Wednesday, June 25, 2008

what were you doing way back when?

i guess since i'm turning 40 in a couple of weeks i'm looking back on my life in terms of decades-ago. at the moment i am raising gus and sophie (or are they raising me?--i forget), not sleeping enough, watching rich slowly disintegrate from the stress of too many hours at work, and smelling a stinky dog while i pit cherries from our over-producing tree. i'm guessing this summer won't exactly stand out in my memory in the future, much like 30 years ago--when i was 10--and i can only assume i spent all my time at the pool at sugar creek country club, tried to avoid waking my brand-spanking new baby sister, and spent many nights with my grandmother (who had recently become widowed). ten years ago was a bit better--i was a curatorial assistant at the university of iowa museum of art and about to take my comprehensives for my ph.d.--so that was pretty good for 30.

half my life ago, at 20, i, like rich, was also working 80 hours a week in order to save every scintilla of income before i went to rome. i worked in the mornings at galin corporation as a receptionist (my dad's company--a job that 1. sucked and 2. which he ultimately had his secretary/accountant FIRE me from); at night and on weekends i was a waitress at the eponymous and now-shuttered pappamia's italian restaurant. pappamia's was a crash course in waitressing--not only did you have to wear the ironed, starched white shirt and apron thing but you had to attempt to carry those frickin' humongous trays of pasta over your head. the menu changed frequently so you had to remember what was on and off; patrons were paying more than middle-of-the-road dollar for less than middle-of-the road food (hence why it is shuttered), so they expected water, bread, and every goddamned extra coming to them as it was no bargain to eat there. the management did give us regular wine tastings, though, so we could suggest *cough expensive cough* alcohol knowledgeably. i was also living full-time with my beloved gammy, so that was golden (my mom having kicked me out of her house, temporarily, right before i left for italy).

until i got a stalker in the form of a 40 year old weirdo who lived with his mom and came in every other day to sit in my station, it was a pretty good job. they creeped the living shit out of me when they started asking me if i ever wore my hair in a long braid and if i ever wanted to be rescued from such a demeaning job for such a pretty young woman...yuck. i also lost a ton of weight--between lifting those trays and not having a moment to eat--and made a lot of money in tips. an excellent summer job, but i doubt i could do it again. i think i'm too old, primarily, which definitely affects your income in a restaurant. although now i do have all this training in servitude...

so, why look back? good question. i don't know, and i try not to do it often. somehow i think it is getting forced on me by subconscious (unconscious?) and maybe wanting to escape the stinky dog smell. i could just buy shampoo.

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