No, she isn’t a beauty queen. Her name just happens to be Miss America, and the title Miss attributed to the fact that she is still very single (or so I heard). It was unconfirmed for weeks until I saw her wear an employee tag boldly inscribed with Miss America.
Miss America is a portly lady who is my daily deli breakfast attendant. If one is familiar to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Princess Sarah’s school mistress-antagonist in the novel and TV series of the same name, I say she is a New York version of Ms. Minchin . She doesn’t smile, takes orders without looking at customers and dispenses her job like she’ll be happier somewhere else. Whenever I come in and screech the longest Ms. Americaaaaa my lungs would allow, she attends to me curiously and gives me a stare that may be the frugal beginnings of a smile. A work in progress. And somehow it makes my day.
(After two weeks)
With my usual verve and smile I only reserve for the likes of Miss America, I came to the counter ordering a cinnamon bagel sliced in four and she said, ‘We don’t want to that because it is unhygienic’. Although puzzled how slicing a bagel can be unclean, I merely nodded. Then next I asked for a large iced tea with no sugar and lemon, just 2 percent milk. She said she will charge me extra for the milk. I begged and said it should be free like in all delis. She argued that it isn’t normal to put milk on iced teas, the reason for the extra-charge. My shoulder drooped in resignation, adding milk for the office to my grocery list. Miss America probably sensing my frustration, couldn’t care less. She gave me her signature lazy frown.
Well, some progress. From an upside down perspective that looked like an inverted smile.
***This was my creative letter of complaint to Miss America’s Regional Manager. ***