Meeting Good in the Neighborhood


Nine years ago today, I met my now husband Cory. Actually, let’s back up a titch. I knew of him before this day, but it wasn’t until Oct. 19, 1999 that we had our first conversation. It’s an amusing little tale, so I thought I’d share it with you.

I was working at Crapplebee’s as a hostess at the time. Cor had come in many times, but it was all I could do to open the door for him. For whatever reason, I forgot how to form sentences whenever he would enter the building.

One chilly Oct. evening, I was working the parking lot. No, Applebee’s didn’t run a side “entertainment” biz. Instead, they would have one of the hostess man the parking lot whenever a concert or event was taking place at the big arena next door. Didn’t want any concertgoers taking up the parking spots.

My manager always found a way of picking on me and making my life hard – as if being a Crapplebee’s hostess and going to college wasn’t hard enough – and this night was no exception. He chose to play a little prank and told me that the “new policy” was for employees to put on the bumblebee uniform when working the lot. Ummm…OK.

So, being the compliant employee that I was, I went out back to get it (yes, it was outback in the shed by the dumpsters, probably housing possums or something!), and it’s this NASTY bee costume that looks like it’s 20 years old. I put the filthy thing on – the head weighed more than I did at the time – and headed out to the lot.

The longer I stood out there, putting the smack down on anyone who dared enter the lot without the intention of dining, the more I had people yelling, honking and, finally, flipping me off. It was that flipped bird that did it for me. I tore that oversized bee head off and finished out the night with it sitting at my feet. (All the while, all of the employees are inside laughing it up that I put it on to begin with. Of course, there was no bee policy. I was just mental.)

Turns out, that rude, bird-flipping teen was actually an angel sent from Heaven. Why? Because moments after I ripped that head off, another car pulled in…Cory’s car. Thank goodness he didn’t come before and see me in that stupid, dirty head with bobbling antennas.


Wow! I did a Google search for the Applebee's Bee, and I actually found an image of it. This is what that stupid thing looked like. See what I mean about the size of its mellon?


This time I had to muster up the courage to talk to him, because I had to tell him the rules of the lot, and I’m so glad that I did. We ended up talking for a while, until my stupid-ass manager decided it would be funny (because he knew I was IN LOVE with this customer) to hop in his car and pull up behind Cor, who was still sitting in the Crapplebees driveway talking to me. My manager held down his horn and told Cor to get out of the way. That was it; off Cor went. Ooohhh, I was so mad.

After he had officially ruined my life (I was 18 at the time, so it felt that way), Steve told me I was done with lot duty for the night, and he drove off.

I made my way back inside, my head hanging low, and a jumbo bee head under one arm. Then…a familiar sports car rumble. Yes…he was back. Cor pulled up along side me and asked me out. We went right inside, saddled up the bar and had dinner. It was our first date, and boy was it nice (even if it was Crapplebee’s). We dated for six years after that before we finally tied the knot. And every year since that night nine years ago, we’ve gone back to that Crapplebee’s for a special anniversary dinner (Cor has the steak and I have the Oriental Chicken Salad, no almonds, extra dressing)…and not once have we encountered a bee buzzing around their lot. For all I know, the Board of Health told them to burn that thing!

Happy anniversary, Bear!
Love,
Your Bee