Stop.

I was working a busy dinner shift this summer, when the man I’d been serving at the bar, decided to help himself to a lakeside table on the patio. He sat himself outside of my section, and I let him know that I had a full section and would do my best to remember him. I helped him walk through the menu and make a complimentary beverage choice. I delivered it all to him, or sent someone in my place so that he did not wait. After he ate and was nursing a glass of wine, I dropped his check and forgot he existed.

He fell off my radar, as his needs had been met. I remembered he existed when my least favorite coworker smugly told me he told her it was the worst service of his life, as he angrily wrote on the comment card, behind her. I approached him immediately and asked him what was wrong. He wouldn’t speak to me.

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I saw him the next day at the grocery store and introduced myself. He still had nothing to say. It was monumental in ways he didn’t know or care about.

In some strange way, he ruined the last shreds of a job I used to adore with some angry words scratched on a card, left in a fit of drunk entitlement. I’m sure he would have appreciated more attention as he was a moderately tipsy older man, dining alone. I’m afraid I just don’t give a fuck as much as I used to.

Then my dog died. The dog I’d helped be born into our home, 9 years earlier. 

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I wish so much that I could rewind the clock and have her back. She was hit at the end of our driveway, and it played out as horribly as you can imagine. A dear friend of mine just happened to be there and my eldest daughter carried me through grief I’d never experienced before in the following weeks. Losing Peapod was worse than losing my father. I still look for her. I imagine I always will.

When my best friend died, I got divorced. When my grandmother died years later, I broke up with my loser boyfriend of 8 years. Death is a catalyst for me, and this was no exception.

So I quit my job.

No backup plan. No safety net. No savings. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, that’s for sure…. but I couldn’t do anything else. It’d been nearly 7 years to the day since I started serving, and knew if I waited until something else came along, I might be serving indefinitely. My eldest daughter told me she had absolute faith in me, and that  she thought I’d be happier doing anything else.

My first table at the beginning of my last two weeks in the apron, brought two of my favorite faces. Every restaurant worker knows the favorite tables. The folks that make the job worthwhile. Their happy faces turned sad when I told them I had put in my notice and would not be serving anymore. I told them I wholeheartedly appreciated their kindness & support the past few years, but that it was time to do something new.

👩🏼- Too bad you don’t sew.

💁🏼- I love to sew.

As they say… the rest is history. I hung up my apron and now spend my days sewing to my hearts content, earning a living wage. That dream job I had lost sight of or had given up hope existed, is mine.

I never would have had the opportunity, if I hadn’t had the faith to stop doing what made me miserable, and if I hadn’t just leapt… I would never have known how much happier our lives could be. At 40, it’s really nice to be reminded how important it is to have faith.

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Wifey

He reached for me and I swallowed hard as I felt his nails dig into my wrist. They’d been drinking all day and I’d just gotten off work. Being sober in a bar at midnight is no laughing matter and it was a full house of what looked to be, inebriated teenagers.

I needed booze on board, post haste.

The dirty Bombay Sapphire martini I held, felt like a liquid security blanket even though I appeared to be the only person in the room with an actual glass. His hand on my wrist made my heart race, and the icy cold gin wasn’t helping fast enough.

Something had shifted with him and I could feel it hanging in the space between us. I set my glass down and he pulled me out the door and across the street to another bar.

We’re standing at the end of the bar, halfheartedly trying to order a drink, when a man interrupts us.

M- Hey, Hi- excuse me! I can see that you’re having some sort of romantic and special evening, it’s your anniversary, isn’t it! Can I squeeze in and order?

I blink at Perfection. Completely speechless and thankful for the dark, because I’m positive I’m ruby red.

P- It is. What’s it been, wifey- 3 years? Oh no, 3 years and 10 months.

I’m amazed my shaking knees are holding me. The butterflies in my stomach are making me a little nauseous and I feel feverish. I wish I had a drink in my hand so that I could do something other than look stunned. I finally choke out an awkward response.

J- Sure, hubby. Wow, you’re a daddy too.

P- Bonus!

I’m thankful for my sobriety, and manners…because they were the only things keeping me from propositioning him right then and there. The strange guy just wants to buy a drink, but now that he’s celebrating our anniversary with us, he insists on buying us a shot. I am still so stunned by what’s going on with Perfection that I cannot make up my mind about what I want.

J- Not Fireball or Rumple minze. Anything but those. You decide, Darling.

P- I insist, wife. What do you really want? Tell me what sounds good?

The answers that come to mind would leave him equally as speechless, but his hand is drifting lower on my ass and I can hardly breathe, let alone speak. The stranger is looking at me, expectantly.

J- Washington apples. Thank you.

I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Is this real life? Am I hallucinating? Am I really wasted and I just feel far too sober?

We take the shot and the stranger wishes us well on our marriage and leaves. Perfection leans in.

P- Do you know how many times I’ve had dreams about you?

J- Are you feeling alright? I think you’ve been overserved.

Ever have one of those moments where you’re a million miles away from the noisy room you’re standing in? I could feel his heart racing and hear him struggling like me.

This is real life.

This is Perfection.

This is what it’s supposed to feel like. In and of itself, it is a huge relief that I can recognize that. He doesn’t live here, the timing is wrong and he has a few loose ends I don’t want to get tangled in…

But…. it is fanfuckingtastic to have a Perfect evening, and remember what it feels like to be wildly attracted to not just anyone, but someone really and truly special.

Maybe I’m not a catlady, after all.

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