Archive for February, 2006
Inpired by a book that’s out about celebrities getting canned from jobs, I’ve decided to share my most humiliating month with you. When I was at the tender young age of 28, I still waited tables for a living because stand-up comedy wasn’t paying the bills and I’m a horrible actress. At the time, I didn’t even know I could be a writer or anything else, knew I need to do anything else, but didn’t know how to quit being a waitress. God or Buddah or Satan knew I needed help and intervened in a most creative way. I got fired from three different jobs in a matter of weeks – basically burning every bridge in the restaurant biz and became forced into a plan B. Of course, at the time of the last firing, it seemed my life could not be more tragic.
The first restaurant to 86 me was one where I’d been working for over a year. Due to my opinionated nature and the South American owner’s dislike of women with opinions I’d been skating on thin ice for almost as long as I’d been employed. I’d often come out with crazy things like “It’s almost closing time. Do you think we still need all six of us waitresses on with only two tables?” Or doozies like “since we’re out of halibut should we erase it from the ‘specials board’?” You can see where they wouldn’t like having me around much. One day, a regular customer who was seated at the bar was served an extra half glass of wine by me and not charged for it. A) he was very cute and B) it was a fucking half glass of wine to a regular. But my manager who had all the charm of a diaper rash told me that he saw me pour the extra wine and I had to pay for it. I refused. How ridiculous. And he told me to go home. The next day when I called in as requested I was told my services would no longer be required.
Okay, truth be told I’d been fired before and I do know that I had a shitty attitude about being talked down to in the service industry but anyone could see that was a misdemeanor not a felony. Whatever. I knew I had to get another job and quick.
Just down the street was a bar infamous for changing owners every five minutes. But I took my chances, walked into it’s current incarnation as an All American Sports Bar and asked the owner for a job. The owner was approximately my age with a major frat boy demeanor which at the time should have been a red flag but my rent was due, so when a cocktail waitress position was offered with the condition I had to wear a short skirt my response was “how short do you want it?” I started the next night.
“Steve” the owner, as expected turned out to be quite the douche bag. Have you ever met a frat boy who wasn’t? Right. But this guy’s sadistic streak went way beyond a little innocent frat house date rape. Within my first week there, he fired a woman who worked behind the bar who had stage four ovarian cancer and no health insurance. I thought that was horrifying but wasn’t in a place to storm out in protest. Next I found out that he’d spanked the previous bartender so hard two of her fillings got knocked out. Yes, you read that right. He turned her over his knee after hours and spanked her. She quit and promptly sued for sexual harrassment. I never found out if she won. But that didn’t scare me off the job either. Within two weeks, Steve was calling me drunk at 3 a.m. to make sure I got home safely and ask if he could come over. After a few calls like this, I politely asked him to please not call me after hours anymore and was promptly fired for “not having a friendly attitude.” Which was, again, true but not the real reason I was fired.
I was starting to get nervous. I couldn’t sue Steve for sexual harrassment because I’d only worked at the bar for two weeks. I needed yet another job. The very next day, I made my way farther up the same street. A few blocks north was an Irish bar I’d actually frequented a few times so I gave it a shot. I was looking sort of Irish that day anyway with my hair in braids and a Greek fisherman’s cap. Okay, I’m not sure what’s Irish about that but the owner who I swear to god was drunk at two in the afternoon when I went in, hired me on the spot. I was to come back that very same night for training with a more experienced waitress. When I returned, it seemed that the woman I was supposed to train with wasn’t showing up. I bravely offered to just jump into it with limited instruction and they had no choice but to take me up on it. By 10 p.m. the bar was in full manic drunken swing with old gross men ogling everything that walked by and let me tell you, Irish accents aren’t so cute when the guy is drunk and slobbering. I’m sure it would be sexy on Colin Farrel but not on these boozers.
One party in particular stood out to me. The fat women in Spandex pants was the worst of the lot. It seemed to be some sort of celebration and she seemed to have put herself in charge. There was a lot of finger snapping going on which I didn’t appreciate. Spandex kept the commands for more drinks coming and I was busy, new at this place and losing patience with her attitude. Finally, I come over to find her yelling at the busboy who’d tried to bus a table of empty pint glasses. She was screaming at him that “there’s some still left in there” and then went on to call him a “stupid Mexican.” I’d had about all I could take from this cow. I went over and pulled her away from him and told her she was cut off and that I’d be getting her thrown out. She, naturally, was friends with the owner and at the end of the night I was taken into the kitchen and told in an accent much like Mr. Farrell, “Sorry, sweetie, it didn’t work out. You can’t be causin’ any trouble especially on your first night.” I actually cried in humiliation at this one.
That was it. I’d had it. Later that week a few friends took me out to try to cheer me up with alcohol. I stayed away from Bailey’s, Killion’s and any scotch at all just to be on the safe side, and drank margaritas all night. Suddenly, a woman approached me and asked if I wanted to be a contestant on a dating show she was producing. I had nothing to lose. Nothing at all so I said, “I don’t want to be on it but I’d love to write on it.” She told me to send my resume which I promptly went home and doctored up. I made up a few credits and beefed up my stand-up quite a bit. I ended up getting that job and many jobs after. Out of maybe thirty jobs in television I managed to only get fired once. And that was from a remake of the Three Stooges. Who could put up with that anyway?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on February 27, 2006 3:59 am
Being a mother of a fifteen-month-old means never leaving conditioner on your hair for a whole three minutes. I’ve just realized all of the cutting corners I do now. Now that I have spawned. So many things I took for granted before child: standing in front of two different brands of spaghetti sauce taking the time to read the ingredients in order to make a more informed decision about which one I want, going into more than one store at the mall before giving up and heading for the kiddie play area (an area which is full of germs that can practically crawl onto your kids. And an area I had no idea even existed until baby), going to restaurants that aren’t kid friendly, laying in bed watching bad Lifetime movies, eating something without little hands reaching to pull it out of my mouth and into hers (but if it’s offered to her while in her highchair, it’s met with a violent head shake and mouth that’s been surgically sealed shut), having presentable toenails, having sex in my bedroom which is right next to her room (this can actually be a positive since you’re forced to find other areas of the house), drinking til you puke, getting up after 8 (I almost didn’t have a baby because I’m not a morning person), not thinking of every fucking moment as a great photo op.
Okay, enough bitching. Here’s what I’m finding out as well. Having a baby has made me a better person and I realize I’m a big old hack for saying that. But it’s true. I don’t know the extent of my selfishness before but whatever the level it was, it’s been curbed. I don’t have as much in common with my old friends but it’s like wearing in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes great shoes take awhile to feel really comfortable. But once you’ve worn them in, you can’t imagine what life was like before you owned them. And you wear the shit out of those crazy leather Manolo’s now! So it is with a baby, eventually they become like an added appendage.
Now going to Whole Foods is an adventure. Who would’ve thought it could be interesting to smell the candles and stare at the seafood? And who could’ve predicted how many old people are drawn to the two of us like Britney Spears to a bag of Cheetos! They freaking love us. I have a feeling I could get a lot of money for my baby on the Seniors market. I don’t know. I guess I’m feeling a little sentimental this evening. Yes, of course I’m two Pinot Grigios in. You know me. But still…listening to my girl laugh like a maniac at me peeking at her around the sliding shower doors over and over made all the cutting corners worth while. Sort of. I do miss Lifetime Movies.
No one tells you how hard it’s going to be. How much you have to change. If I’d known would I have still done it? Of course. I once told my therapist (it’s mandatory to have a therapist in Los Angeles so don’t judge) that I was unsure if I wanted children and I wanted to really really want a baby to have one. Her professional opinion: it’s just what people do. And so it is. And so here I am. Quite different. But in my opinion, much improved. Though you wouldn’t know it by looking at my toes.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on February 26, 2006 4:17 am
So, I’m realizing that my husband and I have not had an actually holiday with real gift giving in quite awhile. You all heard about Valentines day and I was just thinking back to Christmas. Although, I’m a Jew, my mother decided when I was a sprout that we would celebrate Christmas. We had everything but a tree. I guess that would just be too rebellious in her semi blacksheep of the family way. There were stockings hung on the mantle with care and Santa came every year to bring presents on December 25th. Except for one Christmas when I was six and my mother decided that I was not deserving of Christmas and blocked off the fireplace so that Santa would come down our chimney, see it blocked off and know that a naughty child lived there and didn’t deserve any presents. But I’m not bitter. No not at all.
Holidays have lost some of their meaning for me for various reasons but this year, being married to an Episcopalian, we had all intentions of celebrating Christmas. Except for one small problem. No time, money and a small baby who wouldn’t remember it anyway. We decided to get creative and make it easier on ourselves. Yes, relatives got gifts but for each other we each got to spend ten dollars at the 99 cents store. Here’s what I got that I can remember.
1. Spice Girls – One Hour of Girl Power – VHS
2. Massingil Disposable douche – Two pack
3. Barbie sunglass case
4. Giant inflatable microphone
5. Tire shine
6. Poker playing cards
7. Tic Tacs
8. Jesus candle
9. Some sort of glowing magic wand
10. N’Sync puzzle
Here’s what I got him:
1. CD visor – holds 10 cd’s.
2. Boxer puppies calendar
3. Pumice stone for his feet
4. Amoral window car cleaner
5. Sports Almanac from 2003
6. Mexican knock-off version of Eclipse chewing gum – 2 packs
7. Nascar (Dale Ernheart) pen
8. Box of Lipton’s green tea
9. toothpicks (three containers)
10. Letter sized envelopes
Honestly, it was lovely. Here’s to being able to suspend holidays and still have a good time.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on February 21, 2006 4:34 am
My husband didn’t like my last post. He felt it was kind of gross and personal and that the internet is not a great forum for gross and personal. Seeing as my husband is a reasonable man who doesn’t beat me on a regular basis, I decided to respect his feelings and take it off. This doesn’t mean I won’t still be personal cause that’s just me but I guess talking about another man doing something kind of gross to my hip was a little too much for the man I’m currently married to.
I don’t think I’ve blogged much about my husband. He likes to keep things on the down low and I guess I just like to spout about tons of personal shit. Not that he shushes me or anything but there’s the look especially when I’m about three Pinot Grigios in that says, “Do you have to tell people everything?” and I guess I do.
Maybe it’s because I never felt “heard” as a child? Maybe it’s because I’m constantly searching for people who relate to me. People who get it. Whatever it is. I’ve always felt different and it makes me feel better when I find out that people aren’t perfect and when they tell me their faults and vulnerabilities and just maybe I do it to get the ball rolling. But let’s get off the analysts couch and dish about my husband whether it makes his skin crawl or not.
He’s awesome. I got very lucky in this department. It’s a long story but we met online. I was new to AOL and was trolling through people’s profiles to see if anyone had a good sense of humor. At that point it was a dating thing but I have to say, I’m not above it to this day. I just went on a blind date with a new friend I met on Myspace! yes, I’m fifteen. But she was really cool, had a funny profile, was married and lived down the street from me. And now we’re madly in love. Anyway, I found J’s profile on AOL and found it to be amusing so I instant messaged him. He didn’t know who the hell I was and was a bit suspicious. But his profile said that he was in television so I said “I understand from your profile that you’re in television. It just so happens that I need to buy a new one. Do you have any tips?” We were off and running from there. four months later we decided to meet for coffee where I quickly decided he wasn’t my type. but I couldn’t just break up with him. That would be lame. He’d think it was all about looks and he was cute. Just not my type or so I thought. So I gave it a few dates and fell hard in love.
He is consistant and loving and level headed and logical. Just like a man. I am emotional, tend to cling to my past, sometimes vindictie but also love him as much as it’s humanly possible to love someone. And, with my backround, I’m always (not always but when under stress) paranoid that he’ll ditch me and my neurosis.
But we are celebrating our 2nd anniversary this Wed. and we’ve been together almost 7 years. We missed Valentine’s day completely because we were in the ER together with our daughter. Isn’t that kind of a Love Is cartoon? Love Is…no chocolate cause your kid is hooked up to an IV. Cute, right?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on February 19, 2006 4:56 am
So the next day which was Sunday, dear readers, all seemed well in our household. The baby woke up in my bed after crying in her crib at 1 a.m. when we finally returned from the Four Seasons AKA the ER so I stuck her in bed with me. We woke up around 7:30 (cause babies can’t possibly sleep in no matter how late they go to bed -they don’t understand that there’s nothing that exciting to wake up for – it’s not exactly Christmas – it’s Sunday). All seemed fine except for a mild temp of 100 which we, meaning I (my husband was still out of town – read visiting hookers)treated with Tylenol and called my brother to come help me out for the day. I was exhausted at this point and needed someone to bring me trashy magazines and watch the baby while I at least clean the puke out of the bathroom.
Meanwhile the baby refused to eat or drink all day but otherwise acted fine. Actually she drank a little first thing in the morning but then went on strike. and yes, I tried everything, popcicles, pedealyte, Margaritas…you name it she swatted it away.
Around 5:30 she started screaming. Blood curdling screaming and hitting her head into my chest. Seriously, out of nowhere. It went on without a break for a half hour before I AGAIN called the emergency oncall doc who couldn’t help but hear my predicatment throught the phone. I said “no fever, was acting fine all day is now screaming in pain” he said “take her back to the er she might have an obstruction.” So back into the car we go with screaming baby to my least favorite place on the planet.
When we arrive, the same meter maid is there doing intake to greet us. And to see her demeanor you’d think she’d never been home. She stares at me like I’m Oprah trying to get into Hermes after hours and shoves paper work at me and Screamy. I’m like “don’t you still have our paper work from last night?” She doesn’t even dignify that with a response just repeats “fill out the paperwork.” So I do. Who can argue with the devil?
Finally since I don’t want to torture you with too many unfunny details, I am taken back again. Again, they are rude and take her temp and then put me in a back room and ask what the problem is. After explaining the situation over her screaming as if it needed much explanation. They declared that I was there for “crying baby” even though she’d been in the ER the night before with 103 fever.
Okay, you parents are going to LOVE this next part. My asshat doctor who’s assigned to me actually says “maybe she’s just colicky.” MAYBE SHE’S JUST COLICKY? Which of course reminded me of that old joke: what do you call a person who graduated dead last in their medical school? A doctor. So you see what I’m dealing with.
Next I have this nurse who I’ve nicknamed Highlights because of her horribly racoon like hair. Highlights was a bitch on wheels who clearly didn’t want to be there, was about 27 and seemed to be more interested in her nails than my baby.
So doctor colick gets a call from my pediatric practices on call doctor who is a beautiful beautiful man (I’ve never met him but I can only assume by his wisdom and patience and willingness to not tolerate the idiocy I’m dealing with) let’s the ER know that he thiks my kid my have an obstruction and tells them what to do. But first they decide they must put an IV in her because she’s again badly dehydrated. This begins both mine and my baby’s reigh of terror and crying. No one of these idiots could find a vein. Okay, back up for a moment here. You know how people who work in places like hospitals can get so immune to the presence of patients that they just say inappropriate shit while you’re right there? Well, this woman in an AC/DC t-shirt – I kid you not – says “I’m done with the babies and kids. That’s it, I’ve had enough. I’m so done with them.” this is said while I’m walking by her with my poor crying baby in my arms. What a cunt right? Sorry ladies, but that’s what she was. Well, after two nurses try to find a vein in vain for an hour they call in Miss I Hate Babies. I said “I overheard you say you don’t want to deal with babies so I’d rather not have you work on mine” the male nurse (and aren’t they always a little suspect anyway?) tells me condecendingly “She’s done hundreds of these. Believe me, she’s doing you a favor by staying after her shift to help.” Doing me a favor? A favor that will cost me and my insurance company thousands of dollars asshole.
The dream team tries to find a vein again for a long time until I find my doctor and put a stop to it. I said, “I don’t care how dehydrated she is, there has to be another way.” He tells me he’ll get someone from NICU to come down and try. By the way, this is a different doctor cause I got rid of Dr. Colick and requested the doctor I’d had the night before. So NICU lady comes down and has no more luck than anyone else.
Finally, they stop trying to hook up an IV and decide she needs a CAT scan of her lower GI. If you’ve never had the pleasure of your baby having one, let me fill you in. They strap them down on a piece of metal in a blue straight jacket while they scream and reach their arms out for mama to help them. It would have taken an entire bottle of Xanax to stop my crying. Even then, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have been whimpering if I was still conscious. Then they fill their little rectum with fluid intil they’re “very uncomfortable. NOT IN PAIN!!! Just uncomfortable.” It sure sounded like pain to me.
After this test it was back to our curtained room to await the results which Highlights told me could take two hours.
I finally got my peanut to sleep off of my chest on the bed and went in search of warm blankets since neither highlights nor anyone else offered me a blanket. While on my search highlights who was munching a salad and some BBQ chips at her station told me in no uncertain terms to get back in my room. And that I wasn’t allowed out and that she had no magazines and could not change the channel on the tv in my room which was loud and in spanish. finally I climbed on a chair and turned it off myself.
At 3 a.m. after much bitching, I was finally moved to the PICU. For the childfree reading that’s the Pediatric ICU. There, I was finally treated with dignity although they did make more attempts at finding a vein. Again they couldn’t. But after poor baby drank a little juice, they let me take her to bed. In the morning, they put tubes down her nose and into her stomach to get fluids in her. I refused any more needles. We were moved to a room in the Peds ward which we shared with another mom who was quite talkative to be nice. Sweet but I was spared no detail of her life even in my tired state.
So, I had to stay another night and I basically watched the bachelor (what’s up with him keeping Moana the crazy one?) and went to sleep. This morning Elby was drinking like a champ and ate her breakfast so at 2 p.m. they let us go home.
Babies should come with a warning label and a prescription for vicidin and Klonopin. Just my opinion.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on February 14, 2006 11:57 pm