Here's a touching story that begins, of all places, at a Hooters in Humble.
It involves Tiffany Anne Saint, who vied against 18,000 Hooters waitresses to make the top ten for the16th annual Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant, which takes place in Miami on June 23. She says she decided to compete because a four-year-old girl with cancer came into her restaurant one day and changed her life.
The girl, Brynn, and her dad, who came to M.D. Anderson from Alabama, decided to take a respite with some wings, and, well, some T&A. Saint tells Hair Balls that Brynn was in remission, but had no hair and an external bladder -- but what struck Saint the most was how happy and exuberant the child seemed.
"I was waiting on her, so I really got to see her personality," the 24-year-old Saint says. "....Really, one of the worst situations as a 4-year-old you could be in, and she was just excited about life....When I went to say goodbye to her, she kissed me on the lips and told me that she loved me. And I lost it....I barely made it to the back of the restaurant before I started crying."
That night, Saint says, "I kind of went a little bit stalker status," and found a Facebook support page for Brynn, and contacted the girl's mother. Saint laughs when remembering the awkwardness of the initial message: "Listen, you probably are going to think I'm a crazy person...."
Saint told Brynn's mom about the impact the girl made on her, and offered to help in any way she could. Unfortunately, Brynn's parents had to take her up on her offer six months later when the cancer came back. This time, Brynn's mother joined her dad, and they brought their two other kids as well.
Saint began visiting Brynn a few times a week; they played with Barbies, watched Snow White -- Disney princesses were at the top of Brynn's list.
The Humble Hooters raised money for Brynn's parents to help defray the cost of missed work and travel; Brynn, it seemed, had an effect on everyone she encountered.
So when the top 100 contestants in the Hooters competition were asked to submit essays, Saint knew she had to write about Brynn. Now she's competing with nine other waitresses for a top prize of $50,000.
We wish Saint the best of luck, and the next time we feel like bitching and moaning about some perceived hardship in our life, we'll remember what Saint said about Brynn's cheerful outlook, and we'll shut the hell up.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.