Liz sent me some questions about my life. I'll be as frank and honest as I can be. So here goes nothing!
Q 1. You work at TGI Friday's, right? (she loves the green beans appetizer... yummy!) anyway... Liz said tell me about your favorite kind of customer and the absolute worst kind of customer. If you could be doing any other job, what would it be?
Answer: Yes, I work at Friday's and next Wednesday will be my 6th anniversary there. I am a server, a coach, an in-store trainer and a shift leader.
My favorite kind of customer (we call them guests) are the regulars who come in, the ones we call by name. I know what they like to drink and often-times, will bring their drink to the table as I greet them. It helps when I remember how they like certain foods cooked, and their special orders. And that's why they ask to sit in my station.
The worst customers? The ones who run my ass over and over. The ones who expect to get all their food for free if the fries are cold. It's not MY fault you were outside on the cell phone or in the bathroom when your food arrived. And they will almost always give a bad tip. I've learned that businessmen are bad tippers. Hey guys! You have an expense account! You aren't even paying for this meal with your own money! Leave a decent tip and 10% is NOT a decent tip!!!
The rudest customers? (I know you didn't ask but I'm telling you anyway... I'm on a roll now!) The ones who will not shut up when I approach the table! I have things to do and one of them is not to be standing there like an idiot waiting for you to stop talking so I can at least get your friggin' drink order! And don't get me started on people on cell phones! I'll come back when you're finished your call. whew! OK, I'm done.
If I wasn't a server, I'd be a hairdresser. I used to be one, once upon a time and I was a damned good one too! Long story, but I got tired of having to start all over again with clientele. We moved a few times and the last time my license didn't get forwarded because too much time had passed. I had gone back to work after being home for 5 years, then promptly got pregnant with Dani, so I only worked for a year. I couldn't take standing behind a chair for hours any more. It's actually easier on my feet and legs and back to run around a restaurant than to stand in one spot for hours.
Q 2: You've had a lot of turbulence in your life over the past decade with the divorce and John's illness and your kids and them handling the divorce and your new relationship. What was the most peaceful time in your life? When were you the happiest? What made those times so good?
Answer: The most peaceful time in my life and when I was the happiest was when the kids were little and I was a stay-at-home-mom. I LOVED being home with my kids. I could volunteer at their school, go on field trips, we had play groups in the neighborhood. I had dinner ready every night and the housework was easier because I didn't have to try to balance a job and housework, etc. We joined the local pool and the kids and I would go every day.
The turbulence and divorce and John's illness all happened over the course of 5 years, although it seemed like it was longer. The divorce was really hard on all of us. I don't know if I did the right thing or not, but I told my kids the truth, that their father was having an affair and he was leaving me for her. I wasn't going to sugarcoat it for him. He was a prick and those kids were not going to blame me for his leaving. There are a lot of times when I wish he had left and not looked back. If I never saw him again, it would be ok with me.
My relationship with John is wonderful... as long as Danielle is not around. She hates him, plain and simple (she also hates her stepmother and only just met her a couple of months ago and they've been together for about 5 years now) Gina and Tim both like John. They can see that I'm happy again and they seem ok with it. Gina and Tim have both tried to talk to Dani about him, but she won't budge. I'd need pages and pages to explain all this and you all really don't need to "hear" it, so I'll leave it at that.
But I do love John because he makes me happy. He's weird, he's a geek, he's 56 years old and he plays Dungeons and Dragons on Friday nights. He's opinionated about politics (when he starts on one of his rants, I hear wah, wah, wah wah wah wah (the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons) and religion. He's a retired Army Airborne military man. He's a diehard Libertarian and disliked McCain and Obama intensely and loved Ron Paul. But with all that, to me, he's kind and gentle and loving and he makes sure I know it in no uncertain terms every day of my life.
Q 3: You seem to be an amazing mom for teenagers. I love how accepting you are of the drama that unfolds around you for your daughter's friends and that your daughter knows that her friends can find support and such in your home. Which also sends a message to your daughter that she has a place to fall when needed. Any advice on how you accomplish that or does it just come naturally? Does your daughter appreciate you being this way?
Answer: I really don't know how to answer this question. The 2 girls who came to my home are girls that I like. They respect me, they talk to me. If they weren't like that, they wouldn't have been there. Gina can tell you, I'm not opposed to throwing someone's ass out of my house if they piss me off! There were 2 of her friends who weren't allowed in my house for a number of years. One of them eventually grew on me. The other is just a selfish bitch and Gina FINALLY saw it! But Dani's friends recently needed a safe place to stay and they knew they could find it at my house.I always let my kids have friends stay over whenever they wanted. That way, I knew where MY kids were!
I really don't know if Danielle appreciates anything I do for her. She's very selfish and mean when she doesn't get her way. Although that seems to be easing off a bit as she gets older. I think her going away to school will be a very good thing. Now if I can just get her and John to tolerate each other for my sake, my life would be a lot easier!
Q4: What was your childhood like? Tell as much as you want....
Answer: I am the 4th of 8 kids. We didn't have money. I have no idea how my mother fed us, clothed us, educated us in Catholic schools. College was not an option for us, although most of my siblings eventually got degrees.
In my family, we have a nun who is also a nurse but was the head of her order for 8 years (Irish, she's a Sister of Bon Secours... they're based in Marriottsville, MD), another nurse who now works assisting surgeons in operating rooms, a plumber turned building inspector for the government, a hairdresser turned server (me!), an office manager for a plumbing company, an electrician, a retired computer programmer and a teacher. Three of my 4 brothers served in the Marines, one for 20 years. I have a brother who is gay and has been LIVING with AIDS for 25 years and will most likely outlive us all.
My parents were strict with my mother being the disciplinarian. I guess I was happy as a kid. I really don't remember a lot about it. I don't remember wanting for anything, but we knew better than to ask because the money just wasn't there. We didn't go on vacations, except a day at the shore and going to visit my grandmother (yuck! she lived in the coal regions of PA and she was a mean spirited bitch).
I was in between the 2 troublemakers in the family (Michael and Jeanne) so I pretty much flew under my parents radar. I never got caught smoking or drinking. I know my parents HATED my boyfriend, Kevin who I dated from 16 to 21. My mother said a novena every night for 5 years that we'd break up. When we did, she said a novena of Thanksgiving! I swear!
I lived at home until I was 24 and my mom was pissed when I told her I was moving out and getting an apartment. She got over it and I got married a year and a half later anyway.
Q 5: What do you imagine your life will be like in 5 years? In 10? What do you dream of and what do you think it will really be?
Answer: In 5 years, I hope John will be healthy and we're still together. I'd like to move to the South, where it's warm (usually). I've had enough of cold and snow and freezing rain to last me a lifetime!
I'd like to travel some with John. I want to see Alaska and he wants to travel the west via train through the Rockies and Grand Canyon. I want to go to Hawaii and Ireland and Greece. I want to go back to the Caribbean and go on cruises.
In 5 years, I hope I have a grandchild or 2. To see my kids happy and in loving relationships of their own. I'd love to see Gina perform on stage again (I miss it!) I want to see Dani pursue a career on the stage, but actually I see her more as a teacher. I'm not sure what direction Tim's life is taking, but I hope he finds something that he loves to do.
In 10 years, more of the same! I hope John and I are both healthy and enjoying life.
I dream of having a peaceful family, without the drama that we've had in these past few years. There's a reason I want my license plate to read DRMA MMA (drama mama) LOL!
I'm not sure if John and I will ever marry. I don't think it's that important any more. He has 4 ex-wives. I told him if we every get married I was going to be his LAST wife! Either it's going to work or I'm gonna kill him!
So that's it! Hope I didn't lose anyone on the way!