I am still pretty lowly worm, as k would say, but was cheered today by a bit of schadenfreude on a Monday afternoon: a former co-worker of mine from The Ritz, which I left because I brought some major sanitation and food-safety fails to management's attention and they then said if I didn't shut up about it I'd be fired, came into Eclecstasy today for a job interview. Apparenly a couple of weeks after I left the Health Department shut the restaurant down, and between how old it was and how corrupt the staff was, Management decided to call it a loss and close it down for good.
Said former co-worker was always kind of a bitch to me, but is a solid server with an above-average work ethic, so I put in a good word.
It is taking every bit of maturity I can muster not to stalk down my former boss on the facespace and message him like BOOM! WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT? SOMEONE WHO CURRENTLY HAS A JOB, THAT'S WHO.
Tonight was a shitty night at work; I had another large party that didn't understand the concept of tipping (and I know they were happy with the service because several of them thanked me and told me what a great job I'd done on their way out), driving my sales up to the point that I had to go into my own pocket to tip out my bartender, runner, and busser. On top of that, there was the kind of table-snatching, gossipping server drama that made me hate The Ritz; generally I really like working at Eclecstasy in large part because the way they do things makes that almost impossible, but someone proved tonight that that is still a thing if someone is determined enough.
I got home tonight and sat in the MFA Minivan in the driveway for a moment blinking back tears before going inside, because I knew Big Child would still be up (despite it being past bedtime) and want to perseverate about his Civics presentation tomorrow, and didn't want to lose it in front of him. I didn't want to come home and face Hotter, because I think he's still annoyed with me for being annoyed with Lefty, I didn't want to have to hold it together through reassuring Big Child, and for a second I considered backing out again and leaving, but I didn't want to go anywhere else either.
I think the real problem right now is that I would just rather not be me, and that's not going to change until 10/3 at the very earliest (potentially, anyway--there's also the chance that whatever comes of that day's pivotal appointment will be what finally breaks me for good).
Last night was supposed to be an amazing evening.
I'd had a really good day at work. Business was steady, money was decent, banter with co-workers and guests alike was pleasant, and I didn't have any comps, voids, or problem tables. I didn't feel overwhelmed or unprepared once, and was able to support some co-workers when they were in that position and contribute to our success as a team instead of being the one leaning on others, which was a good feeling. I really love working at "Eclecstasy!" After work I stopped at Trader Joe's and got some Ahi steaks and lovely fresh asparagus, and I came home ready to cook a celebratory dinner with Hotter, because The Situation aside, the past week had been full of win (progress on addressing The Situation! A speedy and FREE resolution to the problems my left front crown had been giving me for months! Street-legal vehicle! WHOO!).
Unfortunately, yesterday was also Lefty's birthday, and I did my duty in reminding Hotter to call him, and after Lefty not answering his phone or responding to Hotter's text Hotter received a text from The Wrath ALSO reminding him about Lefty's birthday and finally did get in touch. Apparently Lefty had been "working" with his stepfather, who last we'd heard about it Lefty hated. Lefty explained to Hotter that really their problems had stemmed from the fact that while Lefty was using, his stepfather had tended to catch the brunt of Lefty's mother's feelings over at all, but they talked and worked things out and now the stepfather was the only step-parent Lefty liked. I guess Hotter then asked what was up with that, and apparently Lefty is mad at me for preventing Hotter from drinking after him when Lefty had active Hepatitis during the worst of his heroin-fueled shenanigans five or six years ago.
I. Went. OFF.
Apparently I have no right to feel the way I do, but I kind of feel like Lefty doesn't get to be mad at me for protecting Hotter (who is immune-suppressed due to his transplants) from diseases Lefty picked up via needle. The first years of Hotter's and my relationship were majorly overshadowed by Lefty's drug usage. Weekends were put off or rescheduled if he was expected to be arrested or had a court date, the timing of our wedding was planned around first his eighteenth birthday and then his incarceration schedule, his needs have contributed to some of Hotter's and my worst fights as a married couple...I realize that it's Hotter and not Lefty I am actually mad at, here. It's Hotter's handling of Lefty's bullshit that has been hard on me more than it's been Lefty's actual bullshit. I get all of that. But the unfairness of Lefty's remark about how he and his OTHER step-parent were cool now that Lefty understood his bullshit had made the other step-parent's life hard set me off. It brought every feeling of being unfairly picked on by the universe I have (and there are a LOT of those feelings in my head) screaming to the forefront, and instead of having a nice evening with Hotter I ended up drinking a LOT of wine, rage-cooking a lovely meal that we ate in silence, rage-cleaning the rabbit pens, and being told that I was ruining our child-free weekend.
And then I woke up at four a.m. scratching myself raw because I was covered from head to toe in huge, angry hives. It actually looked less like hives and more like I had a total-body sunburn with occasional white speckling. I was THISCLOSE to going to the emergency room and begging for steroids, and health insurance and money be damned, but finally after I took WAY more Benadryl than is generally recommended and spent half an hour shivering in a cool shower things settled down. I hadn't eaten anything new or unusual, the pattern of the hives didn't point toward a contact reaction of any kind (they were everywhere, not just on exposed skin), there are no new soaps, lotions, or detergents in my life...I kind of think it was stress. My body has this way of taking me out at the knees when I'm trying to get through some shit; my long-time therapist of many years ago suggested that since I shrink from strong displays of negative emotions they find a way to manifest in the physical, and I certainly have a lot of negative emotions right now. The Situation has the potential to wreck every single aspect of my existence, and renders problems with teeth and cars and money and even in-laws laughable by comparison, but that doesn't mean that those other things don't suck, too, and I'm tired of coping.
The problem with that, of course, is that I don't really have any other option right now.
Today I was on call at Eclecstasy; it wouldn't have hurt my feelings if they hadn't needed me but it turned out that they did, and I'll admit I was a little put out. I was tired, and wanted to stay in bed with my cold after a productive day of registering the MFA Minivan at the DMV and having it inspected (wiper blades only! WIN!). Apparently someone who was scheduled to work today had the same idea, though, and so I did my hair and makeup and headed out prepared to put my best foot forward.
On my way to work, as I was getting ready to turn onto the main drag of MFA Village almost two miles from home, I saw a brown pitbull getting ready to cross the street. It had that meek, scaredy look of a dog that is not used to being on its own, and I considered driving on by but quickly decided that I would worry about that dog for the rest of the night if I didn't stop and see if I could help. After all, I reasoned, not everyone will stop and check on a pitbull-type dog even if they are usually very good dogs, and I would want someone to stop and check on it if that was MY dog. So I stopped, and was quickly very glad I had because it turned out that the brown pitbull was actually a white-and-brown spotted pitbull covered in mud who had stopped to wallow in a nearby construction site and belonged to us. POPPY! The damn dog had snapped her cable and, while she initially went to shrink away when I pulled over, as soon as I called to her was obviously VERY glad to have been found! I stopped, holding up traffic at a busy intersection, and called to her, and she jumped right into the MFA Minivan with muddy paws and an air of relief about her.
So I showed up at work five minutes late and with a muddy arse, and had to tuck two folded napkins into the back of my waistband and wait tables like that all night.
I'm starting to think there's something to this business of hedging my bets karma-wise.
* The MFA Minivan is still not doing well. I suspect it's the transmission, and as such will be providing comfort care only; I think D is just about shot, but 1 and 2 work okay so I'm getting around (I hate automatic transmissions, HAAAATE). To add insult to injury, I have to go to the DMV today for some paperwork relating to the freaking thing.
* Yesterday at the dentist we confirmed once again that the younger two MFA Children have very syndrome-y teeth (extremely delayed dentition, defective enamel). The hygeinist actually gave me a small heart attack by coming out to tell me they needed an extra x-ray of Little Child's mouth (she had started the appointment by telling me he wasn't due for any); his lateral incisors have been missing for several weeks now with no sign of permanent ones emerging, and they weren't able to feel the permanent ones up in his gums so were wondering if he, you know, HAD those. Fortunately the permanent teeth showed up on x-ray; they're nowhere near coming in and will likely take their sweet time but they're there. PHEW! Middly had some pitting of the crappy enamel on a molar that will turn into a cavity if we don't address it, so next week I'm taking him and Little Child both in for sealants.
* After the dentist, I picked up a late-in shift at work despite my cold and made decent money even after tipping the bar and runner according to the formula we use and tipping my busser $25 (a bit more than protocol dictated but he saved my arse when I was busy and I am generous with the bussers when they do that because obviously). So that was good.
* Eclecstasy continues to warm the cockles of my black little heart; there's a certain job there that is very tedious and involves repeating the same simple, two-second task for five hours straight. It doesn't pay much and the servers and bussers hate it when we have to take a turn at it because of that and the tedium. I pointed out to Management that this would be an ideal job for a developmentally disabled adult and that there are local organizations that supply workers with special needs and assign them job coaches to help get them up to speed. Yesterday we had a new team-member, a man with Down Syndrome who was delighted to take on the task and tackled it with a smile. Yay, Eclecstasy!
* Friday, 10/3 will be a pivotal day re: The Situation, so...we'll see.
* MFA Dentist continues to be the Best Dentist Ever; his office was technically closed today, but he came and met me there bright and early, and recemented my front crown in a labcoat over a t-shirt and basketball shorts so that I could get to work on time. Yay!
* I woke up with a horribly sore throat that was the first symptom of a brand-new cold. Boooooo.
* Over the course of today's double shift, I made one dollar more than was necessary to prevent anything from bouncing this week what with my having diverted All The Money toward addressing The Situation. Yay, Eclecstasy! I continue to love it there, and not just because of the money.
* The Situation still looms large. Boo :(
* I have tomorrow off, because the younger two MFA Children have dental appointments right around shift-change time at Eclecstasy, so I get to sleep in and generally take it easy, which will hopefully help me shake this cold. Yay!
* The MFA Minivan sounded sicker than usual today, and I am kind of worried about it. Booooo.
And how are all of YOU doing?
Big Child's Civics homework is giving me agida. There were two options, one for if you know the details of your family's immigration to the US (we don't), and one for if you don't (in which you assume your family emigrated in the mid-1800s and answer questions about their home country's political climate as of that timeframe). However, Israel didn't formally exist until 1948, the Gypsy Jews on my side didn't HAVE a home country, and I don't know as much about Sephardic history (re: his dad's side) to speak with any authority. So I basically had to e-mail the teacher and tell her "we're doing our best but we don't really fit in here." Which is a pretty good capsule-summary of Jewish history right there.
I spent all morning today from the time I woke up until I had to walk out the door for work doing administrative things relating to The Situation. In the process I handed over All The Money, leaving us at zero again, but at least I've taken the first step toward dealing with The Situation.* I've rather surprised myself in that so far I've been able to approach this logically, without catastrophizing or thinking ten steps ahead. It helps to think about what I would suggest a friend in the same situation do, thereby distancing myself from the whole thing by a degree, and then follow my own advice; I'm very sensible when it comes to other people's problems.
That said, I suspect that there is some degree of terrified irrationality lurking in the back of the closet of my subconscious mind, because of the way I reacted today when someone backed into the MFA Minivan. An older lady in a nice late-model sedan didn't look before pulling out of her parking space at Trader Joe's where I'd stopped after work to get a few groceries and WHAM! Rammed right into me. I pulled into a nearby spot, got out, and examined her bumper, which was unscathed, and mine, which was not. She pulled back into her parking space and got out too, clearly shaken, looked at me in apologetic horror, starting to stammer something, and I smiled and held my hand up. "She was far from immaculate to begin with and I'm fine. If you're okay then I'm okay, too." She gave a half-laugh, half-sob and squeaked something about the bumpers having done their job, and I told her to have a good day, and got back in the MFA Minivan and left.
I think some superstitious part of my psyche thinks I'd better hedge my karmic bets by being extra-kind to others right now, just in case.
* Lest Stalky ruin her desk chair in her excitement, I thought I'd go ahead and mention that in addition to this being nothing to do with Hotter or The XY, nobody here is in any legal trouble or dealing with any addiction- or mental health-related crises.