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Published January 05, 2012

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A friend once asked me why men are fascinated with waitresses. She honestly did not know. This is what I wrote her:

15. Waitresses are strippers with food. I mean this on a business-model level. Both vocations exchange a service the man desires (cheeseburger delivery or shimmying boob delivery) in order to earn a to-be determined gratuity based upon overall performance. Customer and employee benefit from the transaction. The woman is paid. The man receives a service he could not get at that moment from his wife/girlfriend/sad loneliness. Waitresses and strippers go home with a stack of singles. This is not a coincidence.
 
14. Uniforms are sexy. When a man sees a woman in uniform the following information is processed at microsecond speed. “I know that woman’s status. There is a person, probably a man, who tells this woman what to wear every day. She probably yearns to rid herself of the uniform so she can wear what she wants, when she wants, and be free. I could liberate this woman from that margarita-logo golf shirt. I could be the America to her Iraq in the Middle East that is this cruel Applebee’s.
 
OK, Iraq may not be the best example, but you get the point. Men look at women in uniform the way neocons look at poor countries that hate us. With boners.
 
13. Waitresses are not a man’s wife or girlfriend. I don’t need to explain this one.
 
12. Waitresses come in many varieties. Every waitress is like a Christmas present. You never know what you’re going to unwrap. Will she be smart, beautiful, funny, sarcastic, professional or some magical combination of all of the above? Or will she be totally dead inside? That can also be good. A totally-dead-inside-woman tends not to complain when you ask for a second ketchup bottle at 3 AM because your friend drank the one that was on the table. She won’t complain.
 
11. Waitresses are hard workers. Men get to watch waitresses work. You can tell a lot about a person by watching them work. If she works hard, a man thinks, “She would work hard for me.” If she doesn’t work hard a man thinks, “Great rack.”
 
10. Ordering a meal is a microcosm of a relationship.
 
Introduction
The waitress and the man say hello. They smile. They learn each other’s names. They exchange pleasantries. Maybe she touches his arm. It’s the first date.
 
Booze
As with most beginning relationships, alcohol soon makes an appearance. Good times.
 
Sex
OK, men don’t actually have sex with the waitress in restaurants, unless they’re Charlie Sheen. In lieu of sex, a woman carries food to the man and the man eats that food. This can make a man feel as good as sex, without all of the awkward apologizing afterwards.
 
She watches you eat
Fact: The vast majority of time spent in long-term relationships is spent watching the other person eat. The remainder of that time is spent looking out car windows and sighing.
 
Money
Like the saying goes, we all pay for it one way or another. At least with a waitress, there is the possibility of a doggy bag. You can’t doggy-bag a wife. Or … can you?
 
Wait, no, you can’t.
 
That was stupid.
 
Exit
The meal ends. The man leaves when the man wants to leave. If the man wants to come back, the man comes back. Either way, it is up to the man. Psychologically this is new territory for us.
 
9. Waitresses have excellent memories and that makes them look smart. I love it when a waitress memorizes a large order. Mental agility is sexy. It probably has something to do with Caveman Theory. In the days of yore, a woman with a sharp mind could be relied upon to remember where the man put the spear, the milk, the codpiece, the fire, the wimpy baby, the warrior baby, etc.
 
8. Men often misinterpret small talk. The waitress says, “Hi, sweetie.” The man hears, “You should ask me out.” The waitress says, “I wouldn’t worry about calories if I was you.” The man hears, “You have the hottest body I have ever seen and I want to wear your pants like a hat.” The waitress says, “Come back.” The man hears, “She wants to see me again. On a date. With candles. And music. And putt-putt.”
 
7. Waitresses know a little bit about everything. You can talk to a waitress. They are generally very interesting people who might be putting themselves through school, who are raising families or who pay attention to the world and can hold an intelligent conversation. Waitresses are nature’s barbers.
 
6. You can infer information from a waitress. You can take an educated guess about her financial status, personality, work ethic, intelligence, politics and where she’s from. You also can see how well she balances a series of dinner plates on one arm, a key detail in most (all) of my personal sex fantasies.
 
5. Waitresses do not make more money than a man. If you’re a man and you’re intimidated by women with money, dating a waitress is not a threatening proposition. Also if you’re a man and you’re intimidated by a woman with money, you’re a douche.
 
4. All waitresses have another talent. Every waitress is a struggling actress, musician, writer, painter, etc. She has taken this job for the love of her art. She is struggling. She is fighting. She is trying to live the dream. If you’re a man and you don’t find that a little attractive, you need to hand in your balls to the Commissioner of Balls.
 
3. Only good things happen when a waitress is around. When a waitress comes to your table, the following things happen: menus appear, food appears, booze appears, a woman appears, more booze appears, the table is cleaned, ice cream makes an appearance and sometimes there is sassy give-and-take. It’s all positive with a waitress.
 
2. Waitresses don’t come with training wheels. When a man sees a waitress, he knows she probably has had roughly 11 to 340 boyfriends in her lifetime. This makes a man–even the ugliest, homeliest man–think that he has an actual shot with her.
 
1. Waitresses are women who are nearby. I can’t overstate this. For a man to notice a woman, she must be attractive and within his line of sight, and a waitress is usually both of these things.
 

(Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles. He publishes The Humor Columnist.)

 

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