31 December 2015

My Grandfather's Wife

I’ve tried to write this a hundred times, but had a hard time finding the right words. I was very close to my grandmother. She was so loved. She is so missed.

My grandfather sat in a chair near her bed, resting his head on their joined hands. After some time, he stood, smoothed the hair from her forehead and kissed it gently. He stood there for a while, simply looking at her. I could tell he didn’t want to leave her and I felt a bit guilty for witnessing such a private moment. When he finally did leave the hospital room, he came out holding her single shoe as if it were a child. It is a picture of grief I will never forget.

What does someone say in that moment, when they are saying goodbye to the person they’ve shared their life with? I love you. Thank you for loving me, for our sons, for everything. I’m not ready to lose you. I’m sorry.

My own thoughts reflected the selfish side of grief. I’m not ready either. I still need you. Are you proud of me? And later, standing in a department store, trying to pick out shoes through a haze of tears, I can’t do this Grandma. You aren’t here to tell me whether these are appropriate for a funeral or not.

Sitting at the funeral home and watching people come to pay their respects; I thought about how much of our lives belong to other people. Carolyn was a cherished, long-awaited only child. For a time, she belonged only to her parents. Later she was a student, a friend, an employee, a neighbor and a million other things. For many years, as a mother, she belonged to her four sons. As a grandmother, she belonged to us. As a great-grandmother, she first belonged to Trinity, the baby girl she never had. I was happy to share, and am so grateful for the bond she built with my daughter.

A lot of people can claim pieces of the years she spent on Earth. But as I watched my grandfather, bent over her recently closed casket with his head in his hands I realized that most of her had belonged to him.

I was humbled and a bit ashamed that I’d not considered her life before it included me, aside from the vague understanding that she’d had one. I imagined my grandparents when they were young, bringing home their first baby, buying their first home, building the family and life we all claim as our own now. I’d never before thought of them as being the same people that they’d been when they started their life together. I only truly understood the enormity of my grandfather’s loss then, when I realized that for everything she was to others, she’d spent the largest portion of her life, 58 of her 76 years, being his wife.


It was a strange moment of understanding. Not unlike the first time a child realizes that teachers are real people and have lives outside of school. When I looked at my grandmother in her casket, I saw the woman I’d always seen. I imagine that my grandfather saw much more. I’d imagine he saw his high school sweetheart, the girl he married, the mother of his children, the woman who made a home and life with him. I’d guess that when my grandfather looked at my grandmother
in her casket, he saw his whole world.

10 September 2012

More Free Advice No One Should Need Before Buying a Bar

To no one in particular...

In case you ever want to own a bar? These are examples of what not to do. They shouldn't have to be said, but apparently they do.

Your customers surely appreciate a free beer once in a while. It's perfectly acceptable to say, "I got that" when someone orders a beer. 

It is not okay to say "I got that" to every single order for an entire evening whenever anyone orders anything. That is how you run a seven hundred dollar tab in a single night.
Then you wonder why you aren't making any money.
You have to be fucking kidding me.

First, you are paying for your own liquor twice.
You are paying the wholesale... and then giving away what is at least $3.75 EACH SHOT.
That someone already ordered and was going to pay for!
No one should have to tell you how fucking retarded that is.

Second, you aren't tipping the bartender.
The person you are buying shots for certainly isn't tipping the bartender.
So your bartender is pissed off, and you can't pay your phone bill.
Sure, you're just trying to be a nice guy... but you are really just a jack off.

I may have already mentioned not getting all fucked up in your own bar.
I don't mean tipsy and happy.
I mean all kinds of fucked up.

It is never, ever okay to claim that you are going to get your gun and shoot all of these mother-fuckers. 
First of all, everyone knows you are full of shit.
Second, these mother-fuckers just happen to be your customers.
Jack off.

It is also not okay to get drunk, wander around your own bar and tell anyone that will listen that your husband is cheating on you every time he leaves your sight.
The fuck is wrong with you?

If you want everyone out of the bar by 3:30?
If you're pissed off because that one guy walked out with an open bottle of beer?
If you expect your bartenders to play bouncer every night,` even on the weekends?
Probably you should hire bigger fucking bartenders.

It is perfectly legal for there to be drinks on THE BACK BAR after 3:30am.
One would assume you understood this concept when you stagger your drunk ass back into the bar at a quarter to five in the morning and order shots for yourself and your friend.
Plus, if you are going to follow the laws by the book, maybe you should start with following the laws for fuck's sake.
All of them.

If you can't meet your overhead?
You should probably lower it.
That doesn't mean fire all your employees and claim that they all just up and quit and then hire all new employees to take their spots at the same pay.
Want a really simply way to lower your costs?
Turn the motherfucking air conditioner down a little bit, or even off for the TEN TO TWELVE HOURS that no one is in there.
Jesus Christ.
It doesn't get any simpler than that.

A bar without women with a fucking money pit.
No guys want to spend their time in a bar without women.
No straight guys anyway.
Women will not come into a bar where they feel uncomfortable.
A sure way to alienate women?
The "helicopter".
You are the fucking owner of this establishment!
No one, and I mean no one wants to see you pull your dick out and wave it around.
Thank god I never actually witnessed that nonsense.

Do not ever claim that the reason you are unable to pay for entertainment is because a bartender took a whole two days of her pay out of the register.
We make $5 an hour.
First of all, you look like a jack off for talking shit about your own bartender.
Plus, it doesn't take a genius to know that you're lying.

Do not stand outside the door of your competition and yell to their patrons that anyone that comes to your bar will get a free shot.
Why?
Because, jack off, they are going to come over, take a shot and go back to what they were doing at the other bar.

In case you are unaware, you are further fucking yourself when you take money out of your own cash register to take your own customers down the road to the other bar to buy them shots.
You've been around for too long for people to believe you're doing it in good faith.
You are not supporting anyone, or winning customers.
You are making an ass out of yourself, and I'm sure the competition is laughing at you all the way to the bank.

If you feel like everyone is out to get you, you should probably analyze your concept of business.
If you are unable to accept responsibility for the fact that your business is failing?
You have no business owning a bar.
Or any business, for that matter.
You can not continue to blame other people, or yell obscenities at the competition because you are losing your asses off.

When you treat people like shit?
You get treated like shit.
Golden fucking rule, people.

I think I am all done ranting now.
Back to absurdity.


09 September 2012

So you want to be a bar owner, huh?

There are a few things one has to have in order to own and operate a successful bar.

First and foremost? 
Testicles.
You do not have to be a man, but you have to be willing to face conflict, fire people and be assertive.
If you are a pussy and continue to lay people off, claiming that you don't have the money to pay employees, when you really just don't have the balls to actually fire them?
You have no business owning a bar.

If you can not pay your employees?
You probably shouldn't be paying out $200-400 a night for your entertainment.
If the bar is in a small town and you've been fucking your employees over consistently for the last few years?
Stop denying it and trying to make excuses.
Everyone knows and you look like an idiot.

Stop for a moment and realize that you are a business owner, and you have a certain responsibility to your employees.
There's not a whole hell of a lot of job security in bartending, but wondering from day to day whether I will be able to feed my kids takes a toll on our owner/employee relationship.
You can not continue to play games with peoples lives and not expect any repercussions. Again, with the small town thing.
People eventually realize that you are not good people, and they certainly don't want to frequent your establishment.
Once you have lost the respect of your employees as well as your patrons? You're pretty much screwed.
You might as well close the doors right now.

Do NOT get all fucked up in your own bar.
You can't complain about an unpaid $35.00 tab when you are running a $700 tab in your own bar.
Then?
If you do get all fucked up?
Do NOT alienate your guests.
Idiot.
Do NOT stand in the middle of the street and yell "FUCK YOU" to the bar next door.
That's certainly not going to bring any business in.
You look like a lunatic.

If you can't afford to buy liquor and beer and meet your payroll?
You are doing something fucking wrong.
Continuing to do it wrong, over and over, doesn't really make any fucking sense, now does it?
Maybe, just maybe, you should suck it up and admit that you are clueless.
Maybe you are in way over your head and it's no one's fault but your own.

If you want to know why business has been declining so rapidly, and you aren't seeing any profit, despite your bartender, entertainment and atmosphere changes?
The problem, quite obviously, is you.

There's a great deal more to this posting, but I'm tired and stressed and have to look for a job.
Obviously.
More later.