Pedro is a waiter working his way through school. He works at a hip breakfast place; he’s a lively, gregarious young man on a perpetual diet. The elderly customer and Pedro talked and joked about losing weight. Pedro had the plan but just didn’t execute it very well.
As he moved about swiftly from customer to customer, pouring coffee, removing dishes, laughing and joking as he went, Pedro’s significant love handles didn’t jiggle; they swayed more like a curvaceous Latin dancer doing the Rumba.
For some reason the topic of happy hours came up and the customer mentioned a certain restaurant and bar with a wonderful deck and view of the lake and Pedro said he used to be a waiter there. The customer said that’s the place in town where they have geriatric happy hour and Pedro laughed out loud.
Later the customer sat at the geriatric happy hour bar and asked the young, white bartender if he remembered Pedro. He looked puzzled and then said with an air of dismissiveness that he really didn’t know the people in the kitchen.
The customer said Pedro had been a waiter and described him, tattoos up and down both arms. “Oh,” the bartender said, “You mean Peter, the heavyset guy with the shaved head. He went by Peter here. And he wore long sleeve shirts to cover those tattoos. We insisted on it. It got to be too hot for him in the summer working the deck. We are a high-end restaurant with a certain clientele. We can’t have tattoos showing here. Our management wouldn’t stand for it.”
Wearing a long sleeve shirt, the customer twirled his $3 glass of happy hour pinot grigio and said, “I have tattoos up and down both arms (which he didn’t). If I rolled up my sleeves in this high-class restaurant would you still take my money and serve me another glass of this high-end wine if I ordered it?” The bartender just laughed awkwardly and walked away.
The customer thought Pedro is much happier showing off his tattoos and swaying his love handles in the hip place on the other side of the lake. Then the old, white customer thought that he really needed to find another happy hour maybe not so geriatric and not with such an obviously exclusive clientele. But he sure would miss that view of the lake. Ah, the options that privilege affords, he thought to himself.