Jarrah has enjoyed playing "waitress" as long as I can remember. This blog contains several posts about her early forays into the food industry, when she used to widen her eyes at "customers" and shout "PIZZA? OK!" before sprinting into the "kitchen" to retrieve this universal order.
She still loves playing waitress, but she's gotten ever more sophisticated with age. Sometimes, I come around the corner to discover a table has been moved to become a "hostess stand" where she can ask about our reservation. Now that she can write, she presents us with a detailed menu (the sides are always "with a side of anything you like") and--alas--a detailed bill, and these places aren't cheap. She also takes our order on a little pad, and wears an apron she received at a kids cooking event.
I like to engage her in the same kind of chit-chat I would with an actual waitress just to see how she handles it, and the results are always priceless. She tends to get really fixated on whatever I bring up. Witness this morning:
J: Hello! Have a seat! Do you like this lovely set-up? (The couch features a dog bed with a plastic salt and pepper shaker and a ketchup container niftily supporting a stand-up menu)
S: I do! Thank you! You have quite the extensive menu here. How long you been open?
J: A while now.
S: Great! I'll take a coffee and the chocolate-chip pancakes.
J: Coming right up!
She returns with a tray containing a coffee cup, a pitcher of coffee, a smaller pitcher of creamer, and a spoon. Nice, I think. Attention to detail. Someone goes to a LOT of restaurants.
S: This is delicious coffee! Tastes like Kona? Did you have it shipped in from Hawaii?
J: Oh yes! The owner had to wait for the ship to arrive so it took a long time for us to open.
She puts down a plate with two plastic hamburger buns. Can you just pretend these are pancakes? Thanks.
S: Great service here!
J: Thanks! It's just me today. Normally, the owner helps me out, but he's off getting more Kona.
S: Oh wow, so you're cooking and serving? That's a lot.
J: Yeah. Also the owner sometimes spends all our money on Kona, so then I have to work harder to get us some money.
S: Sounds like the owner has a little bit of a Kona problem.
J: Yeah. You should come back tomorrow. We're having Couples Days. You can come with your kids, your friends, even your husband. Even teenagers think we're great for the romance.
S: I might just do that.
J: I also have a competition where I decide who's best for the romance.
Occasionally, I'm not in the mood to drop everything and go to the restaurant where plastic food and imaginary Kona is served. But I usually remind myself that this run has already been extended several times and probably must close soon. The Broadway of pretend waitress will inevitably go dark. And that will be a sad day.