Tuesday February 17, 2015
This night last week I sat in the elegant maroon seats of the Westin Hotel in New York City, among CIA Agents, Entrepreneurs, Investors and Inventors, I sat among the elite, the brilliant, the Harvard Graduates and Business sharks of New York. My hair was curled, my make-up perfect and I was dressed to the nines, in true New York Socialite fashion. Wine flowed freely as we discussed which young, new entrepreneur to fund. The food never stopped coming, even as plates of fine cheeses and rich, creamy pastas, fresh salads and sizzling, spiced meats lay full before us. I barely noticed the server, let alone the busser.
Tonight I ran around the restaurant in my bussers uniform: black slacks, a men’s small shirt and a tie, my hair pulled back tight, not pretty, merely practical. I bustled around serving fine steaks to robust business men and wine to women in heels and perfect styled hair. Clearing plates, cleaning tables, dishes and tending to the needs of the servers and guests, throwing away pounds upon pounds of untouched food. I work hard, I have to just to keep up with the guys, it’s typically a man’s job. And just as I barely noticed anyone below my realm of fancy people, all night I went unnoticed save for the one time I accidentally bumped a customer.
The surreality of my life feels like Cinderella, dressed and sparkling one night, covered in ashes and food scraps the next. But unlike Cinderella, I won’t get to the palace through a prince, I’ll get there on my own volition. I will know what it’s like to be on both sides of the table. I will work my hardest to be the very best, but never climb without remember those who helped me there. I will find happiness not in the money I can spend on that dinner out, but with whom I have to share it, and end the end of the day, I’ll cherish the beautiful ball gowns and comfortable life, because I know the nights spends cleaning dishes and studying late after work that it took to get there. And sometimes I wonder if those already there see the value of the castle they’re already in.