We recently published Sarah Freligh’s gorgeous “All We Wanted.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) What I like best about this piece is how it evokes that job. You know the one! Where the boss was a Juanita and you’d hide in the cooler with your work friends. It’s such a nostalgic feeling! What was your job that was the most like this one?
That job would be my first waitress job, at a country club of all places. I had to learn to de-bone pickerel tableside and to carry trays of exotic drinks in fragile glasses without spilling a drop. There were stairs and a Juanita, too, the most efficient and greatest waitperson I ever worked with. Looking back, it was — like many restaurant jobs — a collegial experience, more so than any jobs I’ve had since. We set up, we served and at the end of the night, we put it back together and left it there until the next day.
2) And of course, there’s that perfect ending! The difference between the agony of being on your feet for work and the joy of dancing. Do you think the narrators know that, someday, they won’t want to dance after work? That someday they won’t have those small joys? Or are they just existing in this moment, the moment between the end of the workday and the delight of dancing?
They’re definitely living in the moment, not only because they’re young but also because that’s the nature of most restaurant jobs. You keep your head down and get through each shift, each rush, in mule mode and when it’s over, you dance.