Member since: Tue Aug 9, 2011, 03:40 PM
Number of posts: 3,415
Number of posts: 3,415
I hate frosting. Disgusting stuff. I won't eat it. I scrape it off everything.
My mom was that lady who baked a cake from scratch with swirls and drifts of beautiful icing for every occasion. Spice cakes had rich cream cheese icing that she'd whip and she'd whip until it was more like meringue than frosting . German Chocolate, my dad's favorite, was layered with thick chocolate butter cream icing and that candied pecan topping, all made from scratch. She'd stand in front of the stove for half an hour stirring that pecan stuff while it bubbled and popped. You couldn't stop stirring or it would burn. She'd trust me to stir it if she was working on something else but my dad wasn't allowed near it. My dad would be hopping around the kitchen, hoping my mom would look the other way, just so he could steal a hot mouthful out of the saucepan.
My mother took her baking very seriously. If you asked my family over for a picnic my mom showed up with a potato salad big enough for a football team, and a beautiful cake. Well, a MOSTLY beautiful cake. Because they were always square, and they always had one corner that was unfrosted. There it would be, a two or three layer sheet cake, looking like Julia Childs had just spent a day in the kitchen baking something fit for the King of France. Except for that one little unfinished corner that looked sort of like an abandoned lot.
Yes, my Sunset-Magazine Worshipping mother, who strove to make every holiday look like a clipping out of her favorite magazine, would leave one corner of her masterpieces unfrosted, unfinished, and undone. Just so her youngest son, who could be a little bit fussy, got to have a piece of cake just the way he liked it.
I saw the eyebrows raised when people looked at her cakes. I know they thought she might be a little bit nutty. The cakes did look weird. Sort of like a roof with one little patch that had no rooftiles, or a perfect lawn with a little square chunk of just good old dirt. But my mom didn't care. Her kids came first. Sunset Magazine be damned.
That's how much my mom loves me.
Happy Mother's Day Mom. I know I won't see you this year but I hope you liked the flowers.
Call your mama, if you can. If you can't, then send them some good energy and a couple of beautiful thoughts.
Posted by DonRedwood | Sat May 11, 2013, 01:55 PM (84 replies)
Hillary Clinton is retired. Resting her weary bones. Sitting on a lounge chair reading a book and getting some sun.
"Hill, can I get you some tea?"
"Sure, Bill, green please."
And she is throwing wicked knock-out political punches from the sidelines.
Welcome to Presidential Politics Hillary Clinton style. For your discussion peeps, I offer this: We are about to see an entirely new type of Presidential Run. Nobody like Hillary Clinton has ever run before. Not even Hillary Clinton when she ran the first time. After the election, McCain settled down on the front porch like an angry old man with nothing better to do than yell at all the passing young whippersnappers, but Hillary seemed to have decided, "Well, what's the next hardest job then?"
Hillary Clinton applied for the job of President. We hired Obama instead. So Hillary looked at her resume and spent the last four years beefing it up. Now, it could be, she was just bored and is the type of person who likes a hard job. Or she could have been thinking ahead to, once again, being the country's first woman President. She is certainly going to be one of the most internationally connected people to run for President. She is certainly, one of our most skilled politicians on the world stage.
So Hillary Clinton isn't even in the race yet. But that doesn't mean she isn't in the ring. Her just released video for gay marriage is a prime example of the race that Hillary is starting to run. Hillary Clinton is so well-known, so respected and just so damned smart and interesting that people stop and listen when she talks.
And so she can and will throw these huge social statements out into the mix that nobody else can compare to. She is the wisest woman of the land in some way. She does not compare to other First Ladies. She does not compare to other Senators. She does not compare to other Secretaries of State. She is unique.
So watch her gay marriage video. Stunningly shot. Her points are not debatable. She just won the argument hands down. Gay people have equal rights of citizenship. What republican message will hold up well to that? Prebus might come out and make a statement-"Uhm, gay people shouldn't get full rights?" Woo hoo. Consider that a punch to the face Republicans... Hillary style.
She's too old says McConnell...but look at the video. Dang man, Hillary Clinton looks beautiful, fresh, ready to take on the world. The Turtle just told us she was a little old grey lady didn't he? Another swing and a miss by the Republicans and a roundhouse punch to the face from Hillary.
Stay tuned ladies and gentleman. From her lounge chair on her vacation, Hillary Clinton is about to run one of the most interesting, amazing and brutal Presidential campaigns in history. Her statements on Gay Marriage alone are groundbreaking in many ways. Love her or leave her, this is going to be one hell of a show. And, as we watch the viewer numbers of this video ratchet up into the millions, let it be known. Hillary Clinton just answered the GOP's attack on her. She is in the ring. She just kicked their asses in round one and didn't even chip a nail.
Bring the lady her tea...she's on vacation.
Posted by DonRedwood | Mon Mar 18, 2013, 02:10 PM (61 replies)
Every once in a while you read about a parent who is...well...one of the best dads ever.
Please enjoy and have a good weekend.
Dad Overhears Son’s Plans to Come Out, Assuages His Fears with Preemptive Letter of Acceptance
Some people (ahem) need to wait until after their son comes out to show their support. Not Nate's dad.
the unidentified father writes his son an inspirational letter of acceptance after accidentally overhearing his express concerns about coming out to his family.
The letter is transcribed below (courtesy of Towleroad):
I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now.
I've known you were gay since you were six, I've love you since you were born.
P.S. Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple.
Posted by DonRedwood | Fri Mar 15, 2013, 10:24 AM (94 replies)
The Pretty Little Hippie Chicks Are Grandmas Now
I work side by side with three beautiful hippie chicks. I know DU explodes when the term “chick” is used and for this essay I am willing to stand up for the word. But I will also appease the anti-chick crowd by also calling them, simply, beatuful women. And for those who will be mad at me for objectifying women I’ll also call them just simply beautiful people. But they were hippie chicks, fair and square.
These three ladies all came of age in the late 60s and their retirement is quickly approaching. It was the topic of conversation at breakfast the other day. And I find myself in mourning. I just love working with these ladies. They are strong, and committed and are always thinking of the next step, the next project, the next thing I should be getting ready for. Good Lord!—at times it is like having three extra moms who are ready to chew you out or cheer you on-depending on the day and the situation. Sometimes they do both at the same time.
They entertain me with tales of their youth. Most often fashion related. One just described her favorite outfit her senior year. White go go boots and a wiglet were part of it. I gasped, "You were a hippie chick?!" "Oh Yes! I WAS a hippie chick!" Then they were all giggling and talking about their favorite outfits, their senior pictures, and suddenly there they were…the three grandmas were three 20 year olds talking about gogo boots, and ponchos and fringe, lime green coats, straight ironed hair, bare feet and wiglets! They were just lit up from the inside talking about that brief time of their life when they were young and carefree and barefoot and, seriously, I could suddenly see them as they were then. Young, with flowers in their hair. Knitting ponchos and being ever so groovy. They were beautiful hippy chicks.
And it was all just kind of shocking when that picture went away and I was looking at three grandmas who are about to retire. And I find myself feeling very sorry for myself this evening that soon enough they will not be part of my day. I miss my hippie chicks already.
Posted by DonRedwood | Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:10 PM (216 replies)
One thing I love about DU is that you never know how broad of an audience your essays and postings might reach. You might spend all day on an essay and get 5 recs and 2 comments. Then you write something else that takes two minutes of frantic angry typing that suddenly is on the front page with a gazillion comments.
In my early days of DU I remember seeing one of my DU posts being republished on a larger website and I was really thrilled. My recent post "That crying you hear is the Republican Party. That crunching you hear is Obama eating their lunch" (which is number two on the Greatest Threads and sitting pretty on the front page of DU http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022117532 ) just had a wonderful thing happen. Stephanie Miller read some of the post on air. I did not get to hear it and I am not sure how much got read but I am very very very proud to say this:
I am always very grateful when I see the comments and recs on my DU posts. Not all of my posts are smart or pretty but I do try to write out of the box and share thoughtful essays on politics and life in general. I share personal information and opinions and I put myself out there to take a beating sometimes. But DU is a unique voice in the political system. We are, in many ways, all that is left of the tradition of the press holding government responsible. I have noticed that DU often breaks stories or is the venue that small-town issues or regional politics often break nationally. Hell, Earl G. can often change the tenor of a national issue with one picture and a smarmy (sorry) comment.
I am very proud to be part of DU. I am proud that my writings and musings often generate a conversation that often opens my eyes up further and further with each comment.
If you heard the Stephanie Miller broadcast, I would love to hear how it went and what the reaction was, if any. Like I said, I missed it, but I'm thrilled to be part of the conversation!!!! If anyone can fill me in, I'd love to hear it. (edit: I've been told she read about half of my post--wow--it was a long essay)
DU ROCKS. (and, the best part of my post being shared is I'd made a little plug for Wishadoo on the bottom of the post so hopefully Wishadoo will get a little traffic. They are trying to help a DUer pay to fix his daughter's wheelchair van so I can only hope that a few more people might donate to make this happen. (hint hint) http://www.wishadoo.org/wishlist/139/help-for-new-engine-for-disabled-van/
Posted by DonRedwood | Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:42 PM (111 replies)
You know that lost bewildered look on the faces of the people at Mitt Romney's Victory Party?
There is a whole lot of that look in Washington today.
The crying you hear is the Republican Party who has just come to the realization that they have had their asses handed to them on a plate.
This is the new Republican World:
They are at an all-time low in unpopularity. Root canals and Republicans are loved equally in the United States.
They are in the middle of a civil war. Neither side can win without the support of the other. Their united front that has stayed firm from the Reagan area until now just fell apart.
The Republican hate for Obama has blinded them. They have reached this pinnacle of power through carefully hiding their agenda behind propaganda and Fox News. President Obama lured them out into the open with his carefully crafted chess game where he played the weak bird with the broken wing. Flap, flap, "look at me! I'm practically a lame duck!" Obama lured them out into the open and in their haste to not get trapped, he managed to trip them up and split their party.
King is calling for people to no longer donate to the Republicans. Cantor is working on a coup. The right is ready to eat anyone who broke from the party line. The Speaker of the House has been turned into a laughing stock. He's at the point where, in the White House he told Reid to "Go Fuck Himself." This is not a healthy party.
For the first time since Reagan the right voted to raise taxes on the wealthy. (This is pretty big, really. Consider that Obama has, somehow, managed to get the right to break on their number one priority). Now what do they stand for?
Social Security and Medicare live to see another day.
We may still see cuts to the defense department...the real cause of our overspending and debt.
Obama it seems, has one trick up his sleeve after another. The Republican sleeves are empty of tricks. Just propaganda and lying left. Romney was proof of that.
The up-and-comers in the Republican party all have fatal flaws. Rubio is deeply connected to a crooked FL Republican Party. He has lied about his family history and their terrifying escape from Castro. Jebby is still a Bush, no escaping that. Ryan? Palin? They have chosen such whack-jobs as their number 2s the last couple of cycles that they leave themselves with only a head whack-job. McCain should have disappeared ages ago but he had to stay and carry the Republican flag...otherwise that left the job to Palin. Ryan is the supposed next guy in line but he just voted to raise taxes. They have no heir apparent.
Demographics are swinging away from the Republicans. Angry rich old white men can only live so long. The younger generation has a hard time with all this anti-condoms, anti-abortions, anti gay, anti-modernity that the Red side offers. They just don't get it and they don't get all riled up about it. The wedge issues that have served the right so well, are losing a lot of their power. They will find new ones, but it takes a while to build up a nation-wide hate pogrom.
The crazy thing about this is that Obama set this trap last year. Remember, the Republicans came out of the first fiscal cliff hurting. It was like watching some idiot on YouTube shooting himself in the foot. So, Obama agreed to put things off and stepped back. I can't help but wonder if he didn't think to himself "These dillweeds just did it once. I wonder if they would fall for it again?" See, he set the same trap twice. And the Republicans walked right into it and just shot themselves in the other foot. And, WTF? Did Obama just manage to get them to agree to shoot themselves again in a few months when we go through this again? My brother used to try to talk me into touching the electric fence when I was a kid. He got me to do it once. He got my less bright cousin to do it twice. Obama just talked them into touching the fence a third time.
So, that crying you hear is the Republican Party crying because their huge over-reaches, brought on by what they thought was a broken-winged lame duck President (luring them out again--flap flap), have finally brought their party to a civil war. They have just passed taxes. Leadership is under question. They feel like they did when they announced Romney didn't win afterall.
The real beauty is that they are crying not only for what just happened to them, but because they know they are going to go through something worse in the next couple of months and years. Every Yes vote is now a Tea party Target--In fact, once the dust clears, the Tea Party will go on the war path and there will be no stability in the party until they stop eating their own. This Yes vote just offered up a whole new banquet of Republicans to the Tea Party Cannibal Buffet. No Republican walks away from those primary battles without being beat up. Some of them so badly that Democrats end up winning in places they were supposed to lose.
They are crying because they know in the near future that Obama will be handing them their asses on a plate over and over again. The new congress will be dealing with immigration (I think Obama is just about ready to cement the immigrant voting block as solidly Democratic...but first he is going to let the Republicans say a whole bunch of nasty things on the record.) They cry harder when the remember that Sandy Hook just put gun control on their plates and, once again, they go into a bargaining session with the President with their position as undefendable as their position on Sandy relief, or taxing the rich, or cutting benefits to the very poor or not paying your credit card debt on the government level. Instead of representing half the country, the Republicans are crying because they have turned into monsters and they just don't seem to be able to stop themselves no matter what. And in the coming months they will be shooting themselves in the foot over and over again. Perhaps that is Obama's game. Death from 1000 cuts...but in this case self-inflicted cuts. Christie certainly jumped into the fray today as he attacked Speaker Boehner in a way I've never seen a governor do to the speaker. More fracturing in the party. Every Republican has to choose if Christie did a good thing or a bad thing. Regardless, the speaker is weakened again by his own party. Et tu Brute?
So, sit back ladies and gentleman. Our President is winning on some big fronts. Yes, we are giving up some stuff in the process, not every win feels like a big win, but we continue to bargain from a place of strength. We just won the election. Our leadership is Pelosi, Reid, Biden and Obama. Um, y'all must have noticed that they are ALL ass-kickers. Romney? Ryan? Boehner? That other guy that looks like a turtle? C'mon people. As I said, they have no heir apparent. We have Hillary Clinton if she wants it. Our next 2nd might be Elizabeth Warren. We already have excitement building to put up our best in the next presidential. They have...well, Paul Ryan voting for taxes. Romney pumping his own gas. Grover norquisting about while the party flounders.
We have chosen well. The future is ours to lose. Now, someone hand me John Boehner's sandwich. I want a bite of their lunch.
And don't forget: If you have some charity left this season, Wishadoo is trying to help a DUer finance getting his daughter's wheelchair accessible van fixed. Here is the link: http://www.wishadoo.org/wishlist/139/help-for-new-engine-for-disabled-van/
Posted by DonRedwood | Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:42 PM (115 replies)
Not the whole world, of course, but some of the world, my world, and sometimes that is enough.
It was just before the holidays, I was a 2nd year teacher in a financial battle with my student loans (they garnished me and the only way to get rid of the garnishment was pay in full, on time, my student loan of $900 a month, for six months. But the garnishment took 25% of my $1800 check (and I only got 9 of those a year) so after the 25% was taken out I was getting paid around 1400 bucks a month, (minus my union dues). To get the garnishment off they wanted $900 more of that $1400 for six months.
And for three months in the summer I didn't get a check at all.
It was awful. I stopped eating breakfast and had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and usually the same for dinner. Right after payday I'd splurge and buy a 2 lb block of cheese. To this day a grilled cheese sandwich tastes like the king's feast to me.
And I thought it was hard. But then I'd go to school (in the poorest neighborhood in town) and everywhere I looked there was a kid that was hungrier than me. ( I'm a big guy with honking big muscles so even hungry my body had a whole lot of muscle to munch on when times were lean) The school lunch program fed the kids breakfast and lunch (if their parents had filled out the forms and sent them in on time) but I had several students I knew would not be eating until they got back to school the next day. I'm not the kind of guy who can deal with things like that very well. I was getting to the point where I couldn't eat anything without feeling guilty.
And then the worst of the worst happened. It was before the holidays and one of my kid's moms lost her job. And then the dad got run over and killed. My educational assistant stopped at their house and told me the next day, "I am sorry and I shouldn't tell you this," as she burst into tears,"I looked in the cupboards while the mom was in the other room. They have nothing. There wasn't even a bean."
We just stood and looked at each other. She made less than I did and I had noticed that her lunch wasn't much different than mine. Peanut butter, and, just like me, she often gave it away to the students.
And I started crying because I couldn't help. I had no money. My credit was ruined or charged to the hilt. Ironically, I didn't have much more than a bean myself. And I just kept on crying on and off all morning. Standing in class, looking at this kid who just lost his dad and was not going to eat dinner.
And I excused myself, got a marker and some paper, and I put up signs in the teacher's lounge that I needed help. And I put up signs in the hall for an emergency food drive. I sent the kid home that night with my parking meter money from the ashtray of my car, my loaf of bread and my jar of peanut butter.
The next day at school one of the teachers walked up and handed me an envelope of $350--every teacher had ponied up some money-there were only 14 of us in the building. The food drive boxes were stuffed and overflowing with food. And I mean overflowing. I think every teacher emptied their kitchens. A lot of the students did too, from the looks of it.
When I pulled up to my student's house that afternoon, the bed of my Chevy pickup was piled high with a mound of canned and boxed foods. When his mom opened the door to me holding a box of food she looked so grateful and happy. Her four kids all standing around her, jumping up and down and screaming as they started looking in the box of food. They were going to have a feast! I don't remember what all was in the box, but I remember his littlest sister jumping up and down, squealing with glee and holding a can of corn like it was gold. Such joy over a can of corn can break your heart.
Mom didn't speak English so I just held up my finger "WAIT!" and ran back around the corner to the car. I ran back to the house with another box. It was like someone handed them another box of gold! More screams! More joy!
Mom was shaking and looked at me with so many thanks I can't explain the depth of it in words. A few times in my life a person has let down their guard and allowed me to look right into their soul. This was one of them.
And so I grabbed her hand and pulled her around the corner and she saw the mountain of food. And she screamed and began sobbing. This was a mom who, five minutes earlier, thought she would be sending her kids to bed without dinner. She was far away in a new country with no friends and no family to help her. She was on her own and was lost.
And then she was found. And she was sobbing for her kids, for her lost husband, for this new hard life she had found herself in. But her kids were screaming and running around my truck in glee, the neighbors started to trickle out to see what the hubbub was about. And they joined in, helping me carry in the mountain of food. We covered the counters and the floors of the kitchen and it spilled out into the living room and slowly filled that up too. Every surface was food.
The kids were laughing and happy. Walking around while sticking out their tummies as though they had already eaten their feast. Mom stood by a picture of her husband and murmured under her breath. Her tears came and went but she never lost this amazed look that wouldn't leave her face.
And then all the boxes and bags were inside. I hugged mom, my student, even his little brothers and sisters. The littlest sister had dropped her corn somewhere and was now holding one of those double sized cans of peaches. (If Golden Lady is a brand, that is what my hazy memory is filling in). And then I handed mom the envelope of money and left. I didn't wait for her to open it. The poor woman was having to hold up this facade because I was there, and I felt she deserved to scream or run or cry or collapse with only her family in attendance.
And I got to my car, cried some more with my head down on the steering wheel, and then I did that Grinch thing where my heart grew ten sizes to big. I changed that day as I came to the realization that I COULD do something. I could ALWAYS do something--even if it took some work to figure out what that something was. And I vowed then to host a food drive at school every year. And I have.
There are way to many "I's" in this story. It is not about me. I did little if nothing. I made some signs and I carried some stuff. I couldn't afford to do more. I had nothing else to give. And so I used what I had to change the world for this family. What we gave them carried them through while the social safety net that we here at DU defend so vehemently, was put into place.
I remind all of you that even if you don't have an extra dime in your pocket can make a difference. If you have a job, ask your boss tomorrow if you can do a food drive. If your kid is in a school, ask the principal tomorrow if you can run a food drive. If you go to church, have a friend who owns a business or works somewhere that might be cool with it, then ask if they'll host a food drive.
Then make a few signs. Carry some stuff. Change the world you live in for the better.
Peace out DU brothers and sisters. Step up if you can. There are people waiting for your help. (and here is a DUer in need here at Wishadoo: http://www.wishadoo.org/wishlist/139/help-for-new-engine-for-disabled-van/ If you have a few bucks to share we can all help this DUer fix the engine of their wheelchair van)
Posted by DonRedwood | Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:26 PM (55 replies)
The Dollar Store here sells fuzzy winter hats and gloves for a buck. Many of us have old hats and gloves stuffed in drawers that we don't really much care for or just don't ever wear. What about those horrible mittens Aunt Gertrude knitted you? Heck, maybe you can knit up a hat by hand!
Hey DU, I challenge you all to get a couple of sets of hats and gloves together, maybe put them in a ziplock in your car, and keep them there for a winter. If you live here where it gets cold, then you know it is only a matter of time until you see a cold homeless person. Imagine if every DU member wrangled up an old pair of gloves and a hat and warmed someone with them. More than a 100,000 cold people who are doing just a little bit better.
I am just finishing up a food drive at work. We have a great big box of food, toothpaste, rice and canned chicken already. We can't all do something so big, but we can all give away a hat, eh?
A happy and warm December to you all and may we all have a chance to make the world a little bit better place this season.
And don't forget Wishadoo this holiday season. it is DU but with a heart that grew ten times too big. :0)) http://www.wishadoo.org/wishlist/139/help-for-new-engine-for-disabled-van/
Posted by DonRedwood | Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:45 PM (40 replies)
There is a class war going on in this country and it has been for a long, long time.
The idle rich no longer act as if they are part of the regular population. They look down upon the worker from such a high perch, that they cannot even bring themselves to help a more lowly person in a time of need. You see that coldness that Mitt Romney practically exuded. Starving to death? Borrow from your parents-but don't ask me for help.
I've seen it plenty in my life but there is one time that keeps popping up in my mind. I keep remembering it as I try to understand the wealthy.
I was fresh out of college and had moved down to LA. I took a job waiting tables at a country club in the Valley. Encino, was like, so bitchin! It was a fancy place up on a hill, looking out over millions of sparkling lights at night. Sweeping green lawns of the golf course and lots of sparkly blue pool water. The people at this Country Club were rich and elite. Stars and some big money backers of the entertainment industry. You never knew who you would be serving drinks to at one of their functions. I remember one weekend were I served Cybil Shepperd lunch, Barbara Billingsly (Beaver Cleaver's mom) a drink and Richie Cunningham's father a dinner. It was pretty crazy!
We were required to wear a wool tuxedo, patent leather soles (that became amazingly slippery after walking through the kitchen a few times) and be clean and tidy at all times. You had to wear that tuxedo even if you had pool duty. 100 degrees out and there you'd be standing in the sun, wool tuxedo, holding a tray, waiting for someone to flick their well-manicured hand at their fourth empty wine glass.
We were required to memorize the names of every member at every table we were serving. We would be told "Mr and Mrs Ringsley will be having steaks this evening with their guests, Mr and Mrs Waldport". We had to greet them all by name when we met them to seat them, "Good Evening Mr and Mrs Ringsley, Good Evening Mr and Mrs Waldport. This way please" Very often the host would have already have spoken to them about their orders so
we would bring them their food without even speaking to them very much. Of course some tables were fun and regulars. They were kind and friendly but for the most part there was a coldness towards the staff. Sadly, the management had a similar coldness--the management was always schmoozing the guests--butt kissing, keeping the rich people happy, emulating them as much as possible. The members looked down on them though and they knew it so they'd take it out on the waitstaff. It was a weird place to be sometimes.
The members would hold all of their parties at the club so in many cases you would serve them dinner on Monday, A small lunch party on Wednesday, tea after golf on Thursday, serve them dinner on Friday night when they are out with their friends, basically babysit their kids at the pool all day Saturday and then on Sunday you are head waiter at their oldest daughter's wedding in the grand party room.
And there was no cash involved. They just signed and a bill was sent at the end of the month. A tip was built in. Not a great tip. It was basically a Red Lobster tip, and the hostess/managers all got a portion of it, so it was an OK tip for Red Lobster it was NOT an OK tip for the head waiter for the guy who has been running your entire wedding from hanging out at the pool all day, to lunch to bridal party to vows in room A to a cocktail party in room B while we tore apart room A (in our tuxedos) and set up dining tables for 400, and then shuttled them back into room A for dinner "Mrs Rinsgley, your table for dinner is ready. Would you care to come with me?" And then they'd eat in A while you tore down the cocktail party and put up the dancefloor (still in your tuxedo) and set up the party where the guests would be dancing until 3 in the morning. "We want to dance another half an hour, put it on my bill". Our tip for all of that would be 12% of the food served--hourly minimum wage for all the moving of tables and chairs and dance floors, and all at a runners pace. It was a very hard job. I never once remember getting a cash tip from a member. Not on Christmas or Easter or Mother's day or at their daughter's wedding. Never a cash tip. Maybe to the management but this wasn't a case of trickle down tip economics. It didn't trickle, whatever it was. These people never thought to give the guy who'd taken care of them all year, a tip on Christmas day, as you serve dinner to 20 of their family members.
And there were a lot of drycleaning costs involved in this job. I was an athlete back then, built with arms and legs of steel. 19" arms (the tuxedos had to be tailored because of my stupid arms and chest) and I can tell you that this job was a workout. Dancefloors!! OMG... those mothers are monsters!! It took all your strength to move those huge slabs of metal and wood.
So, my point is, you really got to know the members. You served them on Christmas and Easter and Sunday and Mother's Day... you watched their kids at the pool, you knew everybody's name, they had requested you repeatedly for all of their lunches and functions and meals. So you knew them and you would think they would aid you in a time of need.
But that isn't the case.
It was a Friday night and I was weaving through the packed dining room with four steak dinners and a whole mess of lobsters on a tray up above my head and I realize that my patent leather shoe with the slippery soles had become entangled on a purse strap. Mrs. Ringsley had put her purse on the floor and wrapped the shoulder strap around the chair leg (probably so no thieving waiters could steal it) and now this strap is wrapped around my foot and, OH CRAP, my slippery soled other shoe is starting to slide, and so it happens. I'm a dude, with junk, and 230 lbs of muscleand bones and I slam down into the floor, in Chinese splits, in a tuxedo, in front of 120+ people, with a tray of steaks and lobsters balance up above my head. And the pain is excruciating
And I can't move. My leg is tied up behind me. The diners are all around me so I can't roll out of it. All I can do is sit there, on my recently smashed junk, trembling and gasping with my eyes closed while I tried to (OH MY GOD THIS HURTS) breath. I'm sunburned from pool duty but I can feel my face turn even redder--I wouldn't be surprised if I was purple by that point. My eyes water. I may have squeaked or yelped.
And every eye in room is on me. Just staring. And the lady in front of me picks up her for and takes a bite and starts to slowly chew.
Not a single person moved to help me. Mrs Ringley, with her gin and tonic is perched on the chair that is pinning down my leg, and she just drinks her drink and looks at me over her shoulder. She certainly could hear the dishes clinking above me as my arm trembled and my guts were churning. (I mentioned the smashed junk, didn't I?)
I don't know how long. It felt like an hour. The woman directly in front of me took two slow bites of dinner and chewed them politely while I teetered there. Two tables over was the cardiac dr who I served breakfast every Sunday for the past year. He just sat there and looked me in a sort of disinterested way.
This dinner tray must not fall. It would come out of my paycheck and, believe me, this dinner cost more than I was going to make for maybe the whole weekend. I the lobsters must not fall!
I took in a deep breath with my mouth in a tight puckered "o". It made a whistle sound you could hear in the completely quiet dining room. And I willed myself not to move. I sat there and sat there and nobody came to help. Not one of them. I didn't call out for help. It didn't occur to me to call out because, well, um, wasn't it kind of obvious that I needed help? And then it seemed we waited another hour, and finally the door to the kitchen swung open and out came a co-waiter (My Hero!!) who saw my predicament and, quietly and quickly weaved his way through the tables over to me (PLEASE, Dear God, Hurry!!) and took the tray out of my shaking hand.
"Table fourteen, medium steak is position A," I gasped weakly as I rolled over onto my side. Lightning shot through my hamstring and groin. My front leg was screaming in agony. My junk was screaming in agony, I wanted to scream in agony.
But I sucked it up, I comically slipped on the rug a few times, my feet scissoring around like I was on ice, and was able to stand up and weave my way out of the dining room, still all eyes on me as I made it to the door to the kitchen. Someone clapped a few little soft claps, and there was a murmur and some chuckling. I had to take a few minutes flopped across a lounge chair out by the pool in the dark. I was limping when I came back to the dining room. And my junk was aching like someone had dropped 150 lbs on it. As I served my tables some of the members made cute little comments to me. Teased me. Laughed like we were all part of this funny joke.
But it disturbed me. I made light of it and smiled and was oh so pleasant and nice. But I was really bothered. It was really hurtful in many ways that these people just sat there when someone had been so kind to them for so long, needed their help. I did not understand it then, wasn't old enough to have had the experience to understand all the layers of human behavior that were exhibited that day. But it was clear to me that these people all shared a general feeling towards the classes below them. Disdain. Disinterest. Dismissal.
Not long after that I saw a bumpersticker that said "Eat the Rich". It suddenly sunk in that I saw the "Rich" as something bad I didn't like. I left the job soon after. I was tired of sweating to death wrapped in wool and patent leather. I was tired of the managers skimming off the tips. I was tired of those same managers saying on a Wednesday. "I saw these new shoes at the store. I want everyone to be wearing them by Friday." And so you'd be wearing new patent leather shoes that were tearing your feet apart and were more slippery than ever, for 14 hours on Saturday. I'd been able to take all that but the straw that broke this camels back were the members. They varied from cold to friendly but most just ignored us. But none of them, even the nice Dr, came to my help when I needed it.
Not a one of them.
And I decided I did not care to be around people like that.
And therein lies the class war. The upper class is, for a large part, kind of disgusting and unlikeable and they don't have our backs and so we don't like them. And they are always trying to take our stuff. If they want us to like them, they should try being nice and sharing. If you have a billion dollars, lower your prices or raise your wages. Jeez, c'mon, give back a little.
This has been my little opus on class warfare. I hope you have a lovely day and thank you for reading.
If you have some charity in your heart, please have a visit to Wishadoo. It is DU approved and, in my opinion. one of the sweetest little corners of the interwebs. :0) http://www.wishadoo.org/wishlist/139/help-for-new-engine-for-disabled-van/
Posted by DonRedwood | Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:38 PM (160 replies)
I know it is wrong to be enjoying Romney's loss so much but....(and in my family the children were the REASON for cooking the feast....)
Ever since conceding to President Obama in the early-morning hours of November 7, Mitt Romney has kept a low public profile. After blaming his election loss on Obama's "gifts" to minorities in a phone call to donors--comments that drew criticism from many in his own party--the former GOP standard bearer has hardly even surfaced in the news, popping up occasionally on a California rollercoaster or incongruously pumping his own gas.
A new Washington Post story sheds light on Romney's post-election mourning period.
It quotes sources close to Romney as saying the now California-based businessman, who has waged what seemed like a perpetual campaign for president over the past six years, is facing boredom as he struggles to adapt to a wide-open schedule.
It also details a surprisingly casual Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy of Boston Market:
Over Thanksgiving, one of Romney’s five sons, Josh, his wife and their four children packed into a single bedroom at the Spanish-style villa on Dunemere Drive here. One friend said they ordered their turkey dinner from Boston Market, the home-style restaurant chain, because there were too many kids running around the house to bother with cooking a feast.
Posted by DonRedwood | Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:56 PM (42 replies)