The Muse of a Hostess


I was the only hostess at the time. One by one, the others quit for unknown reasons. I thought they had to be silly reasons. I would be different. I would be the hostess that stayed for the long haul.

Oh, was I wrong. 

My first sign was in the job interview. I was a senior in high school who had just found out my dream college would not give me any financial aid. I couldn’t afford to go.

Rain was pouring outside. Hitting the ground so hard I could feel it shake my body with goosebumps. 

I ran to my car and sped over to the restaurant. The Italian restaurant sat on a corner in between two busy Yonkers streets and was dominated by older Portuguese men when I stepped through the glass doors. 

I sat down, was handed water by the waiter who kept staring at me, filled out paperwork, and was hired on the spot by one of the tall Portuguese men.  

My looks were enough to land me the job. 

However, I soon realized that the duties of a hostess relied half on the makeup, hair done, and body-hugging outfit and the other half on my wit. My charm. Otherwise known as my ability to converse with older, lonely individuals.   


First day on the job. I showed up in my black knee-high boots, tiny black and white checkered skirt, and black turtleneck bodysuit. My new boss didn’t exactly greet me. He handed me more paperwork to fill out, took it, then threw me into the ocean with the blobfish who thought they were sharks swimming toward me.    

First, there’s the kitchen crew. Four of them were the dishwasher, the takeout wrapper, and the two chefs. They all sang along to Spanish music and danced while the stove lit a fire behind them. The dishwasher would scrub dishes like they had just broken his old heart. 

I walked into the back where the kitchen crew resided to bring in dirty glasses. Eight eyeballs lit up and pounced on me as if they were blind and just regained their eyesight. They wanted to know who the new hostess was. I could hear them talking about me in their language. Apparently, they liked my necklace. The sudden interrogation and attention from the old men gave me anxiety and I dropped all the glasses. 

The dishwasher was so in love with me that he didn’t care. As long as I said hi to him and smiled, he was happy. He would try to hold my hand and teach me how to wash all the dishes as if it was such a complex job. But it was the only thing he knew really well.

The dishwasher became jealous to see the waiters flirting with me. Almost picked a brawl with one. One of the waiters had a girlfriend so he kept it friendly with me. The other two were lonely souls. They flirted with me any chance they had. Tried to hold my hand and rub themselves against me when they passed by. 

I fell in love with one of them. Of course, the one who would give me a white rose only to find out he gave the only other woman there, the blonde waitress, a red rose. The one who would walk out of the bathroom followed by a huge cloud of smoke from his weed pen. I called him waiter boyfriend. 

I had horrible taste.

But that was what surrounded me at this Italian restaurant. The one I spent most of my week working at. 


The customers came in flooding the place. I tried to sit them down wherever they pleased. It seemed to be their biggest concern all week. 

This one man came in all the time. At first, I just thought he was a hyper married middle-aged man. But he became my chocolate man. 

The first time he saw me, his eyes lit like the kitchen crew. He would always shake my hand and give it a kiss like a French man. He would go on and on about me to my coworkers. Raving about the beautiful hostess. I don’t even think he knew my name. 

He came in and yelled, “ahh there she is! The most beautiful hostess with the beautiful smile. Let me tell you this girl is great.” His thoughts ran so fast that he would cut himself off in the middle of sentences. 

He started coming to pick up food to see me. All he wanted from me was a witty conversation and a smile. He began to express his newfound love with chocolate. Bringing me chocolate every time he came.

First, it was milk chocolate. I hate milk chocolate. Then, dark chocolate. He realized I hated milk chocolate. Then, it was chocolate with coffee beans in it. I needed the energy from the coffee bean. 

(After I left the restaurant, I saw him at my gym chatting up and offering chocolate to other girls around my age as well. I guess that’s his thing!)

Then there was Uncle Larry. He’s not actually my uncle. I don’t know the man at all. But he said, “Call me Uncle Larry!”

I said, “whatever you want. The customer is always right!” It was a hoot.  

He came in with his brother and the brother’s wife. They became my favorite customers. The sweetest most in-love older couple you’ll ever meet. I even visited their house on Halloween to check out their house decor they wouldn’t stop raving about to me at the restaurant.

Uncle Larry was the odd man out. Unwed. You could hear him yelling all the way from the back kitchen. But he was having a good time. He would go on and on talking but you wouldn’t understand a thing. 

He didn’t know my name either but he was still in love. He loved to chat about the people we knew. He asked me if I knew this one guy. I knew of his daughter but not him personally. He still put me on the phone with the guy to say hi. It was embarrassing, to say the least. He enjoyed it though and gave me the only tip I ever received.   


My hostess days neared an end. 

My boss. Also known as the big shot fishing man.

He loved to fish. I hated the smell of fish. 

He was more on top of things. I was more laid-back.

He loved to yell at me. I hated being yelled at.

We were pretty much polar opposites. We didn’t like each other very much.

For my Christmas bonus, he graced me with his own fishing brand mug that he sells for eight dollars each. Everyone else received money. I must have been special!   

I think what he hated most was the way I exchanged wit and smiles with everyone else and not him. We were too different.

Twenty minutes into my last shift ever, he began a whole argument in front of customers about me not saying hi to him. We began to go back and forth. It was like watching a positive ion and a negative ion repel each other’s charges. 

I decided it was time to leave all the characters I met behind and quit that day. 

I left in anger without saying goodbye to the rest of the staff. Like a complete mystery to my dishwasher, waiter boyfriend, chocolate man, and Uncle Larry.

They’ll see me as another hostess who quit for more unknown reasons.

Now it was time for the next hostess to come and repeat.