A:Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do so.
B:Tell a story set at your first job.
A) I’ve never been drunk but I drink and I don’t do it to get drunk, I drink for flavor. I just don’t see the point in getting drunk. I already do stupid things when I’m sober.
B) Oh. My first job was truly out of necessity because it was my family’s (and the four—mom, older sister, brother and I ran it) catering/wedding/event planning company. When I say we ran the business, we were literally the workers; cooking, set-up/break-down/cleaning/serving. It is not an easy job. Sometimes we’d use our house as a venue for wedding receptions and the twenty acres it sits on. So, the story….
– The Tale of the Pink Lady –
“Jake, Cissy!” Sash, my older sister called. She was in a bathrobe holding something in her hand. We, my mom and us three, had just finished another fifteen hour day. We had been pulling those for three weeks leading up to this wedding, which was tomorrow. A wedding we celebrated getting because it payed ten grand—we could relax about finances for a bit. We had done large, even larger than, events like this one but they didn’t require such a bitch of a menu and served seating.
I was fifteen and exhausted, but proud, because how many fifteen-year-olds could even pull hundred-and-five hour work weeks? Well, anyway. I got out of my bed, grumbling, and seeing Sash and Jake, I asked,
“What?” They looked at me and Jake held up pills. That didn’t help.
“Calms Forte. Take four and go to bed now. We’re going to need all the sleep we can get.” She pressed four of the tiny pills into my hand. Calms Forte was a natural sleep aid but I had read the bottle once and it warned about taking too many. I wasn’t normally one to take note of what the warnings say because half the time they are ridiculous. I take four Advil normally, not the one that they recommend after calling your doctor.
“Are you sure we can take this many? The bottle…” Sash shook her head and so did Jake.
“I’ve taken this many before. It’s okay. You’ll be fine.”
“Okay.” I said slowly. “Thanks. Well, uurah, see you guys tomorrow.”
We said out goodnights and headed back to our rooms. My room was a faux finish purple with huge shelves left of the door. My room was also a disaster, all of our rooms were and we didn’t have time to clean them. At the moment, though, I didn’t care. I was tired, sore and not looking forward to getting up at seven again only to go to bed at twelve-midnight or one. None the less, I climbed into bed after downing the Calms Forte.
“CISSY! Get your chef-coat and skirt on now.” My mom hissed at me while storming down the entryway in her chef-coat and skirt. I was sitting on the front stairs, resting my calves which hadn’t stopped screaming since I went to bed. My hips weren’t happy, either but nothing would help them.
There was an hour to go until people started arriving.
I jumped up and rushed to the washroom to grab my coat, which was bought when I was twelve and now a little snug, and back to my mothers closet where all of the skirts were.
Once I was in my mom’s closest, I looked reproachfully out the windows at the heat-waves coming off of the driveway. Our chef-coats are thick, linen-like collared things. They aren’t comfortable, especially in the Texas heat of July, and with a floor length skirt. Once I had everything on, I walked into the bathroom to wash my face and put my hair into a bun.
I wanted to climb into the sink’s cold water, it was so hot outside and I was already sweating from working in the kitchen but the sound of my mom calling me snapped me to my senses.
It was go time.
I was no longer Cissy, I was a caterer. A machine. That is the sort of thinking we all take on when the time is up.
It was going smoothly, more so than hoped for because a few trusted relatives came to help. Uncle Chris, Aunt Beth, and cousin Robbie. Robbie had a BAC, so he could act as bartender and Uncle Chris had experience in the food industry. Beth had been helping us cook for the past two weeks.
Well, anyway, things had been going smoothly and things were finally winding down to that point where we start counting down the minutes until people have to leave, when Robbie comes over to where mom, Sash, Jake and I are.
“We’re out of wine. This one lady…” He says. Mom made a face and said,
“Oh, yeah, that pink lady?”
“Uuuhg, she is annoying.” Jake added. “Keeps asking where the bathroom is. I’ve showed her six times.” We start laughing at this and it is only made worse when Robbie says,
“No, but you know the big white wine bottles? Like the huge ones?” He motions with his hands to about a liter-sized bottle, “Well, she’s downed two of those.”
“Fuck!” My mom whispers and we all start laughing harder.
We encountered the Pink Lady again when we were washing dishes and she came to tell us something.
“Alllll…. of the… roOOms are so.. messy. I went in all of… them.” She said and teetered around like a leaf that was barely hanging onto a branch. All of us froze. People were not supposed to go upstairs. This house may be a venue at times but it’s still our home and plus, the bride and groom will lose a five-hundred dollar deposit if anyone goes upstairs.
Once the lady and her red-faced husband left, Mom said under her breath,
“Yeah, well, maybe they wouldn’t be so messy if you weren’t seeing double.”
It took hours to break down most of the reception and it was one in the morning when we finally crashed.
The following Sunday, Mom made an ugly discovery: someone had stolen the swam tea-pot Dad had brought back from Japan. We still haven’t figured out who took it.
We had also discovered that the Pink Lady went to out church and was a horrible driver.