Well, folks, prophesy fulfills itself, especially when you post it in a blog that you’ve invited God and everybody to read (Seriously. God gets tagged as a category on these posts!).

In a post from earlier this summer, I wrote about my lack-of-a-job situation and about the time a waitressing position (almost) fell in my lap.  Then I got all English-major-y and quoted from Jane Eyre. I think I selected some passages about Jane’s humility in accepting a “pud” job, reasoned that I shouldn’t be too proud to take such a position, and mused, in a self-comforting way, that my career-focused skills “will keep” until a later, more economically fruitful time.

Well, I now have a job. ::Gasp!:: And, as chance would have it, it’s in no way related to my English major, my publishing experience, or my little forays into journalism.

Instead, it’s drawing on the experiences I’ve had that I thought were worthless.  In three days  at my new gig (two spent training, one spent working), I’ve drawn on my multi-colored backgrounds in stagecraft, group psychology, ballroom dancing, opera, improvisational comedy, Spanish (language), Chinese (language and culture), coquetry, Google-searching, touch-screen technology, child care, advertising consultation, and even my short story writing to learn the ropes of this job, to navigate those ropes without getting too tangled up, and  to endear myself to my fellow restaurant staff members.

That’s right, readers. I am a waitress (PC term: server) in the entertainment dining industry.  I’m at a restaurant not three miles from my home, working for a family of dreamers that I adore, and having an exhausting, hilarious time.

God, himself a fan of family-run businesses, is matchless in his irony.  He really surprised me on this one, but then again, his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are much, much higher than my thoughts.

Some of you may be wondering why I call this a God-given thing. Allow me to explain.

Those familiar with my personal theories on theology know that I believe that the best, highest, and most artfully-arranged comedy to be found can only come from God.   Seriously. Read the gospels and look for Jesus’s wit.  He’s hella funny, but his kind of humor is extremely sophisticated and layered.  Many times, his witticisms go way over the heads of us modern readers who don’t understand how first-century Jews would have understood and responded to his jokes. But there are some jokes that Jesus uttered that we can understand better at the second millenium than the first-centurians could.  One of my favorite ones of those comes from the last chapter of the Gospel of John, when the resurrected Jesus gets peppered with questions about when he’ll be back for the final reckoning.  The disciples all hope they’ll live to see it, but Peter, being a consummate pragmatist, looks at the youngest disciple, John, and asks Jesus if Johnny-the-Kid will live to see the Second Coming.  I can picture Jesus smiling to himself when he responds,

“If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (Jn 21:22).

John, of course, grew to become the visionary prophet who eventually got to write the entire book of Revelation concerning Christ’s return.  Jesus kept John alive, though aged, weak, and in exile on an island, so that Johnny could get a good glimpse of the upcoming epic spiritual party before he shuffled off his mortal coil to await the actual show with the rest of us.

Funny?  Yup.  Jesus is a real crack-up who knows an inside joke when he foresees one.

But Satan, like any beautiful and self-absorbed bimbo, remains in the narrow but omni-present realm of low-brow comedy, also known as the gutter.  His jokes are simple, flat, tasteless, and usually found on Comedy Central.

The comedy–heck, the divine irony–of my particular job search is too complex for a punchline and avoids reference to sexuality or any scatological themes.  Hence, it’s too high a form of wit to be anything but God-granted-and-delivered.

Here’s the story, laid out for laughability:

I’d just gotten a lump of disappointment stuck in my throat in the form of the fourth turn-down/brush off from the publishing company I’d been pining after for a job all year. I’d flunked the editing test (not surprising since, let’s face it, a slight acquaintance in college with, and a six-hour study session of, the Chicago Manual of Style doesn’t compete with the several years of experience that the other candidates had under their belts).  They told me to try back again in six months and keep a lookout for other positions at the company that weren’t involved in the copy-editing process.  I thanked them and went out for a strawberry daiquiri with my mother at the local Mexican restaurant. Not to drown in my woes, mind you.  Just to get my feet under me and a sense of hopeful, glass-half-full (literally) optimism.

As we got out of the car, I noticed that the new Asian steakhouse/sushi joint was open for business. It had been under construction for the past several weeks. I wondered if they were hiring.  I decided, on some wild impulse, to inquire within and see.  Turns out, yes, they were, and would I like an application?  Sure thing.

After a quick interview the next morning in which I outlined my very skimpy serving qualifications (“Do you have any experience working in a restaurant?” “No, but I’m experienced with customer service because of this one job I had filling work orders for property maintenance.  Oh, and I’m comfortable around people.  Children included.  I was a substitute teacher and a nanny, see?  I’m also used to public speaking and acting chipper even when I don’t feel like it. And I had a lemonade stand, once, too.”), I was asked if I could report for training on Saturday. I reflected on my interview interaction with the manager, who I’ll call Mr. X, and I decided that I liked Mr. X’s personality and felt like he was a warm and hardworking person; his wife, who had fluttered around during the interview session and occasionally added her two cents, had a maternal presence and no fear of her husband, just a lot of respect that went beyond the usual Asian norm for the marital relationship.   With these thoughts in my mind, I committed myself to the job and, with that,  to the young couple that is attempting to build a life for themselves around their baby restaurant.

And just like that, after three months of looking, someone took a chance on me and hired me.  And all because I was willing to take a chance on them.  That it happened to be a waitressing position made good on the change of heart that I had when I met Donna (see July 16 post).  And, of course, it’s as far away from anything English as it could possibly be.  Not the language; not even the food.  However, it was right under my nose:  just three miles away from my house, and right next to the place where I was going to sip the blended nectar of my woes.

God sure is a laugh-riot.

It’s been three days, and nearly twenty-three hours of work and training on my tired feet, and I’m not sorry for it yet.   I think it’s because I finally have a kind of calling.

I’ve come to like my employers as people, and I’ve even met their super-supportive family, whose members flew across the country and the world to help staff and finance the business.  Mr. X himself works two jobs: full-time restaurant manager/chef, and schoolbus driver.  Our head waiter, Ricky, told me that Mr. X sleeps maybe three hours a night.  Mrs. X does all the accounting and hostessing and will even cover tables as needed. She’s the fast-fluttering, uncatchable butterfly of the restaurant, and just as beautiful, as only women from Asia can be in their delicate way.  Mr. and Mrs. X have two children, who are often at the restaurant after school and in the mornings, as their age dictates, but they are quiet, shy, and often serious, even in their silliness. Mr. X’s brother, a cheerful Hongkongesian named Felix, just flew back to the Pacific Northwest after working full-time as the head chef at the hibachi from opening night onward.  Mr. X’s mother, who I’ll call Grandma X, is still helping out when and where she can, even though her tiny vocabulary of English limits her.

Inside all of this mountain of effort to keep the restaurant running are its miners, the cooks and servers.

Our sushi chef is an artist, and works full-time, with no nights off. The under-chef is learning from Mr. X  how to take Felix’s place in the front as head chef someday. In the meantime, our under-chef and the assistant cook help us servers do the dishes and get orders out to us as fast as they can.  The majority of them are Mexican and appreciate it when I clarify a complicated order by peppering it with details in Spanish.  My fellow servers include head-waiter Ricky, his wife Hillary, and a third girl named Kayla who only comes in on weekends (I think).  Ricky trained me, and is an unstoppable force when he’s got several tables to see to.  Charismatic, physically strong, and underserved by life, Ricky is barely twenty, if that, but is already a father.  But he and Hillary are trying to offset the upset of their late-teenage pregnancy by balancing their work schedules so that someone is home for their little girl. They both work like crazy–and do it with a kind of pride.  They know it’s what’s keeping them both from falling out of the bottom of the middle class, and they’re holding onto their respectability like it’s sacred.  I admire them for trying to make a good life for themselves and their daughter.

I think you can tell that I like them all immensely.

And wonder of wonders, they’re starting to like me back.  Ricky, of course, liked me after the first time I astutely anticipated his orders and bussed a slew of tables without complaint.  The cooks decided that they liked me as soon as they found out that I spoke Spanish well enough to compliment their work.  The X’s children decided that they liked me the minute they caught me dancing in the kitchen before the restaurant opened for dinner and I teased them for spying.  Mrs. X decided she liked me when she saw how often I smiled at customers, how carefully I took Ricky’s orders, and how hard I tried just in general. (“You have a great work attitude! Good job!” she told me Saturday.)  Mr. X was won over mostly by his wife–I think–in my favor, but he told me just yesterday that he was observing Ricky and me from his spot at the grill and noticed that I “move like the girl from that movie Enchanted. What’s her name? Amy Adams.  You have a little dancing walk!”  Mrs. X chimed in, “And cute [read: expressive, Caucasian] eyes!”  Even Grandma X smiled at me yesterday when I thanked her for her assistance with bussing a table in her native Cantonese, then followed that up with a question in Mandarin, which is more comfortable for me, and easy enough for her to understand.  She told me she’ll teach me more Cantonese, which I think means that she wants to keep me.

So I’m where I feel like I’m supposed to be, or at least where I belong, right now.

Only trouble is, these people all keep bringing me food. Again, God is the ultimate comedian:  by making sure that my fears about going hungry are laid to rest, he sends me to a place where all the people want to do is stuff my face.

Addendum (added after the original post in a slap-happy moment):

Here’s more proof that God wants me to be happy.  Hugh Jackman (my fav actor and all-around performer, who is an amazing family man and just generally awesomely talented to boot) will be in a movie next year with Robert Pattinson (my fav eye candy and a constant source of comic relief.  Seriously, the stuff that man says!).   The movie will be called “Unbound Captives” and also stars Rachel Weisz, a wonderful, darling, adorable actress in her own right.  In addition to this wonderful news . . .

Oh hai!  How you been? Still goooorgeous, I see.

Oh hai! How you been? Still goooorgeous, I see.

Oh, the hugging is difficult.  The Man-Love is too handsome to look at.

Oh, the hugging is difficult. The Man-Love is too handsome to look at.

This delightful moment of starry-eyed reunion and recognition, in which both HughJax and RPattz seemed to both be thinking– Oh, hai, you! We’re going to be in a movie together, and I remember you from that karaoke bar in Japan where we sang together, and the plane ride back to LA, and then the Oscars!–was captured at the Teen Choice Awards this weekend and reported on some online newsreels frequented by girls who care about the Twilight franchise. It seriously made me very happy, just because they both look so darn cute and excited to see each other.   I think a few of my readers will enjoy this, too.  Let me know–leave a comment!

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