While today is Mother's Day and I'm blessed to still have my Mom (88), it's May 12th and that date is so very special to me. Some of my readers have heard this story before but I'll keep re-posting it with pride and heartfelt memories. I do wish all the Mom's out there a Happy Mother's Day.
On May 12, 1982, a young, single mother of a 6 month old baby walked into the Raritan Valley Country Club for her first day of a new job and hopefully towards a new life. She was proud and didn't want to continue on welfare and food stamps and wanted to support her son and herself.
She had waited for her tax return the month before to get enough money to buy an older used car so she would have transportation. Her best friend, who was a stay at home Mom, offered to babysit for a small amount of money each week. Things were finally going to be OK.
The job was as a waitress at a private country club. The pay was a much higher rate per hour without tips but she needed to depend on a set amount of money each week, so this worked out great. She was used to working at diners or family restaurants so this was a step up for her but she could do anything she set her mind to. She was also used to cooks who had hot tempers and abused waitresses either verbally, physically or both.
The country club had a whole staff of new recruits starting that day for the season. Most of them were home from college for the summer but she was going to be permanent. She arrived a bit nervous, wearing a white dress blouse, black jumper, stockings and white waitress shoes. She was young, slender and knew she was hired for her looks because while it was a country club, the male members ran it their way. She didn't care. As long as she got the job and they liked her, she would stay.
After a quick orientation for all the new wait staff, the head waitress brought them all into the kitchen to meet the kitchen crew. They were all introduced to the cooks and the chef. She shook the chef's hand, looked him in the eye and told him that she would appreciate his respect and patience while she learned "his" way in "his kitchen" but was more than willing to comply.
He was in his 40's, handsome and totally dumbstruck when she did this. Never in his career had anyone ever done something like this. He could only imagine what kind of idiot chefs she must have worked for in the past. He had to admit that he liked her style and admired her forward yet complying introduction. He told her he would gladly teach her about his style and methods of cooking if she would kindly respect the cooks when it was crunch time and not shout at them. Deal she said!
Little did she know that that day would forever be the turning point in her life. She learned from that chef and together they became good friends. Six months later they became man and wife for the next 23 years until he passed away due to illness. Every year on May 12th, she celebrates that day as the day that changed her life forever.
That waitress was me and that chef was Rich. My stars were aligned that day. It's always a great day to remember!
|Taken shortly after we were married. Dec. 1982|