Would you like fries with that?

I swore up and down, on someone's grave, that I would never be a waitress again. Ever. I'm a twenty-something, I graduated from college, I have a career. There's no reason I should be struggling to buy groceries, put gas in my car or go to dinner with friends. No way. None. I spent twenty-some-odd-thousand dollars on an education. I should at least make enough money to pay that off and support myself. Right?

Er, no.

Write this down: this week, I will peruse the part-time job field. I've hit the wall. The inevitable wall that screams, "Krista! You have a journalism degree! Somewhere between the unemployed and teachers you make far too little money! (Oh, and, by the way, there's something about the economy and the price of crude oil, too, that doesn't help)!"

Damn you, Wall. Damn you.

All I ask is that I have enough leftover money in my wallet to stop biting my nails. Oh, and get a haircut every once in a while. Maybe treat myself to a magazine at the grocery store, or eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese instead of the 29 cent box of generic shells and cheese at Aldi's.

So I've chosen the service industry as my form of monetary satisfaction. (Funny, however, that a twenty-some-odd-thousand-dollar education can't bring me monetary satisfaction...) Nonetheless, soon you'll be hearing, "Hi, my name is Krista and I'll be your server tonight."

I shudder at the thought.

There are two things about this wild idea that make me cringe, the first being, "Dangit, I don't want two jobs." And the third being, quite frankly, I'm not a people person. Remember stranger danger? Yeah. I don't like strangers. When I'm stressed, I bite my nails. Sometimes cry. Waitressing (or bartending) is stressful and full of strangers. When your steak isn't cooked to your liking, no, it's not my fault. I didn't cook it. When I bend down to grab you a beer from the cooler, no, you can't comment on my cleavage. If I even have commentable cleavage. Which I don't think I do, but this is not the point. The point is I want to bang my head against the wall and squeeze a tear from my eyes, which are clenched shut because I think if I wish really hard, I'll have won the lottery when I open them.

I just opened them. The computer screen is still staring me in the face and my checkbook still has a balance of $10.57.

Shoot.

Now, despite my melodramatics, this will all become worth it when I come home night after night with a wad of cash in my pocket, which certainly didn't grow there by itself. It'll be worth it when I can get a ridiculously over-priced haircut, or when I can fill my gas tank to the brim and not have to sacrifice that day's dinner to do it. It'll be worth it when I don't have to plan three months in advance to make any purchase over $35, so it'll fit into my tight budget. It'll be worth it when, because I can afford it, I can say, "Yes, dangit, I do want fries with that."