Sunday, December 30, 2012
She goes by Ana, her pronunciation seeming to float in the air. Ah...nah.
We had introduced ourselves before she got busy tending to other customers at the bar where I sat considering the salad options, knowing without question the pizza I'd order would be a Margherita, served straight from the coal fired oven, a bit of char on the thin crust. So excited am I to discover this Park Lane location. How had I missed it for over a year now?
I scooted my stool over to make room for the couple of kids who'd come in for a couple of beers. Ana, herself a kid to me, was surprisingly professional, carding them before pouring the drafts. I'd learned one was on his way to a semester Spanish final. Why hadn't I thought to have a couple of drinks before my college exams, I wondered.
It was hard not to overhear their conversation...
Ana is a student at Southern Methodist University. Fluent in Spanish and I surmised two other languages as well, she empathized then reassured the guy that he'd do fine on the test.
She'll be leaving SMU, perhaps for a school in Canada she told them though I didn't hear if it's by choice or lack of funds. Ana is obviously an excellent student. She finished this semester upset with her first ever "B" which hopefully hasn't played any part in her departure.
The two of us talked again before I left the restaurant, bidding Ana a safe trip to her homeland Russia for the holidays, New Year's Eve being her favorite she explained. It sounded much like our celebrations; girls dressed up and toasts at midnight when the large clock in Moscow's Red Square ticks off time.
I'm going to toast Ana myself when I ring in the New Year. What an inspiring young woman.
My friend Elizabeth called the other afternoon, thirsty for a Bloody Mary to start her holiday off right but I wasn't able to get away. I urged her to go enjoy one without me but I knew she wouldn't. Not many women I know are willing and I don't know why; you meet the most interesting people.
During my couple of hours at Grimaldi's, many people came to the bar only to pick up their To-Go orders. Debit cards were rung, minimal pleasantries exchanged, and I knew most, if not all, were completely unaware of the brains and beauty of this bartender who wished each of them a nice evening as she handed over their pizza box and they hurried out the door.
I'm wishing her a sparkling New Year's Eve and a very blessed coming year.