Thursday, July 16, 2009
At Your Service
On innumerable occasions I have blogged about the sex appeal of aggressive, alpha-male type guys. Well, today it’s time to look at the flip side.
The other day Davie and I were watching “The Next Food Network Star,” and I was suddenly reminded of a totally different style of guy that really sends me. Calling this particular archetype “the servant” doesn’t completely do him justice, since that implies a slavish subordinate. I’m talking about a man who dedicates himself to serving you out of his own free will. He’s chosen the role because he enjoys it.
My favorite contestant on the show is Jeffrey Saad, a handsome 42-year-old currently working in real estate. Don’t be misled: Jeffrey’s prior history includes culinary school and many years of operating restaurants. In the episode of which I speak, the remaining five competitors teamed up to cater a Miami cocktail party. Jeffrey served as host, and his background as a restaurateur was apparent.
Welcoming the guests, Jeffrey was warm, gracious, welcoming and cheerful. He said something in Spanish that I, who only know English and French, could not translate beyond it including some sort of expression of being “at your service.” Whatever he said, it was hot. And for much of the rest of the evening, Jeffrey bustled around the party, proffering trays of food, tending to guests’ needs, and adjuring everyone that he would “take care of them.”
I should tell you that Jeffrey is no poser. He’s a very sincere, guileless fellow, kind-hearted and slow to anger. That lovely smile of his is not faked. And I could see he truly enjoyed playing the role of “servant,” not because he’s into the subservient role, but because he knows he does it well. He pleases people. I’m sure that has to feel good.
All I know for sure is, it would feel very good to have this man wait on you.
The episode put me in mind of a dinner party I attended many years ago with some co-workers. It was a potluck, with a dozen or so of us gathered at the home of the boss’s secretary. Our financial analyst, Mark, had been a waiter in college. So for the occasion he reprised that old role, pulling out chairs to seat us, bringing dishes around, refreshing drinks. Mark was a good-looking guy, but he never looked so appealing to me as on that evening, with his suddenly straight posture, and one hand tucked behind at the small of his back.
I’m sure all you readers of both genders have had the experience of being waited upon by a truly talented service person. That kind of attention can be quite an aphrodisiac. My theory on that is, the manner of a expert waitperson somewhat mimics courtship. The attention convinces you that this individual sees you as important. The kindnesses of bringing food and drink seem like gifts of affection. The fervent expression of a desire to please is, well, mildly sexual.
Of course you know the serviceperson is simply doing a job. But if they truly seem to enjoy that job, it’s hard not to get caught up in the lovely little charade. The result of this is genuine pleasure on one side, and, if nothing else, a generous tip on the other.
Just watching Jeffrey wait on other people was thrill enough to me. I think if he did it to me in person I might positively swoon. Nothing says lovin’ like a guy who smiles at you over a tray of canapés.