Originally published on my former blog on November 12, 2008.
The Arby’s guy knows my name. He knows my car when I pull through the drive through. He knows I like my large Dr. Pepper with a little extra ice. He knows I’m sort of a newlywed and that I used to work in television. No disguise works with the Arby’s guy. I’ve worn scarves, sunglasses, even gone in my husband’s car instead of mine. He always greets me by name and with a big, friendly smile.
It seems that this would be considered excellent customer service. It some ways it is, but most of the time I just wish the Arby's guy and I could pretend every time was the first time and go on about our day.
The Arby's in Hollywood is across the street from Tribune Studios, where I worked for over a year on a Fox show about nannies. This is how the Arby's guy got to know me so well. Every single morning I dropped in for my morning drink and two chocolate chip cookies for my breakfast. It is also a stones throw from my house. Not really, but in relative terms, it is very close. It is one of the only restaurant establishments within a ten mile radius that carries fountain Dr. Pepper, and they happen to have particularly yummy-mixed Dr. Pepper at Arby's. You can see my dilemma.
If I need an Arby’s Dr. Pepper first thing in the morning, during an afternoon slump, or to sip with my dinner, I always have to pause and make sure I’m presentable. Because the Arby’s guy appears to work every single shift of every single day. I swear I can only think of one time I have ventured by when he hasn’t been there.
Sometimes it’s a real pain in the rear to make sure my hair is brushed and my skin isn’t going to scare anybody. The Arby’s guy is cute enough, but he’s hardly swoon-worthy. Still, I can’t bear for him to see me looking like a disaster, which sometimes I do. It’s the non-working thing. You say you’re going to get up and get dressed in the same way you would as if you were stamping a timecard, but it doesn’t always happen. The day starts rolling like a steam engine, and before you know it you’re still in your Uggs and t-shirt, so why change now?
On day three of our honeymoon, the waiter who served us breakfast each day recognized my husband’s name on the bill, and came to our table awkwardly professing his undying love. We were in Tahiti. When he walked away, I turned to The Gorilla bummed. “Now I have to put on lipstick before breakfast. On my honeymoon.“ Maybe I should have clued in that honeymoon is one of the places where you want to look your very prettiest.
In my everyday life, it’s the Arby's guy who keeps me accountable. If he’s the only reason I slap on some mascara every day, then so be it. Beauty is pain. And I NEED my Dr. Pepper.