I have a friend that works “The Door” at a local eatery. As restaurants go, on this Island, it might be called Five Star. The decor is that, but the food and service? Well, that would depend on who’s running it at the time. Over the past seven to ten years it has maintained the same name but has been run by an assortment of restaurateurs. The name did actually change once. At all times it has been pricey, part of its Five Star ambiance.
People flock there when it’s open. There have been long stretches when it was closed. This would be for the reason of what I would refer to as “Owner Fatigue”. The owner has money, lots, and does own several lucrative businesses on the Island. Not all restaurants either, businesses completely unrelated to each other. Many people come to the keys and sink their funds into some kind of ownership. Most everybody likes to own e a little piece of The Keys.
At any rate, the Entrepreneur has more money they know what to do with and all day long to do it. The Entrepreneur does spend a lot of time and dollars on personal appearance. This includes nips, tucks, coloring, skin and hair treatments. Much time is spent at the gym, purchasing clothing, grooming. All this extends to the ownership of attractive homes and cars. These efforts, I have found, are directly attributed to the procurement of an attractive, and of course younger, partner. It works well. But the partners, like the restaurant, also change. Here now gone tomorrow. Open for business, oops – now closed.
I never see the Entrepreneur out and about that they do not look different in some way. What is it? I cannot quite put my finger on it. Had they been sucked or lifted again? Maybe it’s the car? The make is the same but the color is different. Hmmm. The scary part was at the most recent sighting – when the Entrepreneur looked younger than me! How is this possible? I guess all those expensive meals I have partaken of have resulted in this. I experience wonder, jealousy, and a new commitment to career changes.
The restaurant has become, over time, a fixture. I have eaten there many times. The best cuisine, I believe, was both the Cuban and Italian – Arroz con Pollo and Chicken Marcella. My favorites executed perfectly. Yummie. I eagerly plan my next visit, well knowing that the tab for the group I go with will easily cover a house payment for the Entrepreneur.
Back to my friend working The Door of the now open again restaurant. Working The Door is no joke, my friend complains. The clientele is referred to as “The Stiffs”. When the restaurant is newly open they are referred to as “The New” stiffs. There are all kinds: drunks, impatient, arrogant, you name it. They seem to come in all forms: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The upside is that the evening Shifts are short and the money is good. Cash is King – my friend sings at pay time.
I don’t find the restaurant all that interesting. It will close again and open again. No reason to get too attached. I don’t even find my friend’s job descriptions all that interesting. I half-listen as episodes are told. Some are funny, some are just sad. What I really do find intriguing is the News!! Who was there, who wasn’t there, who will never be there again because they passed away. It’s a good way to keep up with all the doings on this Island, for Snowbirds and Locals alike. Who’s dating, divorcing, being seen with…. it goes on and on. The celebratory News is the most mirth producing for both of us. So and so A-Lister was in and asked if we had a Private Dining room…B-Lister was in tonight, her husband tried to palm me a $50 for a better table. When this stupid News is reported there is always, always an extended episode of hardcore “Snort Laughing” on our part. Where do they think they are?? It’s The Keys, we’re relaxed here and we do not operate like the rest of the world. No special anything, no one really impresses anyone. This News is funny the first time, but even funnier, when we either see or hear of the A or B-Listers in some form of Media. We laugh about it all over again, knowing what we secretly know.
Ah – Long live the Island LIfe …