Saturday, November 11, 2006

Comings and Goings

I lost TWO cooks in less than a week. One disappeared mid-shift last Wednesday night, and another just stopped showing up, as of last Sunday. I still haven’t heard from kid #2. I have to assume he decided he couldn’t handle two jobs… I should have known better than to hire him, but he seemed SO eager during the interview. I had a feeling right away that he wasn’t going to work out. Still…I didn’t expect things to transpire in exactly this way.

I don’t know why, but I’m not panicked about the whole thing. The lousy weather has severely curtailed our business, and I know in my heart that I am fully capable of being the only cook, should it come to that. And it has been a good thing for me to finally take control of my kitchen; if only to give over that control when I finally hire someone capable and trustworthy. Maybe the one I hired today will turn out to be that. Or maybe not. In the end, all I can do is keep trying to move forward and trust that in due time the Universe will provide what I need.

At least this person I hired today is only thirteen years my junior. Presently, my oldest employees are in their early twenties. And I have to admit, working with all these young people makes me feel older than dirt. Being childless, Husband and I do not have that connection to the younger generation that other folks our age have. I remember my own mom and dad going through a sort of "second youth" in the seventies, when we kids were all crazy teenagers. We were their link to the pop culture of the time, and they chose the bits and pieces of it that they were able to embrace (For dad, it was long sideburns, "flared" pants, and leisure suits… My mother, on the other hand, discovered pantsuits, and, well…wine.)

Fifteen years ago, when I was managing my little bakery, I had a crew full of college students (and JackieJ .) I felt pretty hip...I felt like I could hold my own in a conversation with them. Then again, I was only in my mid-thirties myself. I wasn’t quite old enough to be their mother. It had been less than a decade since I had fallen off the edge of the earth, pop-culture wise. The music of the eighties seemed new to me; the girls could at least remember the songs, though they were in middle school when those tunes hit the charts.

So, today, I’m in the kitchen with my last remaining cook. We have settled on a radio station called "Charlie FM," whose motto is "We Play Everything." And so they do. Today we heard everything from Dean Martin’s "That’s Amore" to…well, whatever it is they listen to these days. Damned if I can name one current band.

Anyhow, they come up with stuff that you haven’t heard in a million years. This morning, "Our Lips Are Sealed" came on, and I said, "Wow, now here’s one you haven’t heard in forever." For some reason, I assumed my twenty-year-old cook would be familiar with this song… This song that I think of as not that old. This song that came out roughly five years before he was born. Augh! Yep. I am indeed older than dirt.

I recently got the first haircut NOT from hell that I have had in, like, the last three years. And I had a weave done, so I have this nice blonde highlight thing going on. By all rights, I should be able to take stock of my reflection and be pleased that I don’t look half bad for a broad of fifty-one. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m forced to consort with a gaggle of cute, firm, nubile, WAY young girls every day. For the first time in my life, I kid you not, I look in the mirror and see a middle-aged woman staring back at me. And I think, "Who the hell is that?"

So, will this new enterprise prove a vehicle by which I prove that I am as capable as any sprout less than half my age? Or will it show me once and for all that I am, indeed, well and finally over that fabled Hill? Time—that commodity of which I feel myself increasingly losing control—will tell.

No comments: