I’ve spent the past 11 years working part-time as a waitress in a beautiful historic hotel in downtown Denver. I’m not exactly slinging burgers and fries… I serve very expensive high tea and scones to Denver’s elite in the most fabulous lobby you’ve ever seen, while a pianist plays beautiful music in the background, all while wearing a pretty black dress, pearls and an apron. It feels a little Downton Abby, but it’s a waitressing job, nonetheless.
Some people are very confused by my life.
And that’s okay, it is kind of a conundrum. I would venture to say that most Catholic school moms are not waitresses, like me. But I would also venture to say that most waitresses don’t hold a master’s degree, like me. I am a little out of place in both places but for the most part nobody really minds. And, as Dr. Suess would say, those that mind don’t matter.
I’ve had big jobs, big titles and big paychecks in my “pre-tea” life. None of them fulfilled me. I didn’t want more work and more stress—what I wanted was more simplicity. I wanted to be able to do something outside the home that brought me contentment.
And I can honestly say that this work of service has been a source of great joy for me.
I have met so many wonderful friends through my work—people I never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I now have friends from Somalia, Senegal, Moldova, Ethiopia and Turkey, just to name a few. These are the people through whom Christ has chosen to reveal himself to me. I have encountered Him in a way I never thought possible through my friendships with these immigrants.
It has been a beautiful revealing of His grace and mercy to hear the harrowing stories of how my friends came to this place and what they had to give up to be here. These people have brought such richness to my life that sometimes it’s for them alone that I continue to hold on to this little job after all these years.
My life at home keeps getting busier and my kids schedules are becoming ever more full. And I worry that as they grow older that they will have a stigma around having a mom who is a waitress. The weight of their potential shame is something I carry around with me everywhere.
This little job is one of the most beautiful things I have ever been lucky enough to be a part of. I know it can’t last forever, but for now I remain joyfully and victoriously underemployed.