Want Fries with That?

First jobs. We’ve all had them.

Some of us even think we learned a lot from frying burgers or waiting tables.

With college looming this fall for my son, a part-time job was just the thing to help him save some spending money.

He didn’t realize that a part-time job is also perfect blog fodder.

Once he started telling me some of the stories I knew he needed to write them down. Because while we’ve all been at the counter ordering fast food, we haven’t all been that person behind the counter.

So I give you the inaugural blog post by my soon-to-be college freshman…ten bonus points to anyone who gets the reference in the title.


Riffraff With Cheese

As you, the reader, may have heard from other posts, I’m Sherri’s 17-year-old son.

Unlike a previous post written by the dog, I’ve actually written this one.

Having recently ended a five-week tour of duty at a Wendy’s restaurant inside of a Shell gas station, I was naturally called upon by Mom to expound my newly-formed opinions in a blog post and make the world a better place.

Actually, I had to beg and plead and whine and sigh until she took this and posted it.

After almost three months of job-hunting, including over thirty applications, five or six interviews and far too many “Oh, we’re not hiring”-s, I was hired as a “front counter associate” (pronounced lack-ey) to work evenings and weekends at the aforementioned Wendy’s. Its convenient location next to a major freeway, several business parks, a construction zone and a community college made for an eclectic bunch of customers.

Sure, there were plenty of normal, polite, and unmemorable people who came and ordered food at one time or another. The others, however, were far more distinctive, including:

– Three vegans, each of whom wound up watching the cashier (me), the manager and the cook jabber at each other for several minutes to try and figure out how to ring up and prepare a “veggie burger”. Even worse, each one walked right past the gas station’s large rack of bananas.

– Five college kids with bloodshot eyes and clothes reeking of smoke. They all came in at the same time, about 10:00 PM, and ordered about forty spicy chicken nuggets each, concluding their transactions with a wheezy “Thanks, bro…”

– Two businessmen from the UK, complete with awesome accents. Cheers.

– Endless kids hell-bent on trashing the dining room, unrestrained by their parent(s). Some of them at least said “Thank you” when they got their food.

– Four acquaintances of mine. I only messed up two of their orders.

– Dozens of people who deemed their telephone conversations more important than their clear and concise communications with the cashier. For the record, though, one of them was an ambulance driver.

– Two customers in a row that decided the “Pick 2 Sides” promotion actually meant they could pick 3 side dishes for the same price as 2, and that neither the cashier nor the manager could read the menu, and that they would take their business elsewhere. Both were missing two or three teeth.

– One twenty-something-year-old man who, upon receiving $12 or so in one-dollar bills, remarked “Good thing I’m going to Vegas!”. The previous day, he had commented on his small bills being primarily spent in exotic bars.

– More than a few people with gas-station-related questions. Gasoline isn’t on the menu for a good reason. Talk to the guy with the “SHELL” vest, not the “WENDY’S” hat. Bathrooms and coffee dispensers aren’t our problem either.

– A handful of individuals who were displeased with the fact that, yes, we need a minute to cook your chicken sandwich. Should’ve ordered it raw if there was a rush.

– One health and safety inspector sent in from our corporate office. There has not been a more agonizing three hours in my recent memory. I believe the final score was 85%.

– And, despite many orders of chili, not a single finger comment. Dad threatened to come in after work and order a “large chili, hold the finger”. I informed him that he would not like the finger I would hold.

There are three Wendy’s restaurants in my college town. One of them might even be on campus. When it comes time for me to find another part-time job, I’ll know to look elsewhere.

5 Things Your Son Needs for College (Not)

My son is leaving for his freshman year of college in four just a few days (who’s counting?).

I may have blogged about it a few times here and there (and maybe here too).

Some of you are overly concerned for my well-being after he leaves. I’ve been finding business cards from mental health professionals left under my front door mat.

I’m pretty sure that was Dr. Phil tailing me in his BMW as I drove to Starbucks yesterday morning to drown my sorrows.

But seriously, this is an exciting time for all of us.

For him because he gets to realize his dreams, get started on his future, move away from his oppressive parents, leave home just as his little sister hits her teens, stay up as late as he wants, and drink as much Dr. Pepper as his stomach can handle.

And for me because I can finally dig through that room, find the carpeting I’m pretty sure we installed twelve years ago, and open the windows to let the fresh air waft away the smell of boy.

I may even find that cat I think we used to have.

In the final days of preparing him to live on his own, we went on a bit of a shopping spree the other day.

His list was long and detailed and (luckily) we already had most of what he needed.

Cha-ching cha-ching.

But apparently there are certain items that a college-bound boy finds no need for, and should a mother mention them? Eyes will roll.

Kleenex tissues He has informed me that these are unnecessary, since he is taking a roll of paper towels.

Shower caddy Apparently no self-respecting dude would be seen with one of these handy totes for carrying your shampoo/shaving cream/toothpaste and brush/etc… to and from the communal bathroom. Who knew?

 Face towel If you’d seen the look of disbelief he shot me when I asked how many face towels he needed you’d have thought I asked him to pick his favorite shade of nail-polish. I suspect this has more to do with how many times he’ll have to do laundry than it does the actual usefulness of the face towel, because he does use one at home.

Ironing board/iron I still remember the cute table-top ironing board my mom bought me when we did our pre-college shopping trip. Come to think of it, I remember ironing things for several of my guy friends, which is probably why they don’t need their own.

Any items in any color other than black This kid’s got a black thing going on…not in a goth way, but just in a I-wear-black-all-the-time way. The only items he’s packing that aren’t black are white bath towels and a white laundry basket. Only because the laundry basket didn’t come in any other colors black.

Of course, this whole experience will not be of any help the next time I send a kid to college.

My 13 year-old daughter has already started listing all of the incredibly cute and colorful dorm room items she is going to get when she goes away in five years.

And I’m pretty sure she won’t want that white laundry basket.

For Better or for What?

Today is my 24th wedding anniversary.

There must be some mistake, since I used to think only old people could have been married this long.

We have now been married longer than we were single. It blows my mind.

People often ask hubs and I, “What’s your secret?” which then leads to an awkward silence, since we aren’t really sure we have one.

The more I thought about it, I realized that the real marriage secrets to success are pretty simple. Sure, the marriage counselors and divorce lawyers would love for us to think otherwise. But I think I found the secrets just by studying the pictures in my wedding album.

Once I dusted it off.

Simple Secrets to Marriage Success

1. Always smile and listen when your spouse is telling you something that in no way pertains to the event or situation you are currently in. Like the wife who explains kitchen paint colors in great detail during a sudden-death overtime NHL game. This obviously pertains to the picture above, where hubs is clearly explaining to me how great the donuts were at the coffee shop that morning and that he changed the oil in his car last night.

2. Surround yourselves with friends who like to have fun. Being around other goofy people has always brought out the best in our marriage.

3. It’s not always all about you. Sometimes you need to take a back seat and let someone else take the wheel for a while.

4. When you’re feeling rather cranky and a fight may be brewing? Get some food. Sometimes the only thing between you and an epic battle with the spouse is a big plate of mashed potatoes.

5. Be careful what you throw. That pelting with 15 bags of rice may have stung a bit, but the wrong words thrown at a loved one can leave scars for a very long time.

6. When words fail you, there’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned kiss.

So to my wonderfully patient, funny, supportive, loving, and handsome husband…a very Happy 24th Anniversary!

I can’t wait for the next 24.