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The Barmaid Blog™: Life for a 30-something Manhattan Barmaid

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Day by Day

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Yankee Stadium
I hope everybody enjoyed the long weekend! For readers who don't live in the United States: Labor Day supposedly celebrates workers of all kinds, but originally it was a political nod to socialists. There's a small movement afoot, here and there, to eliminate Labor Day and make our Election Day a national holiday instead, so that more people will actually take the time to vote. Frankly, if we keep having to choose between the lesser of who gives a damn, I'm not sure it'll help anyway.


All things considered, Jessica's last shift ever at the Bar is pretty anticlimactic. It's not a very busy night because of the holiday weekend, and precisely because so many people are out of town, Todd hasn't planned any real festivities to mark the occasion (those will come later). A little after 10pm, though, Former B-list Actor comes in with a couple of friends.

FBA is probably best known for playing someone's husband on a great sitcom for a little while, and he also did a few movies, but he never achieved serious name recognition. I guess he's used to people recognizing him all the time but rarely coming up with his name, because he introduces himself when I go over to serve him. He's a funny, genuinely friendly guy, and he brightens up the place for a couple of hours telling stories.

Later, as we're closing up, Jessica remarks that she never realized that FBA was so short.


Saturday night I'm on with Maya, our newest barmaid, and Vince is barbacking. The Yankees lost pretty badly to Minnesota earlier in the day, so the mood among the few people who've shown up to drink isn't great. It's quiet enough that we can take actual breaks where we actually leave the floor to have a bite to eat or whatever, and Maya heads out front for a smoke. I wave Vince over from where he's chatting with someone at the jukebox.

"Yeah, Debra, what's up?"

"Vince, did you figure out yet where you already knew Maya from?"

"Who said I already knew her? I said she reminded me of someone."

I smile. "I don't hear you denying it."

He shrugs. "I'm not."

I very carefully ask, "So did you figure out where you already knew her from?"

His turn to smile. "Yes." And he turns around and goes back to the jukebox.


It's Sunday. I'm in my pajamas, it's time for brunch, and I'm the only one here.

Cassie is with her boyfriend Olimpio, visiting his family for the weekend in Rhode Island. Jill is out of town for a wedding. Jessica is with her fiance, packing to move to San Francisco. Dara is with her mother at one of the casinos in Connecticut for the weekend. Bria is at her beach house share in Westhampton. There certainly won't be a poker game today. I even checked in during the week with my old friend Molly, but she's on some kind of four-day bike tour. I'm not in the mood to start calling around to see if any of my other friends are in town, because I'm sure they're not and that would be just too depressing.

I chose to stay in town and work the holiday weekend, because it was the only way I could accept Bria's invitation to go with her to the beach house for the third weekend of September. And it's kind of nice how quiet the city is, with so many people gone. But the whole weekend, either it's raining or the ground is wet from recent rain, so opportunities for adventure or enjoying the outdoors on my own are slim.

Instead of ordering in the traditional ton of bagels and spreads, I make a small pot of coffee, then I pour myself a big bowl of Cap'n Crunch with skim milk, and I spread out on the Comfy Couch all by myself to watch the Yankee game. They win, 10-1.


Jill returned last night from her friend's wedding upstate, and she walks me to work at the Bar today, telling me the whole way that she has to figure out exactly the right words to use to ask Vince out on a date. She's had a pretty serious crush on him since the first night she met him, but has not had the best of luck maintaining her composure while trying to get to know him better. She's nearly positive that he's not interested in her, but she says she's let too many chances go by in the past with other guys because she had no idea what to say, and she doesn't want to regret this one, too. She's been thinking about it all weekend, and she's pretty sure she's got it narrowed down to two approaches: first, asking Vince if he wants to go see a few bands with her at Southpaw next Thursday; second, telling him straight out that she likes him and wants to get to know him better, then asking him if he feels the same way.

I find it a little hard to believe that a fairly attractive woman of 28 could possibly have gotten this far in life with that kind of middle school concept of dating, but if she really did respond to her gorgeous friend Scott pursuing her during college by spending more time in the library, I don't find it that hard to believe. I've been living with her and Cassie for close to three years, and she sure hasn't dated much. I pray quietly that she goes with the first approach.

I start my shift at six, and Vince won't come on to replace Tommy until eight. Jocelyn and I are on the bar until eight, at which point Amy will come in to replace Jocelyn. Later, Jocelyn and I will figure out that by neither of us paying much attention to what the other was doing, we manage to serve Jill five cosmopolitans during those two hours. Vince walks in a few minutes before eight, high-fiving Bill at the door and wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt, and Jill doesn't waste any time. She gets up from her stool, stops him in his tracks before he can get to the back room to clock in, and says, "Southpaw."

Vince says, "What?"

"It's in Brooklyn," she says, and I see her face starting to turn red.

"I know, I've been there."

"Not next week you haven't," she remarks, and laughs nervously. I almost can't watch.


Jill stands there silently, and I see a tear start to run down her cheek. I'm just about to step in and help her ask him on this date when she shakes her head, takes a deep breath, grabs Vince by the shirt, and kisses him. After the first awkward moment of surprise, he starts kissing her back.

The third approach it is, then.


Tuesday night was not a good night for the Yankees, losing 5-0 to Kansas City. And they benched my boy Jason Giambi for the whole game, because he's been slumping lately. (Monday night he even shaved off his moustache in the middle of the game to try to get something going! Soon afterwards, he, um... got hit by a pitch. Twice. I guess it wasn't the moustache.) But I have a feeling that things are about to change for him, maybe as soon as tonight - because I had another dream about him last night.

Now, I've been fighting this battle with myself almost since I started the blog. How much do I share? It doesn't embarrass me that much to talk about sex... it's just weird talking about it with people whom I've never met. I don't want that to be the reason people read my blog, and I don't want my blog to turn into some kind of Penthouse Barmaid Forum. :-) But I've already shared a different kind of dream with you, including some pretty personal details about my life that I hadn't otherwise felt ready to share, and the sky didn't fall.

Long story short, I think I'm ready to share this last dream. The question is, are you ready to read about it?

It's early October... the playoffs. Yankee Stadium is filled to overflowing, and the excitement is electric. The boys in pinstripes have had a great September, partly because Jason Giambi has been unstoppable. He finally figured out what he needed to beat this slump.

It's me.

The game is underway, but I'm in the clubhouse behind the dugout. I'm naked, lying underneath a blanket on a massage table in the training room. The radio is on and tuned to the broadcast of the game. Jason comes in and closes the door behind him, and says, "I may bat fifth this inning." With no ceremony or prelude, he throws the blanket off me and starts going down on me. It's glorious - he knows how important this game is, and he's determined not to leave anything to chance, so he has to make me climax before he gets up to bat. He did this dozens of times in September already, so he knows exactly how I like it, and he does everything right. It takes several minutes, but I cry out as I come. Jason wipes his mouth on his sleeve, gingerly covers me again with the blanket, says, "I should be back in a couple of innings," and leaves, closing the door behind him.

I curl up in the blanket and reach over to turn up the radio just in time to hear the play-by-play announcer call Jason's three-run homer. The crowd outside roars, and the announcer remarks, "It's lucky for Jason, and for New York baseball, that he found Debra - and thank goodness she was willing to join the payroll to help him out this way." That's right, George Steinbrenner is paying me to let Jason Giambi go down on me every single time he's preparing to go up to bat. No offense to the Bar, but this is the best job I've ever had. In the dream I drift off into a catnap, awaiting Jason's return.

Now it's Wednesday, and if you'll all excuse me, I have a long, hot shower awaiting me.

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