Over the seasons, we have seen our beloved Pretty Little Liars wreak havoc on the town of Rosewood, PA. Their girlfriends turn up dead, their boyfriends turn up fake-dead, and their parents are forced to take extended mental health vacations to cope with the stress of raising such hijinks-prone daughters. But what is life like for the little people of their town? The people on the sidelines of the story? The waitresses?
THE REAL HEROES.
As a veteran water-pourer, I can tell you with stunning accuracy how each of the Liars — and a few other members of their milieu — act when they’re taking a break from the terror to get a bite to eat.
“This isn’t medium rare.”
Spencer is a difficult customer. She has high standards and she wants them met with exactitude. She will send back multiple dishes, request a new fork for each course, and specify the desired number of ice cubes in her water. As you walk away, you hear her mutter “I could brûlée a better creme IN MY SLEEP.” You grit your teeth, you trash talk her to the other waitresses but you just can’t hate her. I mean…
Difficult or not, at the end of the meal she gets out her calculator and tips you precisely 20%
Hanna Marin is a classic off-menu orderer. A sample interaction:
Hanna: I am really craving some twizzlers. Do you have that?
Waitress: Um. This is a restaurant? We don’t have twizzlers.
Hanna: OK, but could you get some? For me?
She crinkles her nose adorably and you somehow find yourself walking to the nearest convenience store.
Hanna will also try and use her mother’s expired library card as a fake ID. She’s so sweet you give her a glass of Chardonnay, but question this decision when you find her in the kitchen, looking hopefully inside pasta boxes in case there are large amounts of cash inside.
At the end of the day, though, Hanna’s fear of poverty overrides her ethics, and it’s a measly 15% for you.
“It’s ok, I’m a waitress too.”
Emily Fields is the perfect customer. She says “thank you” every time you refill her water. Hell, she says “thank you” every time you walk by. She not only stacks her dishes, she offers to wash them herself, since you look really busy. At the end of the meal, she leaves you 30% and an encouraging note. The only downside is that she leaves at all.
“I’ll just sit here a while, if that’s ok.”
Aria is tricky because there are two distinct versions of her. Pre-breakup, she was a nightmare of dietary restrictions and requests for every conceivable thing “on the side.” Post-breakup, she doesn’t even touch her food, just sits next to the window, clutching a mug of tea as though it’s the only source of warmth in the universe. You offer her a free dessert, both out of pity and the hope that it will pad your tip. But when she leaves the table, you find that all she has left you is a pigeon feather and a poem scrawled on the check.
I’m waiting for rain.
That’s when we find each other.
I curse the blue sky.
And you just want to run after her, flinging the feather at her tiny form, screaming “keep it! And your shitty haiku!”
“It’s OK, I didn’t like this shirt anyway.”
Paige McCullers, as a customer, is fine. It’s what she does to you as a waitress that’s so terrible. You find yourself suddenly clumsy, spilling food on her button-up and stumbling over your recitation of the specials, unsure if you want her or just her clothes. You get a 20% tip and a lot of confused looks.
You will never actually get the chance to wait on Toby Cavanaugh. Here’s why:
Waitress: Sir? Sir, excuse me but I can’t serve you without a shirt on.
Toby: Oh really? How about now?
Waitress: Did you just flex at me?
Toby: Yeah, that usually wo — wait — are you a friend of Emily’s?
Toby: Pink drinks? The Rosebud? Don’t worry, I’m a friend.
Waitress: Why do you keep winking at me? WHO ARE YOU?
He merely flexes at you once more and storms off in search of a straight waitress.
“I’d like the steak. Bloody. Begging for mercy, if possible.”
Mona is a pretty easy customer. She texts frantically on her phone the entire time, and something in her expression tells you to give her a wide berth. When you drop the check she excuses herself to the bathroom, and is gone so long you start to worry about her. You knock on the door. No answer. In fact, there is no one inside and the bill is unpaid. She must have snuck out the window except THERE IS NO WINDOW. You clear her table, grumbling “fucking Rosewood.”
Thanks to Margaret Rosie (@margaretrosey) for the amazing photos.