Raised In A Barn – Restaurant Confessions Part One


“How Much Longer For Our Food? We Have A Flight To Catch!”

Working at an airport restaurant, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard this phrase.

My instinctual response is riddled with sarcasm of course, which would be something along the lines of “Oh really?! Well, why didn’t you say so? I thought you just bought a plane ticket to eat in the airport! Let’s get you fixed up right away!”

This perhaps would not be well received, given the already stressful state that most passengers are already in when they’ve arrived, having all their privacy stripped away by the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency).

Working in one of the largest airports in Canada, I get a pretty large window to the rest of the world, and all of their strange habits that come with them. As there has been so much media attention on the often unfair treatment of passengers within the airport, I felt it necessary to give back to my airline and service industry comrades with some of my own observations from the dark side (insert Mr. Burns evil laughter and finger tenting)…

– It is not OK to brush your teeth at the dinner table.

– Clipping your toenails is often reserved for doing in the privacy of your bathroom.

– It is a cardinal rule of the service industry to do a ‘quality check’, within the first five minutes of the guest consuming food. This would be the time you express your dissatisfaction, not AFTER you have inhaled the entire meal. We know you’re looking for a freebie.

– Producing a bag of oranges so that you can have your waitress ‘freshly squeeze’ them for you, is frowned upon.

– Painting your fingernails or dousing yourself in Duty Free fragrance at the table releases a rather unpleasant odour for nearby patrons.

– TIPPING is NOT a place in China, it is a North American custom. TIPS actually means ‘To Insure Proper Service’.

Note: to stingy Dutch guys at YVR, yes your bill was $157.13, thank you for giving me exactly that.


I’ll Take A Four Legged Child Please


Defying Procreation

After one particularly heinous junk food binge, I stared down at my ridiculously bloated belly. I couldn’t help but think about being slowly yet surely, one of the last of my childless friends. This enlarged ‘food baby’ was about as close to experiencing pregnancy as I might get.

At 34 years old it seems there is a constant reminder thrown at me to bear children. From society, the media and of course… my mother. Apparently my ‘window of opportunity’ is getting smaller and smaller as time marches on. I have been told that the longer I wait, ‘the less likely it will happen’, ‘your ovaries are aging’, ‘you don’t know what you’re missing’, ‘children are a blessing’.

My child-bearing friends always insist that I have it good, that they desperately miss their freedom. These friends follow up with “but I wouldn’t trade them in for anything”. Let’s be honest here, what kind of mother would readily admit that the non-existence of their own offspring would make their lives so much happier? But the dirty truth does come out now and again, after a few glasses of wine of course, from friends willing to shed light on what really goes on in the homes occupied with children.

“It’s Alive!!! ALIVE!!!”….

The frightening stories of pregnancy and child birth alone are enough to scare off anyone with ears to listen. The permanent stretch marks, the constant mornings of vomiting yourself inside out, the weight gain that just doesn’t want to come off, the once sky-high breasts now resembling what could pass for tennis balls in a pair of pantyhose. Then there’s the ripping of one’s most delicate area….Is this a horror film?

Then you get to bring home what either looks like an alien or a really tiny old man, and listen to it scream all night long as you kiss goodbye to what was the last of your blissfully sleep-filled nights, along with your sanity.

No more peaceful five-star vacations filled with shoe shopping. Instead, insert loud, splashing, crying, hissy-fit filled trips to the lake and kiddie infested theme parks.

Then as they get older, you live in fear of quiet moments. Something is always going on when the house becomes silent. This silence is usually followed by some sort of art work on your freshly painted walls, done by your newly purchased nail polish, making its way onto your living room carpet for all to see.

The Puurrfect Solution

I think I will stick to parenting my cat. He spends hours a day sleeping by himself, is perfectly satisfied eating the same food, day in and day out, is easily amused by boxes and strings, AND… I can leave him alone in the house for days at a time, with his food on the floor and a place to go to the bathroom. When I return home, everything in the house is still intact as he runs directly to me, purrs affectionately as he brushes up against my face, then scurries off as if I never left.

You can leave a cat alone in your house for days but you can’t leave a child. Clearly I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure there are laws against that…