In The Weeds: Thanks for the Mammories!
I’ve written 78 posts for Frothygirlz about the restaurant business. For the first seven of those columns, I was actually still working in the restaurant business. It wasn’t the ratio I was hoping for, but hey, nobody ever accused me of being afraid to beat a dead horse. But lately I can’t even find the horse’s corpse, so I’ve decided it’s time to find something that’s still breathing on which to beat.
Enough with the equine imagery – here’s the thing; I got laid off a week ago from that new “professional” job that I took back in January. You know, the one I promised not to write about so that I could actually keep it? Little good that did me and darned if it wasn’t ripe for the story pickin! At any rate, for those of you keeping score, that is two terminations in as many years. One for writing this blog and one because the company could have made better business decisions with a monkey spinning a wheel. For a girl who has never had a negative performance review, no write-ups, not even a tardiness “talking to”, it was a little jarring. Again. However, I loved my Capital Grille job and was truly devastated to lose it. I had been preferring a punch in the face to going to the new job lately so the emotional trauma only lasted a few days this time. I spent the next few days after that scouring Internet ads for similar positions and calling all my contacts to let them know I was on the market.
But then one morning last week as I was cursing and stomping around trying to figure out how to get the fancy resume paper to stop jamming in my printer, I saw myself as a hamster desperate to get back to running the wheel even though I hated running on the wheel that had just broken. Seriously, what is it with me and animal imagery today? Let me try to say it another way. I had an Oprah moment. I knew what Jesus would do. I felt fresh off a Tuesday meeting with Morrie. It’s taken me almost 35 years to figure it out, but I need to take a stab at being a full-time writer.
Now just telling you this has unleashed a flood of insecurities that has me convinced that you are head back and laughing at my notion that I could find any audience whatsoever let alone even the teensiest of monetary gains. These same insecurities have stopped me from even attempting to write for years. Well, that, and not wanting to disappoint my mother. But that’s an entire sub section of ongoing therapy. When I say I want to be a writer, I feel as if I’m a 5 foot 2 inch tall local K-Mart model who has decided to audition for New York fashion week.
But Frothygirlz, and specifically my friends and cohorts Shannon Hood and Jane Almirall, allowed me a space where I could find my voice and even a little confidence. They have encouraged, complimented, and provided advice and libations all along the way. They’ve also provided much-needed inspiration as they have morphed in the last two years from being my “mom” friends to my writer, editor, entrepreneurial, artist friends who are gracefully pursuing their own passions. Okay, let me be honest. They were threatening me. Threatening me with their awesomeness.
The readers of this column are credited with helping me to grow a pair. I’m a chick so I like to think of courage as mammories as opposed to cujones, but your supportive comments and solid Google Analytics numbers still leave me in disbelief most days. At first I was sure that only my friends, family and Darden’s corporate office would be faithful followers, but then I’d get a comment from a total stranger and it would make my week and ever so slightly puff up my mammories and push me through my next post. My fellow restaurant bloggers, such as Bitchy Waiter, Sorry Not My Table, Waiter Extraordinaire, Tips for Getting Tips, and So You Want To Be A Waiter have sent me readers and a competitive paranoia. Thanks. Don’t ever let those gluten intolerants push you around!
I will still post on Frothygirlz when I have something to say. But most of the things I now have to say have little to do with food and restaurants, and I always felt guilty building up a foodie following and then writing about how kids ruin everything or the BP oil spill. I’ll be submitting those kind of rants to magazines and then saving money on therapy by morphing my more disturbing childhood memories into a hopefully funny memoir, which will probably only be read by my grandchildren after finding it in the attic near my 22 cats, like some kind of schizo manifesto. But I don’t know when the stars of “unemployment checks” and “time on my hands” will next align, so I’m going for it.