Falling in Love with Food Service Workers

Everyone has a “type.”  Some people like athletes.  Some like skaters, hippies or bookworms.  Me?  I like a man who feeds me– well, because I can’t do it very well myself.  My cooking skills begin at tearing the packaging off of my frozen pad thai, and end at plopping it in the microwave.  It’s sad and embarrassing, but love me for me, okay?  You’d think that my culinary ineptitude and geographic location would drive me to pursue sous-chefs at fancy New York restaurants, but alas– I’m a vegetarian and everyone knows that herbivorousness is a turn-off to Serious Foodies. Plus, food culture can get really snobby, and that ain’t my deal.  As a result of my unsophisticated palate and semi-socialist ideals, I’ve developed a weird “thing” for food service workers– the everymen of the food world– the food truck employees, cafe baristas, and grocery store workers who keep food and beverage in my belly without forcing me to pronounce weird French words.  They’re broke-ass cooks who keep it real, just how I like it.

Growing up, I had a strange ambition to marry a man who worked at Trader Joe’s.  No doctors, lawyers, or men in uniform– Child Carrie was only interested in finding a husband who could produce a mean soyrizo sample.  However, my infatuation with budget foodies was not solidified until years later, when I developed a crush on a man who I will call “Sturdy.”  Sturdy worked at a hip taco truck and was a god-among-men in the looks department.  Tall, with a sweet smile and a sturdy build that earned him his nickname, Sturdy also possessed a swoon-worthy interest in rap music and a tendency to dress like a Dad on Vacay.  In short, he filled the empty tortilla of my soul with lots of South-of-the-Border feelings.  However, what really got me feeling spicy were Sturdy’s giant hands, which he used to roll tightly-wrapped, perfectly-flavored burritos in a technique that my friend dubbed “The Steamroller.”  I believe that hands reveal a lot about a person (palm reading exists for a reason, right?), so when I experienced this beauty’s taut burritos– in comparison to his lazy, limp-wristed co-worker’s sand bags that gushed Mexi juices– I decided that I wanted Sturdy to steamroll me, too.  He had a skill!  And one that I sucked at, no less.  He could use those humongous mitts to give me nourishment, and I found it super attractive.

But Sturdy’s dexterous burrito-rollers are just one example of the many perks of potentially dating a food-service worker.  I’ve realized that when you hang with food service-ers, you’re always satisfied– and not in a sexual way (get your mind out of the gutter!).   I’m talking about something else, something just as awesome:  free meals.  Employees at places like Whole Foods take home free and discounted groceries all of the time, and who are they are going to think of when they inherit that vat of spicy curry?  Their BF/GF, duh!  If your babe is a cook, you can also go to his or her workplace and score free food– any fool with common decency would not charge the object of their affection.  Think of all the money you will save by not having to pay for pesky things like eating!  You’ll be able to save your wad for more important purchases such as clothes, booze, and concerts.

The Sturdies of the world also frequently work double time.  I’m pretty sure that most kids don’t grow up thinking, “It’s my dream to make cappuccinos for moms in Park Slope,” but they find the flexibility of food service jobs convenient while they pursue their real ambitions of being jazz musicians, performance artists, or documentary filmmakers.  This means a couple of things, first: food service workers are complex people– like the onions they chop in bulk at their gourmet sausage stands, they have layers.  Secondly, they are hard-working– often toiling full-time at their food jobs to pay the rent, and burning the midnight oil at band practice or magician school off-the-clock.  Who wouldn’t want an ambitious, multi-faceted mate who can also provide them with free meals?  An idiot, that’s who.

So, ladies and gents, I encourage you to go out and find your own Sturdy– cities like Brooklyn are rife with them!  There aren’t many people who can nourish your body and mind, literally and figuratively, so let’s embrace the food service workers out there who can!  Next time you’re in line at that taco truck, asking for extra mochi on your fro yo, or ordering that smoothie, why don’t you give a little wink-wink to the cutie behind the counter?  I promise you, you’ll never go hungry again.

Image via Celluloid Film Review

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About the author

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food, but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends to have a flair for the dramatic.

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