A few weeks back my friend and I went to our favorite Italian restaurant which I shall not name as I’d like to go back to it. It was three in the afternoon, the silent lull between lunch and dinner, and the place was absolutely empty. It was so early the senior citizens weren’t even out yet nor any drunks taking up stools at the circular bar for happy hour. Shortly after being seated, our female server testily came by twice in less than five minutes to ask if my friend and I were ready to order.
There was no brief introduction, no bad joke that a male server will oftentimes say to break the ice between server and the one being served. “If you order that appetizer you’re basically ordering an empty plate you don’t even get to keep,” one waiter once said to me at an expensive restaurant in Palm Springs. At another place with a glittery view of Hollywood, a middle aged waiter spoke up when I was debating about a plate of sushi, something I’d never tried before, and a roasted chicken dish. “Definitely the cooked bird,” he said under his breath so that the nearby table wouldn’t hear. “You don’t look the type that would like raw fish.” Maybe men are used to being forward with their opinions, especially if a customer asks for it. He was, in fact, correct, as it was not my idea to go to the sushi restaurant.
The female server at the Italian restaurant that day with my friend was relentlessly rude. At first when she asked if I was ready to order I politely said, “No, not yet, I’m still looking.” And yes, I am one of those types that may frequent the same restaurant and look upon the menu with renewed thought and consideration each time because occasionally I will try something new or go back to my old standard and order my same favorite meal. I realize I’m a little high maintenance and I do tip well.
The second time she breezed by, she was not-so-nice. I still had my menu up, but from the corner of my eye, I could see her swinging dark ponytail coming closer. She did not take the hint of my menu being held up to my face as a sign that I needed just a little more time. She just stood there glaring down at us with her frosty lipstick and heavy mascara and asked my friend, “So what’ll it be?” My friend wasn’t entirely certain what she wanted to order either but caved due to the intense pressure of the ponytail waitress. After taking our orders, she dropped off our drinks, Diet Cokes for both of us. Throughout our entire meal, she did not refill our drinks, not even once. She was even pushy about us hurrying up to pay our check.
“What the hell,” my friend said. “I don’t get it. The place is empty.”
This isn’t to say that I’ve been treated badly by all female servers, but there is a tendency for females to be, at the very least, brusque with fellow females. Rarely has a female server given me her opinion on a dish I’m debating ordering. “I’ve never tried that,” most of them will always say. Maybe women are too honest. They haven’t learned to lie as easily as men. Some may claim that male servers flirt with all female customers from the young to the elderly, and oftentimes they do. But that’s not why I prefer them. When it comes to having an enjoyable time dining out, I think most men have learned how to read women better than other women can and that part, however sexist it may sound, puts this female customer in a male server’s section.