Thursday, October 16, 2008

Glamourous? Not so much...

Waitressing is such a dredges of the earth kind of job. The last task of my night is using a kitty litter scooper to clean out the ash tray. Once, during the later shifts when it was cocktailing more than food serving, a man kissed my shoulder and asked me to lick his face (I said no). Parents bring their kids in and let them spill food all around the ground and table and don't pick anything up. One group of parents with two sets of kids let them run around the restaurant taking paper towels and making them pom-poms so that they could pretend they were cheerleaders. The kids told me to do something cool so that they could cheer for me. I got yelled at by a manager for leaving the silverware to the end of my shift to roll up in the paper napkins, but I'd left it because there were only six sets during the shift and we're not supposed to use the dishwasher if we don't have enough to put into it.

I'm still seriously considering substitute teaching--it's also a level of hell, but at least unless a kid spits on me or pukes I don't have to get dirty.

Unfortunately, with my life being the mental health balancing act that it is, I have to wait before I can start looking for a substitute teaching job. Actually, I could probably start applying now--the process takes some time. I would not have to start working right away.

The thing is, I am stopping my anxiety medication--the one that made me so calm I slept a lot--and so I'm supposed to observe myself to see if I get more anxious or agitated.

Substitute teaching induces a certain amount of anxiety and agitation in the average human being. For me, it should wait until I see that I am sailing smoothly without the med.

Right now, I am down to 1/4 of the pill I used to take. If I went off it cold turkey I would have terrible withdrawal headaches--I did it once before without the doctor's guidance, I just ran out and didn't refill the prescription until I had to drive to the pharmacy with my eyes squinting shut against the bright rays of daylight. In a week I should be done with this round.

Financially the prospect of waiting to substitute teach is about as anxiety laden as diving right in, though. The restaurant has cut our shifts to three per week, so my $11 to $100 per night (more typically in the $20-30 range) is titrated. It's too scary to live like this--wondering if I'll make enough money. Justin constantly assures me that we're doing OK, but I know I'm not pulling my weight as much as I could.

I also know I'm not in a position to sell my art the way I used to. For one thing, it costs money to get into shows, for another thing the economy isn't exactly encouraging people to buy photographs or even greeting cards. So, I wait. Wait for life to reveal itself. The art market in San Diego was far more substantial than it is here--at least for local artists I haven't found the art walk venues that San Diego offered.

For a girl who is so bored much of the time, there is a lot to work on, isn't there?

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