I spend alot of time playing make-believe. During my time watching Harry, I have been all of the following: A puppet, a chef, a ghost, a police officer, a dog, a cat, a customer…and even a banjo playing Backyardigan.
During my most recent character exchange, I was a customer at a restaurant. Harry was the server. I received a menu, but my meal was pre-picked (Mac ‘n’ cheese and Milk, which just so happens to be his favorite). After receiving my food (and expertly overacting the play food deliciousness), I asked him if we should switch roles. He looked at me like I was crazy:
Harry: “Kristin, we can’t switch. Servers don’t eat.”
Me: “Yes, they do. They get breaks and get to eat.”
Harry: (Getting more frustrated) “No they don’t!”
Me: “Yes, they do.”
Harry: “No they don’t! They live at the restaurant and just give people their food!”
His confusion mixed with certainty cracked me up. He clearly thought I was insane for thinking that servers have lives outside of restaurants, and that working at a restaurant means that you somehow don’t require food.
But it got me to wonder: When do you realize that people aren’t just defined by their jobs? I remember “discovering” my teacher’s actually had first names and lives outside of school—which, even still, is still difficult to grasp for some especially grouchy ones. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to picture my seventh grade teacher, Miss Madsen, who donned a set of thick black rimmed glasses, frequently used the word “joshin,” and didn’t crack a single smile until at least February, having a “real” life.