Not a lot of drama has been going on at the job. Which basically means no one has been pissing me off too much lately. So I thought I would take a minute to write about someone who shaped who I am as a bar bitch. Like I said, I got thrown into this whole bar thing and didn't know a Bud Light from a Jack Daniel. I was just out of Jesus College and the only time I had ever really been drunk was the time I drank too much AfterShock (anyone remember that shit?) when one of my friends stole some from her mom. At the time, I worked at a place that had a pretty solid happy hour crowd. The girl that trained me was named Brandy. First of all, I have never met a "Brandy" that wasn't cool as shit (except for my whore cousin, but I think she spells her with an "i" with a heart over it. But whatever.) Let me give you a basic visual of Brandy. She had curly hair, green eyes that always was mascared perfectly, and probally the most perfect set of teeth I've ever seen on a person. Oh, and she was about six feet tall. To this day, she is the best bartender I have ever seen step behind a bar. She owned that shit. If she was slinging drinks, goddammit, YOU were going to have a good time, YOU were not going to start any shit, and YOU were going to tip the fuck out of her because she was just that good. She was in a word, a badass.
And she was going to be training me to do something I knew nothing about. And I was scared shitless.
When I first started bartended, we used mini-bottles (guess which redneck state I'm from). And if you didn't know your shit, well, you had to answer to her and that was not something you ever wanted to do. And as much as I bitch and moan, I know I'm a kick ass bartender. I was trained by the 007 of them.
To see her behind the bar was really a spellbinding experience.She knew everyone's drink by heart and had it in front of them before they even sat down. And she made damn sure the rest of us did too. Even today, I can't remember people's name for shit. But If I've servered you more than twice, I will know what your drink for the rest of your life. It's one of the few things I pride myself on. Brandy trained me to make sure a drink was refreshed the second it was done, if they asked for it or not. I remember asking her one time, "What if they don't want another drink?" to which she replied, "Sit that shit in front of them, they will fucking drink it." And they did. She introduced herself to every single new person that sat at that bar, shaked their hands, gave them that smile and instantly that person became a loyal regular. It was amazing to watch.
Also, no one, and I mean, no one, fucked with her. You know that chick that started Coyote Ugly that is supposed to be so tough. Bitch had nothing on Brandy.If a guy big enough to win a Tough Man contest was getting a little rowdy, she would tell him to shut the fuck up. And he would, indeed, shut the fuck up. There was no fighting or bullshit on her watch. Someone once told me that she one time jumped over the bar and put a guy in a headlock because he was starting shit. I don't doubt it one bit. This was a girl that had a set of lips tatooed on her ass (no lie, I've seen it). "If you got a problem, kiss my ass."
And come closing time, she always did last call. She was ready to go out herself, and she would be goddamed if these people were going to hold her up. People didn't dick around, and they got the fuck out. She just had that kind of presence.
And I'm pretty sure, everyone was in some type of love with her. She could talk to anybody and she did something few people in life are capable of. She made people that came to her bar feel special. And if you behaved yourself, she would take such good care of you, that going to another bar would be like cheating on your wife. But don't get me wrong, she was always in control. She had a look in her eyes that said, "Fuck with me or my bartenders or the staff and I will fucking break your ass." And now, if anyone tries to fuck with me, my inner Brandy comes out and let's just say, very few people fuck with me. I'll always have her to thank for that.
And bitch made (well deserved) bank. I remember hearing a rumor one time that they wanted her to become a manager. To which she basically said "fuck that, I ain't takin' a pay cut". Bartending was in her blood and she was the best. She taught me a lot but the best thing about Brandy was, when work was done, work stayed at work. We were going out, going to have the time of our lives and you would probally have a pretty good story the next day.This is the girl that egged my Bible college ass to enter an amature night strip contest. To which I can proudly to this day say I won.
Okay, so now here's the kicker. I haven't seen Brandy in years, but through the grapevine I heard she was having a baby. Of course, I knew she would make a great mom. Even in all her badassness, she had some sort of maternal quality about her. And I have found that the a lot of people who were the wildest, something changes in them when they have kids and they are great parents. A former roommate of mine (another Brandy actually) would pull some shit that would literally make me jaw drop. But she always kept shit real, and had a "take me or leave me type" of attitude that I respect. She's now a PTA, minivan driving supermom to two great kids.
So I keep up with Brandy on Facebook and it is obvious that kid is her world. It makes me smile to hear the girl who would make Sorority bitches cry when she snatched their drinks out of their hands a 2 AM talk about taking her little girl to the park and planning her first birthday party. It also makes me smile for my future. Those old times I had with Brandy were good ole' days for me. And I know they were good days for her too, but I know as much fun as we had then, these are her best days. I hope to one day be as lucky.
Brandy is still bartending. It's in her blood, although I doubt she would have had any problems with any career she tried. Motherhood may have softed her up a bit, but I know she still has that look in her eye that says, "Fuck with me or my kid and I will fucking break your ass." Sometimes at closing time, I imagine her in her bar doing last call and telling everyone to get the fuck out of the bar. She has a kid to get home to and she'll be goddam if these people are going to hold her up. And you can bet your ass that they don't dick around.