After so many drive-in waitresses becoming movie stars, there has been this real drought, when along come class; somebody who actually went to school, can spell, maybe even plays the piano. She may be a wispy, thin little thing, but when you see that girl, you know you're really in the presence of something. In that league there's only ever been Garbo, and the other Hepburn, and maybe Bergman. It's a rare quality, but boy, do you know when you've found it.
Waitresses, soldiers, rickshaw drivers, old ladies selling vegetables - my father would schmooze anybody. He was Clintonesque before the word existed. And, of course, it paid dividends. Ill-tempered guards at the most notorious border crossings waved him through with cheery smiles. Haughty maitre d's fawned over him.
The whole acting and Hollywood [thing], it's just work to me. Stand-up comedy ruins you so badly for doing television. I don't really need to be known anymore than I am. The slight sliver of fame I do have is hard to deal with. If I was actually well-known - I don't even know what to say to people who are at my show when I walk into the venue, much less having waitresses in diners asking for my autograph.
Marg Helgenberger and I were waitresses in the same restaurant in Evanston, Illinois. I'm happy to say that that restaurant has since been torn down.We both had an audition for ABC soaps - different soaps, but we auditioned at the same time, and she got the part and went off to New York. Three years later, I went to L.A. So she was kind of an inspiration to me. And it makes sense that we will both be in Wonder Woman together, because we ARE Wonder Women.
I don't size up their grades or their board scores. Because in America today, that's just an advantage certain people have. I size up the give and take, the speed of thinking, what I perceive as ambition. I say, 'Tell me about your high school jobs.' And I love people who worked in coffee shops who were waiters and waitresses.
...Baltimore. It's imperfect. Boy, is it imperfect. And there are parts of its past that make you wince. It's not all marble steps and waitresses calling you 'hon,' you know. Racial strife in the sixties, the riots during the Civil War. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it was civilized and gay, rotted and polite. The terms are slightly anachronistic now, but I think he was essentially right.
Baltimore. It's imperfect. Boy, is it imperfect. And there are parts of its past that make you wince. It's not all marble steps and waitresses calling you 'hon, ' you know. Racial strife in the sixties, the riots during the Civil War. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it was civilized and gay, rotted and polite. The terms are slightly anachronistic now, but I think he was essentially right.
In practice, you realise that most attempts to feed your baby in a public space will be met with subtle but palpable resistance. Older chaps roll their eyes, slick young businesswomen purse their mouths, teenagers look disgusted, waitresses anxious. But it strikes me as ironic that many members of the public fret about British Muslims donning the hijab, yet happily condone the veiling of nursing mothers.
A Rough Guide Be polite at the reception desk. Not all the knives are in the museum. The waitresses know that a nice boy is formed in the same way as a deckchair. Pay for the beer and send flowers. Introduce yourself as Richard. Do not refer to what somebody did at a particular time in the past. Remember, every Friday we used to go for a walk. I walked. You walked. Everything in the past is irregular. This steak is very good. Sit down. There is no wine, but there is ice cream. Eat slowly. I have many matches.
But truth be told, I'm not as dour-looking as I would like. I'm stuck with this round, sweetie-pie face, tiny heart-shaped lips, the daintiest dimples, and apple cheeks so rosy I appear in a perpetual blush. At five foot four, I barely squeak by average height. And then there's my voice: straight out of second grade. I come across so young and innocent and harmless that I have been carded for buying maple syrup. Tourists feel more safe approaching me for directions, telemarketers always ask if my mother is home, and waitresses always, always call me 'Hon.
The next morning I told Mom I couldn't go to school again, She asked what was wrong. I told her, "The same thing that's always wrong." "You're sick?" "I'm sad." "About Dad?" "About everything.." She sat down on the bed next to me, even though I knew she was in a hurry. "What's everything?" I started counting on my fingers: "The meat and dairy products in our refrigerator, fistfights, car accidents, Larry-" "Who's Larry?" "The homeless guy in front of the Museum of Natural History who always says 'I promise it's for food' after he asks for money." She turned around and I zipped her dress while I kept counting. "How you don't know who Larry is, even though you probably see him all the time, how Buckminster just sleeps and eats and goes to the bathroom and has no 'raison d'etre', the short ugly guy with no neck who takes tickets at the IMAX theater, how the sun is going to explode one day, how every birthday I always get at least one thing I already have, poor people who get fat because they eat junk food because it's cheaper... " That was when I ran out of fingers, but my list was just getting started, and I wanted it to be long, because I knew she wouldn't leave while I was still going. "... domesticated animals, how I have a domesticated animal, nightmares, Microsoft Windows, old people who sit around all day because no one remembers to spend time with them and they're embarrassed to ask people to spend time with them, secrets, dial phones, how Chinese waitresses smile even when there's nothing funny or happy, and also how Chinese people own Mexican restaurants but Mexican people never own Chinese restaurants, mirrors, tape decks, my unpopularity in school, Grandma's coupons, storage facilities, people who don't know what the Internet is, bad handwriting, beautiful songs, how there won't be humans in fifty years-" "Who said there won't be humans in fifty years?" I asked her, "Are you an optimist or a pessimist?" She looked at her watch and said, "I'm optimistic." "Then I have some bed news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.' "Why do beautiful songs make you sad?" "Because they aren't true." "Never?" "Nothing is beautiful and true.
Jonathan Safran Foer