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Friday, July 8, 2011

Flashback Friday, July 8th Edition

When I was a teenager in need of some cash to buy the important things of life (aka cheap sunglasses from Spencer's and snacks from the vending machines at school), I set out to get me a real job. My mother's rule was I had to find work somewhere within walking distance from our house so she could actually drive her own car from time to time and not be called on as a taxi service. I found myself walking down what's lovingly known as Fast Food Row in my home town, filling out applications. Eventually, I received a call to come in for an interview at Arby's. For my interview, I donned A SUIT. (Nothing like a 16 year old girl wearing a suit to a job interview at a fast food restaurant. Talk about over-kill! For the record, it was a very pretty suit.) I worked at Arby's for basically three years (minus the 9 months that I was out of state going to college).

I have MANY good memories from working there that could serve as good options for Flashback Friday.

But today, I'm going to talk about Wes*

*Name changed to protect The Crazy

Wes was in interesting guy. He was 30 years old, still living home with his mother, working fast food. He had one VERY distinctive trait. The SMELL. Wes ALWAYS smelled bad. We're talking body odor that would kill an elephant. One of the night managers told me that Wes only showered when he was about to go fishing. The joke being that he had to shower so he wouldn't scare the fish away. Sadly, I did learn this was pretty much true. He showed up on his day off one time to buy lunch before going fishing. And he was clean. When he came back to work after his fishing trip, he then had the lovely addition of fish smell to go with his body odor. I will never understand how he was allowed to come to work like that. Think about that. Someone who smelled that bad was allowed to handle people's food.


But, Wes in general was a very sweet guy. Soft spoken and kind. Funny. The big teddy bear kind of guy.

And he was in love with me.

At first, I didn't believe everyone when they told me that. And then I started noticing that he did pay more attention to me than anyone else at work. And his eyes would sort of light up when he talked to me. It was flattering and creepy all at the same time.

Any doubt that I may have had was settled on Valentine's Day my senior year of high school. I came to work where I was greeted by Wes. He looked extra shy when he handed me the bouquet of roses that he'd bought for me. I still remember that there were 6 of them, and they were dark red and almost completely open. The blossoms were HUGE! It was so very sweet of him, and I'm not the kind who can just say Thank You and be done with it when a guy gives you flowers - especially roses. So I hugged him. I will admit I had to hold my breath a little, and my co-workers gave me grief about it for weeks, but I don't regret it. I know that hug probably made his day as much as the roses made mine.

My favorite animal is the rhino, and Wes knew this. When I graduated from high school, he gave me another present - two little ceramic rhinos. They were smiley and adorable. He told me that he was just going to get one, but they seemed like they were friends and he couldn't break them up. I was glad to hug him for them as well. I called them the Laughing Rhinos and took them to college with me. I kept them at eye level on my bookshelf where I could see them smiling at me every day. I still have them, and I think of him fondly every time I look at them.

I ran into Wes one day a couple years ago. I had stopped to buy gas on my way home from work, and he was working behind the counter. It was shortly after my miscarriage, so I wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone. It took me a minute to recognize him because he'd grown his hair out and had a beard (think Bob Ross from the Joy of Painting). A quick glance at his name tag verified that I was right. I was happy to see he was wearing a wedding ring. I hope his wife appreciates what a sweet guy he is.

And I hope she's taught him about soap and deodorant.


B. said...

Cute story. :-)

I had an older guy decide he liked me when I worked at a fast food place (can't remember its name now, it didn't last long and I only worked there for a few weeks). He had just gotten out of jail and was living in the halfway house. I humored him because I thought he was really cute, until he started trying to get me to go to Alaska with him! Fortunately, I only saw him one or two more times before I quit.