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In The Weeds: Thanks for the Mammories!

October 18, 2010

Writer's BlockI’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.



13 Responses to “ In The Weeds: Thanks for the Mammories! ”

  1. jjskck on October 19, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Good luck to you, CJ. I look forward to seeing what’s next!

  2. Jane on October 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I would argue that it was your AWESOMENESS which was threatening! I gotcher back, Lady! (thank goodness we always have our extraordinary talent for le danse to fall back on….)

  3. bostonbetty on October 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Good luck, and I too cannot wait to read what’s next. Also, whether it was intended or not, that was a great euphemism to use during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. :)

  4. Shannon on October 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

    You’ve been a good friend, and it has been fun to have you on board. I know big things await you, and we will be cheering for you all the way.

    When that book gets published, I expect to see my name on the dedication page. Good luck!

  5. Dad on October 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Well daughter, I was there for the beginning and stayed right up to the end. I have all the confidence in the world that you will be successful at this most recent endeavor.
    I can honestly say (and without bias) I have enjoyed everyone of your blogs, articles (whatever you kids call ‘em). Of course my favorite was “Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”.
    I thought it was intuitive and very well written. LOL

  6. Anne Almirall on October 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    You are full of awesomeness and I cannot wait to read your book (even if it is surrounded by 22 cats and that is saying a lot because I am deathly allergic to cats–especially long-haired cats–will they be long-haired?) Seriously, the 22 (great goddamn number!) cats and grandkids scenario will not happen because your future book(s) will be read by a butt-load of people.

  7. Hollywood Hood on October 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

    CJ – You’ve got talent galore and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of your contributions and have no doubt you are headed for the big show. Thanks for your effort for Frothy and drop by from time to time (bring a box of your finest wine).

  8. FrothygirlzCJ on October 20, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Thanks, everyone! And Dad, how shocking that your favorite post was written by you. :)

  9. nativenapkin on October 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Wow. Parallel universe over here. No job, so plenty of time for me, too. But who in the world would want to actually go out and pay money to haul home a bound stack of paper with my drivel scribbled on it?

    It’s inevitable that if you set out to write something about the restaurant business that isn’t all about the bitch on 32 that asked for more Ranch dressing for her mashed potatoes, you will eventually run out of material. Good luck and keep us “posted” on your progress…

  10. T's friend RP on October 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Hi! I am one of those people that is looking forward to your future material as your humor is one of a kind and your stories are interesting no matter what you are writing about. Your sister in law introduced me to this website a couple of years ago and since then I have been hooked. My personal favorites were your bar-tending adventures and your hilarious motherhood experiences. Thank you for sharing and enlightening our world!

  11. October Review « Tips on improving your Tips on October 31, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    [...] 5) Frothy Girlz [...]

  12. [...] her old spot, I was warned about her fate numerous times when starting this blog.  Well she is now retiring from the blogging scene.  She will not be forgotten though.  I wish her the best of luck in her future writing [...]

  13. teleburst on November 2, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Best of luck to you! It sucks to be a living cautionary tale, but you’ve shown that when life gives you lemons, you cut it in half and put it on your Lemon Drop.