Today I went to Trader Joe’s to make a few purchases, among them some kind of dark chocolate to use for Hanukkah gelt. I put a few blocks of chocolate in my cart, planning on breaking them up and wrapping the pieces in foil. I advertised “cutthroat” dreidl and I need to be ready. Then I spied some dark chocolate-covered almonds and thought that they would serve my purpose with less work. But I forgot to take the bars out of the cart, so I had to go back and return them, right after I left. For some reason I felt the need to explain to the two checkers, and when one of them failed to understand, the other one explained. “She is using them for guilt.” “No”, I said, “gelt. Vegan gelt. You know, like the chocolate coins wrapped in foil.” “Oh, we used to carry those.” “Yes, but they were milk chocolate, so I couldn’t have used them anyway.” “Well, we have some gluten-free cookies.”
I’m sorry. I will admit that I didn’t say anything, just looked at him with a “you’re kidding me, right?” look and walked out wondering what the gluten-free cookies were going to do for the animal kingdom.
It was slow yesterday. I wish that I knew what each day at Adama held in store for us. Even as a child I never liked roller coasters. I remember getting off one at the St Nick’s Annual Fair and my brother having to win me a stuffed animal to stop my tears. For my children, Papi was the one who was in charge of visits to amusement parks. They talked me into Magic Mountain once, and got me on a roller coaster that went backwards. I was sick for three days. I struck up a conversation with an old school mate last year. In one message he claims to think about me every day. Then I don’t hear from him for weeks. Like me or don’t, pay attention to me or don’t, want to see me or don’t. But don’t ask me to take a roller coaster ride with you. Not the literal kind, nor the figurative emotional kind. I had a boyfriend who always kept me guessing. When I got myself off of that roller coaster, suddenly he couldn’t live without me, loved me more than any woman he had ever loved including his ex-wife, and begged me to tell him what he could do. But I was done. After him, I have tried to make a point of being intentional about letting those I love know it. There are too many ups and downs that are uncontrollable. I have no idea whether we will serve 20 people today, or 200. But I want love to be a given.
I have a sweet tooth. Actually, teeth. I have gained about 6 lbs. since we opened. I mean, I have to control the quality of the items in the bakery case, no? If not me, then who? Sometimes the restaurant is a cruel taskmaster, but I have come to the conclusion that no matter what curve balls life throws in my direction, if I can munch my way through them, I am good. However, nothing in my closet fits, so something has to give. One thing that I would like to see change is the amount of peace that I have with my body. It needs a break from my constant criticism. If it had its own will apart from mine, it would have abandoned me a long time ago because of all the nagging. My mother used to tell me that what was fat about me was my head. She meant my perception. We used to do the master cleanse together, but a few days in, I would eat cookies on the sly. I think she did, too, but we didn’t want to ruin the other’s inspiration. Even when I was what I can recognize now as undeniably thin, my poor body never got a rest from complaint. I have looked at old photos of myself and wondered who that skinny woman was until I realized it was me. I think its time to embrace my body, endearingly call it “voluptuous” and eat a cookie.
I never want to be the kind of person who jumps around with joy and feels awash in blessings from above when things go “my” way, and later whines when they don’t. If you trust that your needs are known when they are being met in a recognizable way, then just plainly trust. Period.
Its so easy when Adama has a night of customers cozying into the booths and nooks, ordering drinks, and exclaiming over desserts, to feel like we have arrived and its smooth sailing from here on in. That was last night. Tonight, though, I have already sent one server and the bartender home, and had plenty of time to linger over dinner and chat with my son. I have a couple of times in my life had bills that I knew would take some creativity on my part to get paid. But this is the first time in my life that I come to the end of my funds weekly and wonder if the whole thing is going to crash down on me. And, yes, its a little daunting, but there is something about coming to the end of your own resources that opens your life to miracles.
I am a writer. I am not claiming to be a good one, but I am one. I got a message from one of my siblings once, after having read a post of mine on the Adama fb page. It was a comment telling me that other restaurant pages don’t contain comments of such a personal nature. For good or for bad, I have always at least taken into consideration the input of this occasional self-appointed editor of my life, and so I immediately stopped being as publicly open with my heart, not wanting to potentially harm my very new venture.
I have only read one book by Stephen King. I generally avoid that genre, as it tends to stay with me for a long time. The book I read of his was called, “On Writing.” Apparently he would just as soon stop breathing as stop writing, and although I am not that kind of writer, the written word has always been my chosen form of expression. I highly recommend that book; his story is inspirational on many levels, if none other than to witness the love, respect, and devotion he has for his wife. I loved that it wasn’t a “make it big and trade her in” kind of story.
So while other business owners might not wear their hearts on their collective sleeves, this blog will be the window to mine.