If you told me 5 years ago—when I was studying for the California bar exam—that I would indeed pass the bar, go on to practice entertainment law in Beverly Hills, and then give it all up…to become a waitress in Aspen, I would not have believed you.
Yet here I am, drawing my hair back meticulously into a low bun, buttoning up a starched collared shirt, and tightening my tie every morning at 9am…to go and fetch another under-poured bullet of ketchup for another perfectly done fish sandwich for another overdone housewife.
But it’s not the housewives fault, she’s just directing me to do my job. Besides, I’m just a waitress in Aspen. For all they know, I’ve been doing this for ten years. They’re blissfully unaware that the person fetching them more ketchup has an education worth a whopping $250,000, was two inches away from accepting a high profile job at one of the big four talent agencies in Beverly Hills, and from all accounts thought she would be the one sitting down for lunch in Aspen asking for extra ketchup.
[I set the ketchup down on the table]. “Here you are.”
[Looks up from iPhone]. “Do you have mustard?”
“Yes. We have Frenchs yellow mustard.”
“One of those.” [Looks back down at phone].
[I give my most polite nod and start walking towards the kitchen]
“Oh, and—excuse me!—Ranch.”
[I look back]. “We don’t have ranch.”
Why, do you ask, did I make this seemly backwards switch? While I wish I could say something noble like “character building” or “for the simple life”, neither of those would be true.
The truth is, I was running away.
Running away from the suburban dream of complacency, medocrity, and patriarchy—disguised (of course) as “stability.”
The ironic part is, trying to run away from the suburban trap of country club memberships, #momlife, and athleisure-for-everyday, only brought me closer to it…it’s form only slightly distorted under Prada glasses and a slew of designer labels.