. his next remark was more to his point.

'i mean, all you do is make salads and stuff, right?'

oh. i finally got his implication, that because i'm a woman my job must be to make salad. the old florist was, in his sexist way, just trying to make conversation.

i asked him, 'why would you assume that? because i'm a woman?'

his grin was wide, his eyes sparkled at my eventually coming to understand his statement. this must have made him feel more comfortable. 'yeah, that's it. because, you don't cook here, all by yourself.'

that last part wasn't a question.

while i felt my face flush and my palms sweat, i knew that i was very, very close to saying some rude things to this man, this stranger who had only minutes before won me over with his gentle touch of the beautiful lilies.

the insult that i felt was growing exponentially by the second as my brain took his friendly smile and then interpreted it as smug. at the peak of my indignation, however, i realized that no matter what i said his opinion would never be changed.

i opened up my knife bag and took out my eight inch suisson chef's knife. its carved wooden handle, slim and molded to my grip, and it's gleaming stainless steel blade sharp enough to cut bone, helped me to center my thoughts and block out the man's ignorance.

at least, i thought to myself, i have a way cooler weapon than your words, old man.


Lora said...

that's why no one should be allowed back in the kitchen.

I used to work at a restaurant where absolutely no one no how was allowed back there. It was because of the way that vendors treated the staff.

otherworldlyone said...

But did you raise your eyebrows and point it at his balls?! C'mon...taking the high road is just not as much fun!

f8hasit said...

I've no tolerance for ignorance or arrogance.
Seems he had both of those.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

What a moron.

If he's going to be a sexist pig, he could at least toe the line and remember that a woman's place is in the kitchen.

Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

UGH! That guy is an asshole!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

WoW. That was amazingly well written...for a girl (NO NO NO..put down the soup spoon..NOT THE EYES)...just kidding. I was totally there for the whole story. When a personal reflection comes across like literature...just WOW.

Badass Geek said...

Uh, yeah. Not a smart move on his part.

Stacie's Madness said...

oh, mjenks...hahahaha.

nicely written and i totally would have pointed said knife at him and chuckled something along the lines of...aren't all men that work with flowers GAY? or ya know something along those lines. ;)

miss. chief said...


Lana said...

lora- yet another downside to corporate cooking, there's no chef/owner type around to protect his flock. or to stop his sheep from having murderous fantasies.

owo- but then i would have had to sanitize my knife again, and that's just too time consuming.

f8- a lovely combo no? i feel bad for his wife.

mjenks- you would think. but actually, all the 'real' cooking is looked at as men's work. sometimes they worry when a women gets too close to a heat source.

bs & bc- word! i had plenty of choice names to call him, but didn't really want to waste my time with it all.

cal- HAHA!! thanks buddy :)

badass- right? i'll see his pruning shears and raise him one serrated slicer.

stacie- i SWEAR i had that exact thought. except that it was like a minute or so after he left the kitchen.

miss- isn't it amazing that people actually believe shit like that?

Daffy said...

Man I want a knife like that! We have the right to conceal and carry in my state :O)

'Cuz I Felt Like It! said...

It's ALWAYS better to rise above! Even if it causes veins to pop outta your head and your left eye to twitch......