A couple of years ago a young man had his first night as a 'food runner' at the restaurant. I showed him around and got him aquinted with what he needed to do. He seemed like a very nice young fellow, and as I do with all the youngsters that work in the restaurant, I asked him how old he was, and when he told me I then told him I could be his mother. I am the "oldie" of the restaurant and could be the mother of most of the people I have worked with there.
His name was Michael and he said his mom was going to come in for dinner that night. I thought how adorable that was and that my son would NEVER let me come to his place of employment on his first night. It endeared me to him.
It was a busy summer weeknight and I was working in the favorite room of all our patrons, the bar. I was bartending as well. His mom came in and as I looked at her, her familiar face made me certain I had waited on her before. I had no idea who she was. Just a familiar face.
Mike and his Mom
I fumbled with my brain for a moment as I stood at the table, trying to come up with her name. It was on the tip of my tongue. Finally something like Jill Clayburgh came out and the people stood amazed at my recall and nodded their heads. Yes it was Jill Clayburgh.
I could not wait to go tell my boss that 'our new guy's' mom was Jill Clayburgh.
When I told her, she and the hostess with her, laughed at me like I was some kind of crazy person. "No she is not Jill Clayburgh". They both emphatically stated. She made a reservation and it is under the name Rabe. Both of them seemed to know this "Rabe" person and who am I to argue. It was fun while it lasted.
I did not want to draw attention to 'whoever it was' that we (me and this other table) had been talking about, so I slipped them a note saying...Not Jill Clayburgh...Somebody else.
They looked at me as though to say, okay whatever you say.
As I stated, it was a busy night and I had much more to do than wonder who Mike's mom was. Whoever she was she was quiet, pleasant and a nice person to wait on.
The wondering of all this got the best of my boss though and she went in the kitchen and said something to Mike like, "What is your mothers name?" I guess that is a pretty simple question. And without pausing, Mike said, "Jill Clayburgh".
Yes I knew it. I did not want to argue and I never do when someone is so sure of something like they were, but deep down I knew I was right...or she had a body double.
I never told this story to Mike until his last night in the restaurant. It gave him a smile. He was a wonderful young man, clearly raised by wonderful people.
The story still makes me smile to this day and it was with great sadness that I learned of her passing last night.
Sending heartfelt condolences to Mike and his family