ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day: Beats flippin' eggs

When people have asked why I turned my back on the hospitality industry after a 17-year run, I oversimplify things by saying that I was tired of being married to a restaurant. And Mother’s Day is a great example of what that marriage was like.

At 14-years-old, and then 17 years later, Mother’s Day meant one thing to me and my compatriots---work. That is, that day was always far and above the busiest sales day of the year. While you and yours were treating dear old mom to breakfast or brunch or dinner, I was there in the store making sure it went well. Waiting line in, waiting line out. Year-in, year-out. A hellacious day.

But as I approached my 31st birthday, I had this premature mid-life crisis which had my head filled with all sorts of intemperate and selfish thoughts. I wondered what it would be like to enjoy a work-free weekend like those normal people did. And I fantasized about being the customer on a holiday, not a proprietor. And I had a hankering to watch The New York Football Giants every Sunday, just like I had done before I was drafted into the high-volume maelstrom that was the kitchen at Percy A. Brown & Co.: Foods of Distinction.

So, despite the warnings and protestations of those of a similar industry rank, I called the division office and gave the top dog a three-week notice---I quit.

And ever since, I’ve enjoyed my weekends off. I have spent every holiday since with family and friends, not customers. Obviously, you ought not interrupt me when those aforementioned gridiron warriors are engaged in battle. Still though, even with the divorce from the restaurant finalized, Mother’s Day still came up flat since my mother had passed away two years before said divorce.

Ironically, it was her passing that shook me to my very core and brought on that soul-searching that felt like a crisis. If she hadn’t passed away when she did, I am firmly convinced that I would be bailing out my hung over short-order cooks at this very moment. As I said, waiting line in, waiting line out. Year-in, year-out. While I dearly miss her, I will never miss that.

It’s bittersweet enough to make me want to go and have a nice one-way conversation with her overpriced headstone. But as I have done on each and every Mother’s Day since 1988, I’ll take a pass on that. See, I ain't got no need for tears.

In keeping with the selfishness bit, I think I'll fire up a bicycle and wander aimlessly throughout the town.

Beats flippin' eggs.


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