Sex Talk At The Bakery Should Stay At The Bakery

Zee had stopped talking to me suddenly in the middle of the summer.  

“Zee,  have you heard I Want to Sex You Up? Color Me Badd sings it,” I said when I was punching out after my shift.  He didn’t even turn around; he just kept cracking eggs into the cookie batter.

We didn't sell anything this darling. (Image credit: http://bakinginminiature.blogspot.com/2011/04/bakery-counter.html)

We didn’t sell anything this darling. (Image credit: http://bakinginminiature.blogspot.com/2011/04/bakery-counter.html)

From then on, every time he came up front where I was working as the cashier, I’d try again.  “Zee, have you designed any toilets lately?” He had enjoyed telling me about projects in design school. Our first conversation was him asking how high do you think a toilet is? My answer– four feet– made him laugh his ass off.  “Four damn feet? Girl, have you ever used a toilet before? Show me a goddamned four-foot toilet seat.”

Zee and the other prep staff were cool because they went to community college and used the money from work for rent and food instead of lip gloss and movie tickets like I did.  I tried every trick I knew to hide that I was a middle class suburban girl with a bright future that included four years at a university where my parents would pay the bills.  When I wasn’t at the bakery, I was donning my Catholic school uniform and taking AP classes.  But to Zee and his crew– Dana, Wendy,  Mikey– I wanted to seem gritty and destined for something exotic like a one bedroom apartment on Northwest Highway and a lifetime of riding the bus to my commuter school.

The best evidence that I was as cool as anyone who took the GED instead of messing around with high school was my raunch factor. I pretended to be sluttier than Miss Blanche Devereaux from Golden Girls.  I could turn everything that happened at our little bakery into a sex joke.  Cherry tarts half price on Tuesdays? Yeah, that’s what she said. I’d laugh like I was queen of the bordello.  It was Zee who always instigated the banter and relished the opportunity to educate me with lurid stories about his love life. Everything he said was news to me, since I’d only grazed first-base once in my life. 

When Zee stopped talking to me, the others followed shortly.  It was so boring I was forced to do my job and focus on the customers, all of whom I hated for being able to walk the mall freely, while I was stuck serving them brownies as big as my head.

The last day of work before I shipped off to college, I turned in my apron and name tag (which read “Cookie” instead of “Christie.” I was that edgy).

“I’ll be seeing you, Zee,” I said, expecting him to ignore me.

“Sure,” he said, not making eye contact.

“Good luck with design school. I’ll let you know if I ever see a four-foot toilet.”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“You know why I stopped talking to you, right?” He said to my back.

“Why?”

“Your mom called the manager and said I had to stay away from you.  She heard you talking on the phone one day to one of your prep school friends. You said, ‘Zee at work says if you pierce your clitoris, you can have a constant orgasm.'”

Mortified, I stood in the doorway until Mikey almost knocked me over trying to get a tray of croissants out of the walk-in.

“Zee, why didn’t you tell me?”

“I wasn’t supposed to talk to you.”

“Oh.”

“Have a good time at college,” he murmured.

“I’ll try,” I answered, feeling the gulf that was always between us swallow me up and carry me away.

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73 thoughts on “Sex Talk At The Bakery Should Stay At The Bakery

  1. Oh, how mortifying. But with that said, if you’re having trouble writing sex scenes in your book, I’m thinking all you have to do is channel your inner “Cookie” to get started.

    • Cookie and Zee would make a good team. It was pretty crazy and today, looking back, I am so proud of and grateful for my mom. She was protecting me and while it was embarrassing, now that I am a mother, I get that. Good for her for addressing the situation as she saw fit.

    • I know. I was such a big mouthed raunchy raunch…I hope I don’t have to parent a child like me. I didn’t have much good sense and I was always trying so hard to fit in to places that weren’t necessarily accepting of me or where I should be in the first place.

  2. Couldn’t your mom have talked to YOU, though? At least let you know what was going on, so you didn’t just feel ostracized? Since that can be really damaging too… 😦

  3. First of all Cookie, I was 100% sure that this post would get caught in the internet filter at work that sometimes screams “DANGER, PORN.” Lucky for me, it didn’t. Crazy that your mom talked to him, and even crazier that he listened.

  4. Cookie it is. And sexing it up is definitely your new calling! Sad, funny, wonderfully told story. I wish your mom had talked to you instead of Zee/your manager – my mom wouldn’t have either. When Sadie and Rhys are working at the bakery together, you can handle the cherry tart conversations! 😉

  5. What a great mom–she was looking out for you! I would do that too but I would have pulled the phone right out of your hand, hung up and said that “Heather” is a bad influence!! That being said, I’ve grown up and this year I told the bus driver and kids they were saying the “s” word on the bus and to cool it off (that would be “shut up”). I’m sure they completely respected it and didn’t talk about me being in my robe and slippers on the side of the street.

    • I am going to totally confront shit head on too. Ima go in there like my mama did and kick some ass. Nevermind that I can’t even tell my Nanny to wear less perfume so my kids don’t smell like her when I get home from work….Hilarious! You tell that bus driver!

  6. Your mom was way ahead of the Office of Ethics & Compliance fighting workplace harassment…probably in the Clarence Thomas days.

  7. You know your mom could and should have spoken to you. That said…mine wouldnt have either. It just wasnt done whereas protecting your daughter’s virtue was totally done.

  8. I.love.this.post! Great story. Perfect telling!

    “But to Zee and his crew– Dana, Wendy, Mikey– I wanted to seem gritty and destined for something exotic like a one bedroom apartment on Northwest Highway and a lifetime of riding the bus to my commuter school.” Hilarious!

  9. Haha! Oh wow. The old “Mom-called-the-manager” debacle.

    I’d say you should show your mom this post, but then we’d all have to stop talking to you…

    I’m kidding. This gets an A for the Color Me Bad reference alone!

  10. I LOVE the reference to Blanche Devereaux, that saucy minx! I was dying to know why he stopped talking to you! Not at all what I was expecting.

  11. Nice job with this, count me among those who didn’t see the end coming. It is always nice to know that our parents look out for us, even if it sometimes awkward or embarrassing.

  12. Oh, man… nothing like a protective mama to squash your street cred. Did this totally make you all “M-o-o-o-o-m!”

  13. When I read that Zee stopped talking to you I wondered how bad (ribald) could she have been! And then turned out he was told not to. The anticlimax to a good friendship was so sad. Still great, very funny post! 🙂

  14. Hey, I worked at a bakery, too! That was my first job. No interesting dudes teaching me street skills, though, just old people wanting morning coffee and donuts.

  15. I was wondering how raunchy you could have been for Zee to stop talking to you. As a mom of older kids who do and say things that make me cringe sometimes, I don’t know if I could have called your bakery. I would have been mortified (over)hearing those words and probably would have sucked it up and said something along the lines of “Excuse me, missy. What was that?”. Who knows but I totally got the whole “fitting in” thing. Fun stuff!

  16. Oh my GOD – he totally DID IT. That’s so annoying, in and of itself. And you had to suffer through the whole summer. I mean … how the fuck did your Mom know you weren’t just bullshitting a girlfriend? Ugh. SO many levels of wrong there, but most of all the gulf you describe so perfectly.

  17. Yikes. Thanks a lot Mom! I agree with Jessie – so many levels of wrong and I’m sorry you had to deal with that kind of tension at work for a whole summer. Your story is excellently told as always Cookie. 😉

  18. I know this is 100% not the point, but this post kind of made me feel bad because my mother would probably not have cared if she heard me repeat this information, nor would she have ever told someone to not talk to me because of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be mortified and furious if she had done what your mother did, but I’m almost a little sad that I know mine wouldn’t (Certainly not at 17 anyway).

    But, Cookie, a nickname I just LOVE for you, I can’t wait to hear more about your stint at the bakery. This was a great post.

    • I get that sadness. I feel sad that I didn’t appreciate what she was doing until I was almost 40. Also, it dawned on me that I don’t know if what Zee said was true. I will ask my mom. What would she rather talk about on MOther’s day than this?

      • So at first glance I thought you meant you were going to ask her if the piercing worked, which just seems awkward. But I think you meant you’re going ask if she told him not to talk to you, which seems slightly less awkward. Either way, I’m sure it’ll make a great post for next week.

  19. Pingback: Kiss My (Gl)Ass Ceiling | Outlaw Mama

  20. I used to work at the Revco drugstore on Forest & Marsh in high school, and there were some other “kids” who worked there who probably knew your bakery worker friends. Aspiring to a one-bedroom apartment on Northwest Highway…love it! Great story. Your mom is actually kind of a badass.

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