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Extra Ranch This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Elena E., Hemet, CA By Ender2, Hemet, CA

Friday nights, when most teenagers are partying, vegging out, or cramming for exams, I work at my father's family-owned Italian restaurant. I am a waitress for the elderly who migrate in herds at a leisurely pace. And for young couples on an uncomfortable first date. And for the middle-aged sports fans who come in for Coors Light and hot wings while they watch baseball or football on the big screen.

I approach each table wearing a baseball jersey, white apron, high ponytail, and plastered-on smile. “Is there anything else I can get you folks?” I ask after I bring them their appetizers. The answer is always, “Yes, can we have more ranch dressing?” Finish the one I just gave you first. Geez, so American – drowning everything in ranch. “Sure, I'll be right back!

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