Monday, November 23, 2009

The Rest of My Hats

If you can remember way way back to the beginning of the month, I did a post on My Many Hats, kind of a chronicle of the jobs I've held. In case you're having trouble remembering, it was the post that had those amazing firemen. I think most of you stopped reading there, but that's okay. It was a really good picture.

The other day someone I haven't seen or spoken to in almost 20 years friended me on Facebook (yes, I still have my FB account. Deal with it). Naturally this got me thinking about the past, which led to thinking about how we were friends when I was working at a bar, which in turn reminded me that I haven't shared the rest of my jobs.

When I ended my last post I had moved back home (which wasn't really home anymore because my whole family had moved) and was working for CBT's dad at Ronco. That didn't last too long because I don't think I really wanted a job. All I really wanted to do was go bar hopping. Sure I was only 18, but I had a pretty good fake ID. Besides, the dive bars that we frequented rarely checked IDs.

So anyway, after 6 months or so the semester had ended, the "big breakup" had already occurred (I tried to link a post that talked about it, but I can't find one, and honestly who wants to read about it anyway), I quit working at Ronco and headed back out west to spend the summer with my parents... that's when I met the first of many mistakes (I didn't marry this one tho). He was everything the other boyfriend wasn't -- which was what I thought I needed. He never went to college, he was dark and mysterious, he was a poet and a rebel, he rode a motorcycle (which I bought for him, but that's beside the point). I supported this would-be artist by working as a receptionist for a lawyer. Well, I say working, but again, this didn't last long. I can't remember the guys name, but in the phone book he was listed under AAA Law or something. You know, having the As in front will move you up in the phone book so everyone sees your name first. Needless to say, we had a lot of (ahem) interesting clients. I'll never forget talking to a man on the phone and asking if I could have his number so the lawyer could call him back. He said he was in jail and that he'd need to talk to him now... I was shocked. I really had no idea what to say to this man. "Oh what did you do?" didn't seem quite right. Anyway, I quit working there shortly after. Well, really I got fired. Seriously, the lawyer wanted me there at 8 in the morning! Come on! I was 18 years old and having fun! I didn't want to get up at 8! I usually made it in around 10. Needless to say, I got axed.

Luckily I soon found work as a receptionist at a salon and spa. I loved this job. It was fairly high end, but the people were nice and the owner and I got along well. Neil (the owner) and his wife Cathy kind of took me under their wing and taught me all about fashion and style. I should probably remind you here that I went to private catholic schools when I was growing up (9-12 was all girls). I knew precisely squat about how to dress, how to put on make-up, how badly I needed to wax my eyebrows (and other places). When I started working there I was -- well, not fat per se, but I was kinda chunky, I only wore Express sweaters (that's pretty much all I had at this point), and I had long hair that pretty much had no style. By the time I left I had a short sassy cut, two distinct eyebrows, I was 20lbs lighter, and I was hot. Okay so maybe I'm the only one that thought it, but I thought I was a babe. I'd like to say here that I dumped the parasite and fell in love with a prince, but that didn't happen. I was dumped. Again. Actually repeatedly. He'd call and make up whenever he needed me to buy him something, but other than that, I was dumped. And too stupid to realize it. One day his older brother had pity on me and came over and laid it out straight. He said he loved his brother but couldn't stand to see what he was doing to me.

So what did I do? I quit my job and moved back to the mid-south. So now I have no family and no job (still had a couple friends tho, thank God). And I still had my fake ID. To say I hit the bars would be a bit of an understatement, but we'll go with it for now. There was one little bar by the university that was a popular hangout, and I pretty much moved in. After a few months of drinking there, I realized it would be more cost effective to work there too, so there's my next job. Every once in a while someone would order food, but mainly what I can remember is beer kegs and live music. It was great -- for a while. Then came that damn wild hair of mine, and I ran off with the owner of the bar. Yep. We took off and that was that.

So this is the man that I would eventually marry. I was 20, he was 32. I was young and stupid he was just stupid. He tried his hand at a couple jobs but really all he knew was running a bar, so the minute I turned 21 we opened one. Wait, what? Why did he wait? Could it be because he couldn't get a liquor license in his own name? Argh. That's a whole other post. I did say I was stupid, remember. Anyway, we were in a big city in the south, and we opened up a little bar-n-grill. We had fun for several months, the place was always crowded and we had live music (once the Allman Bros), but then I found out I was pregnant. I was too afraid to tell my parents I was pregnant and coming home, so I told them I was pregnant and getting married. They were thrilled coped as best they could. The thing about working in bars, in case you don't know, is that there are so many drugs. I mean, I don't consider myself naive, but you wouldn't believe the stuff I saw, and I'm not just talking about "mary jane." I was shocked, and I knew that there was no way I was raising a child in that environment. So we did what I do best: we left.

After having my daughter I was pretty much home most of the time. I was in and out of school, but it was hard to focus on that with a baby at home. Then I found out I was pregnant with my second child. Ex-husband did not hold on to jobs well and I knew if we were gonna eat it would be up to me, so I got a job at a children's store (employee discount, duh). It was a family owned place and they really took care of me, but once baby #2 came I was done. Besides, I knew I really needed to get back to school.

That's pretty much it. I went back to school full time and got a BS in biochemistry (and a divorce). I worked in several different labs (p chem lab, med school lab) to make some money, but after I graduated I knew I'd need to find something "real" to do. I wrote about it in this post. I got through pharmacy school and now I'm doing a job that I absolutely love.

So, here I am with my current hats:
  • Mother to teenagers
  • Wife to Bob
  • Pack-leader to Juneau and Jenny
  • Pharmacist Extraordinaire
  • Habitat for Humanity Board Member
  • Junior Service Club Member
  • Hope Rescues volunteer
  • Piano Student
  • Field Hockey Mom
  • Queen of the castle
  • Maid/cook/housekeeper/dog walker
  • Blogger
How many hats do you wear?


...mmm... said...

Well, that is a lot of hats and some lessons learned along the way about what men to avoid, no?!

But you know, your comment on my blog for part 2 of late was so very pointed. Exactly.

It looks like life is working out for you and to have a job you enjoy can never be underestimated in how it adds to one's positive outlook. Kudos. .

rxBambi said...

Mmm...: The lessons were hard ones, but I figured it out in the end, and that's what counts, right?

Brian Miller said...

wow. thats a lot of hats...and you did learn in the end, so i do think that counts. smiles.

blueviolet said...

That's quite a journey you took! I am not sure I ever wore that many hats at once, but when my kids were in el, middle, and hs, I sure wore a lot. :)

tori said...

I love hearing your story. I need to think about my hats that could be a good blog post someday...

McGillicutty said...

Your hats are almost as many as mine and when this kid stops throwing up I'll try and do a post. Love your honesty.... you're awesome Miss Many Hats. That's why I love you!!!!

Barb said...

You forgot one of your hats: Super Fabulous Sister

Matty said...

Sounds like you've been "around the block". But the best part is that you matured and took control of your future. And now look at you....a good husband, good kids, a nice house and a great job.

I would imagine you see fake scripts from time to time. What do you do when someone comes in with a bad one?

Tracey said...

I love your sister's comment! I hope Barb is your sister!

My hats are:
Wife/Mom/Teacher/Healer/Doctor/Cook/Dishwasher/Laundry and sex goddess!

I'm also a Taxi driver, a referee, the effing Sheriff on some days and I'm a master of coping with teenage and kid drama. And, I don't get paid for any of it!

Green-Eyed Momster

otin said...

You better add "Friend to Otie" to that damned list! LOL!

I was picturing the Heart song, "Magic Man" during one part of that story!

Otter Thomas said...

My wife wears all the hats at our house. Engineer, dad, and husband are about all I can manage. I guesss I am also part time chef.

Fragrant Liar said...

Amazing how many hats we women can wear at any one time. Sometimes all at one time! It's no wonder men can't keep up. :)

JW.BW said...

Its just amazing, the things we do in life before we end up where we belong. What a great story!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

You have worn (and do wear) a lot of hats, don't you? Loved reading about your many hats and lessons learned, and am glad that you found Bob and are at a job that you love. :)

Goose said...

Wow bar owner. Can't picture you doing that. Look at how spectacular your life has turned out after the years of struggles. That's wonderful!