I had a short career at waitressing and actually loved it. I worked at a little Mom and Pop Cafe in a tiny little hick town. The best place to be, I say is a “small town”. Love the small town life, most of the time.
There was a particular elderly trio of friends whom I had waited on a few times and I remember thinking how cute these senior customers were. It was a little gentleman in a suit accompanied by two very prim and proper ladies. The ladies wore blazers and skirts in tasteful colors with their hair done just so, along with pearls etc. At first I was a little intimidated by them as they seemed awfully, “hoity toity” to me.
Each time they would come into the cafe, they would ask for coffee and pie, and they would split the pie 3 ways. When their coffee got halfway down in the cup, they would motion me over again saying, “More coffee please dear”. Their manners were impeccable, the ladies acting as if they were having high tea with the Queen, actually lovely to behold.
Once after refilling their cups, one of the ladies took a sip of the hot brew and looked up at me and almost growled out in the most dignified way, “Aw, but that’s damned good coffee”. Surprised, I laughed and agreed thinking these folks were the cutest I had ever met.
I also love small town cafes and well, any good old coffee diner will do. I love to sit and drink coffee and shoot the breeze with my friend, or read the newspaper, just chill out and relax. Until recently, I had forgotten just how much I loved it.
I hold my friend somewhat responsible for this coffee diner-cafe fetish thing, though, actually I probably should blame my Mom first. She was a coffee cafe kind of girl herself, now that I think of it.
A memorable time for me that I shared with my Mother, when I was a kid, was a trip to the local cafe for my first real hot fudge sundae. I am not talking about the kind you can get at a drive through now a- days, but the good old fashioned kind. I watched as the waitress grabbed for a pretty glass dessert dish, swirling that ebony wonderful smelling goo around the inside of the dish then adding hand scooped vanilla ice cream. Another ladle of the fudge followed. I had never seen a sundae before, and was practically salivating as she swooshed on the spray whipped cream, followed by chopped nuts and a maraschino cherry on top. She sat it down before me with a flourish saying, “There you go young lady” and just as I had expected, it was love at first bite. As I sat there downing the decadent masterpiece, swinging my legs from the stool and half twirling this way and then that, I could not understand how my Mother could only drink black coffee as she smiled at me eating this delicious concoction.
Later, I fell in love with the whole soda fountain, coffee shop type atmosphere, but it definitely got worse when my daughter was small and I was a stay at home mom. I did not drive either so when my friend came along and said, “Let’s go for coffee”, we would grab little Salli-o by the hand and haul her off to the local cafe, where we would drink countless cups of black coffee and smoke the heck out of our cigarettes and gab, gab, gab. We would get interrupted seven thousand times by my daughter, and would get sidetracked trying to keep her from sneak drinking the little creamers. She’d sneak one and just giggle. Sigh, she didn’t really need the extra calories at that time either, as she was a pudgy little girl.
This became a favorite past time of ours often annoying our husbands as they thought we should be home doing women stuff. This also became a time when my friend and I got to know each other very well and gained each other’s trust. Seventeen years later we still try to go for coffee now and then. Not as much as we used to as our lives seem busier in some ways now.
Salli-O has grown up, (though she still would like to drink the creamers, I know her weak spots). I am now a grandmother and care for my elderly Mom. My friend is planning a wedding and we are both growing a little older, (we are sure we are still cute though). Our coffee times have become scarcer than they were and somehow more precious.
Yes, our lives have changed, we have been through much and will go through more, but from time to time we get together to drink coffee and ask for more. I am almost always reminded of those dear elderly friends and look up at my friend as I say, “Aw, that is some damned good coffee”. We smile and laugh and talk some more hoping that we will be doing this many times more even when we reach their age.