I could ‘subtitle’ this post: “Partying with the Younger Crowd.” We
were going to a big Sugar Bowl party. I was excited to be included
by my youngest daughter. I would be rooting for Ohio State Buckeyes
to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. Both my brother and my friend
who works at the Columbus Dispatch at the Sports Desk felt we had
little chance of winning but both texted me frequently over the eve.
I was the D.D. for the after New Year’s Eve party celebration in the
basement of a fun, pizza serving bar called “Zeno’s.” My youngest
daughter and I were coming off a high from just having watched a
finely written and acted movie called, “The Imitation Game.”
We had followed my junk food movie snacks up with a stop at Ruby
Tuesdays for a nice, healthy salad bar. She is one of the healthy,
gluten-free, fresh ingredients, low sugar, group of smoothie-drinking
vegetarians who sometimes include fish or eggs in their diets.
We found first rate Columbus parking, in a No Towing area. Unlike a
late arrival friend who had to literally walk a mile to the bar! (Later,
we drove her back and discovered she was not kidding!) We waded
through the first packed floor of varied ages. I noticed there were a
couple of men I would have to stop with me and flirt with them. We
sallied forth to our destination. There were only a handful of fellow
workers from the restaurant. I was the one who spotted the string of
white Christmas lights and plugged them in, I checked out the three
steps in the women’s bathroom, leading upward from the sink to sit
on a ‘throne.’ When I later reported this bizarre restroom, I was told
by a tall, lanky man that the same situation is set up in the men’s
room. He had me imagine men stooping down to not hit their heads
on the short ceiling level. Standing up has its down sides, at times.
I ordered a seltzer water with a slice of lime in it from Jessie, a
patient barkeep. We were amidst the fellow servers of an upscale
restaurant, where they had all worked New Year’s Eve. Their one day
off having planned and gathered extra money to reserved their own
‘place under the sun’ or ‘spot under the rafters’ of a stomping and
exuberant crowd of Buckeyes upstairs. We became more excited as
our numbers increased. I like to develop characters and watch other
people so here are some of my impressions of the young people.
There was one older woman who had had no children and was their
appointed “Mother Hen” named Mary Beth. There was a man in his
forties with a nice head of hair, a Steve Martin look-alike. Barry stayed
involved in the Beer Pong activities, writing competitors’ names and
scores on a paper taped to the painted cinder block wall.
Here is a list of real names, inspired by Famous People:
1. Mariah- She is wispy and sweet, telling people about their ‘aura’s’
and their ‘spirits.’ Wait for the most unlikely love story to be shared
by her and a man named, Grant. Mariah says the surprise ending was
more on her part, than his. They have plans to marry next year, 2016.
2. Whitney- She is a petite, blonde young girl who is also matched with
an equally unlikely man who is possibly the polar opposite of her.
She is so open and forthcoming, hugging me immediately upon being
introduced by youngest daughter. Whitney is a server who brought the
next party-goer who sounds like he walked out of a soap opera. . .
Chance- This thirty year old man is tall, has his head shaved close in
a nice way like a service man. He looks like he belongs in a computer
lab. He was quiet and polite, his conversation and stationary stance
unusual amongst the sports fans. In over four hours, he spent barely
moving except to jump up and down for joy at any progress the Bucks
were able to make. He stood still and tall, his shoulders slim and his
waist narrow, hands in his pockets. He probably is composing a musical
or writing a book in his head. I was unable to break his ‘code of silence.’
Imagine this, who can get almost anyone to blab their life’s secrets.
4. Gabriella (aka “Gabby”)- Dark wavy hair, engaged with the ‘boys’ in
Beer Pong, winning at least two rounds. She was bubbly and warm,
hugging many people in the room. She appeared like a soccer player
in her build and like several of my daughter’s outgoing friends.
5. Grant- He shared a funny love story which melted my heart. I sure
do love men who are open and not guarded. He did describe himself
as a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ in high school. I shared about my Science Club
group and my view of being rather ‘nerdy,’ too. He has thick wavy hair,
was wearing a sweater. Not the typical red or gray OSU t-shirt party-goer.
Now, for the Exotic Names:
1. Yonida- born and raised through her toddler years in Albania, she is
very “American” in her word phrasings and her appearance. She is a
close friend of my youngest daughter, the two of them meeting at a
Fourth of July (2014) party. Although Yonida works at another upscale
restaurant, everyone in this crowded basement with the big screen t.v.
and one woman bartender bar had invited a few extras. Yonida liked
the idea of my getting them in the tunnel, Whitney, Yonida and Felicia,
to take a picture. Since the hallway was brick with wooden paneling
and held a few photos of OSU greats, including Woody Hayes.
So, as most young people do, they decided to ‘look tough’ and pose in
this rugged setting. It is the hall directly under the Zeno’s bar.
2. Jose- The older bus ‘boy’ who helps the waitstaff by clearing tables
and makes jokes that get the servers rolling. I think it is the Spanish
accent, we had a long and convoluted conversation with my usage of
Spanish phrases interspersed with English. How do you say, “party?”
3. Zeke (Ezekial) came from New York, learned from one of the best,
(the upscale restaurant’s owner of several unique and individual
restaurants) how to be a hand-crafted, fresh-flavored Chef. He reminded
me of my son, the one who cooks for Son of Thurman, here in Delaware.
Zeke admitted to two of Felicia’s friends and to me, “I have a crush on
your daughter.” He is not Italian or Greek but has the dark, brooding
look and is actually Jewish in descent, but not in practice.
4. Jade- She does not want to be a server forever, she proclaimed this
as soon as we started chatting. She is a petite, long-haired sensitive
young woman who thinks she wants to be a teacher someday. She has
two years of art college and has a Yoga Instructor license. She is one who
admires my youngest daughter’s business acumen and wished she had
completed her art college. She will go back and get a Bachelor’s degree,
she says in teaching Art. I believe in her, I can see the potential of her
truly making her ‘mark’ in the world. I told her there are many children
who need art, since it is one of the most fun places to be, especially those
who don’t ‘test’ well or are floundering in their reading skills. She told me
that she is worried (as so many of my fellow bloggers are) at the way that
schools take funding away from worthy projects and subjects such as Art,
Music and Gymnastics. Literature is not always valued as it should be.
You can tell, I spent a lot of time talking to Jade! She was an ‘old soul.’
“First Impressions Mix-Up”
Grant led with the simple truth of, “I guess you must believe in the fact
that people should not judge a book by its cover.” He went on to say that
Mariah seemed very confident, ‘clique-ish’ and ‘snobby.’ Grant gave me
what he considered a ‘valid’ example,
“I sat beside her one entire day of orientation and she did not even turn
her head in my direction. Not even once.”
Grant told me, when I told him I had a smart, funny son who sometimes
was like him. I mentioned that Jamie is quiet until you get to know him.
This helped Grant to open up more to say,
“I guess it is true, we sometimes ‘carry a chip on our shoulders,’ maybe
due to actions of others, that remind us of someone from our past. I
was predicting and stereotyping since she is ‘drop dead gorgeous.'”
“Mariah seemed to look right through me,” was another response,
he shared with me.
Before I share how these two got together, I will contrast Mariah’s image
of Grant. Mariah felt he was, “stuck on himself” and “almost arrogant.”
She does not remember ever sitting next to him at orientation. She is a
little embarrassed to be asked about her memory of their restaurant
orientation. It is part of what people ask her now that they are engaged.
She admits, she may have been ‘distracted,’ since she was ‘getting over
Mariah is an out-going young attractive woman, who may have intimidated
Grant. Grant is also a nice looking young man who is very intelligent but may
have a negative self image.
It was funny since Grant also exuded confidence and was polite as to call me,
“Miss Robin,” along with calling the other older server, “Miss Mary Beth.”
So, here is the hilarious and simple way the two young people found each
other as told by Mariah:
“Three months after we had worked together, Grant was standing by the
coffee station, cleaning all of its parts in boiling water. It was the end of the
shift, I approached Grant and said verbatim,
“Hey Grant, do you want to come to our rolling party in the PDR?”
“Grant stopped what he was doing, looked at me intensely (Mariah still talking)
‘Did you say ‘robot party’ because I am IN!! And where is the PDR?'”
Mariah rolls her eyes, glancing at Grant who is talking to Zeke.
“Honestly, how can a man work as a server for OVER Three Months
and not know about rolling silverware or the Private Dining Room? I
was just using a fun tone trying to get him back there to join us in
Grant told me his version,
“So, I am already cleaning an area, while the girls are supposed to be
rolling silverware, and Mariah asks me to a party. What was I supposed
to think? I got excited, maybe she was into science fiction and would be
having a robot party. I was serious. No, I had no clue about when they
go into the Private Dining Room their abbreviated way of saying this. Nor
did I know about their calling this process, a ‘party.'”
Grant felt she was so friendly and cute, standing there that he went
back to the PDR and sat right next to her, asked her several questions
about where she grew up and her high school, this helped finally to
‘melt the ice’ between them. They fell for each other after that.
Mariah saw him as a very articulate and interesting man, someone
who would be a nice change from the athletic guys. She felt ‘bossed
her around’ and were ‘very pushy’ in their personal behavior. She
finished the story with her own warm summary to me,
“It’s a shame because we lost three months to spend time together.
But, for me (Mariah), the lessons are:
‘Everyone has an interesting potential,’ and ‘Don’t be closed to
opportunities to connect.'”
The end or beginning of Grant and Mariah’s Love Story.
The end of my well spent four and a half hours can be summed up as
having been engaged in lively discourse and rowdy team spirit. I had
eaten six (or 8?) wings, half were medium hot wings and half were
A young man, not named above, had a few so I lost count of my basket
I had a few sips of my youngest daughter’s mixed drink, but had a 2nd
water with lime and hydrated. It was surprisingly hot in the basement.
Some were playing beer pong, some were swearing, others were shouting
in their excitement (we won by a very close score) and when a manager
stood by me, I exclaimed,
“You have an incredible work group gathered here, this shows such a
great team spirit. I get the feeling you all become ‘family’ and a lot has
to do with the leadership, an equal amount has to do with such amazing
people you chose to be employees.”
He smiled and nodded. Then Greg said,
“The corporation is run by someone who worked his own way up through
the ranks. He is very encouraging of self-growth and hopes everyone will
find their own paths.”
I hope you had a fantastic New Year’s Eve! The sports ‘after party’ was
a great outing. I enjoyed the time with family, friends and Mom this year.