Hello. I Love You. Won’t You Tell Me Your Name

A case of mistaken identities.  

All _________(fill in the blank with an ethnicity distinct of yours) look the same.  


One summer I was waitressing in a nearby town and moonlighting–ish as a cocktail waitress at a nightclub.  I was 18 years old, finished with my first year at a women’s liberal arts college, home for the summer.  


The nightclub gig was a result of my mom.  She was renting retail space to a surf store who happened to own the local hotspot.  LIke several cuter and older girls I was given a tray.  Bartenders were supposed to take my orders and in retrospect I probably should have tipped them better although at the time I did not know any better.  Perhaps that’s why I had to wait to place my order.  


The manager of the bar and I did not get along.  Our personalities clashed and in another lifetime the outcome would be different.  


I remember being mortified when one waitress who was friendly with the manager told me my dad had called.  “What?”  I was shocked.  In the era before cell phones our business was less private.  I reasoned if my dad was looking for me, he would in theory call the nightclub – but why would he think I’d be there beyond a Saturday night? My heartbeat increased.  The conversation continued until I realized that she was referring to the landlord of the nightclub.  Apparently I had ousted as the landlord’s daughter, perhaps the only reason I was kept on as a once a week waitress who commanded no salary.  The confusion lay as i was the daughter of the landLADY of the surf store in town.  


And it was at said nightclub on a weeknight when I was merely a customer that i met a DJ of African American descent – as was a socially acceptable description of someone black. 


The following week I had presumed the DJ with whom we had an amazingly fun night with a group of people walked into my restaurant one town away.  


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