I had my first day at my new job today, I have never felt so comfortable going into a new position. Kind people? Check! Service culture? Check! Phenomenal loyalty tracking scores? Check! A wonderful new boss? Check! A comprehensive training schedule (along with the knowledge that I won't be thrown to the wolves unprepared?) Check! A beautiful, bucolic setting? Check! It was all that and more. I was smiling like an idiot all day. In hotel terms, think of this move as going from Motel 6 on Route Nine to the Ritz Carlton on Rodeo Drive. Yes, it's that fabulous.
My new boyfriend- yes, the chef and I had the conversation a few weeks ago- made me dinner last night. Pork tenderloin with a rosemary cream sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and spinach sauteed with onion and pine nuts. Mmm. I did the dishes and then we watched a movie. So very domestic, but incredibly sweet.
Plus I got dessert. Not the edible kind. (Sorry, couldn't help throwing that in. Forgive me.)
Some former guests of mine are taking me out to dinner on Wednesday. Me, a bunch of boisterous Argentinians, and some fat expense accounts.
I know, I know, Doc. I am bordering on the narcissistic here. ;) But I had to share my joy for a minute. Life is good.
I hope all of you are as blissful as I am at this very moment.
So, I need some advice. And Trey has been particularly useless this time. I now appeal to a greater power- the MM blog boards.
I have met a man. He is fun, he is handsome, he is smart. Most importantly, he seems to like my company. ;) We spend as much time together as our respective job duties will allow (he is a chef, I am a front office manager). Before you get all incensed about what a bad idea it is to date someone you work with, remember that I am only going to be with the company for another week and a half. We talk almost every night, from the time I get off work until 2 in the morning when he has to get to bed. (Yes, we both work evenings.) We laugh, we tell stories, we promise to go camping sometime, we share secrets. We have not, however, seen each other outside of work.
During the course of one of these chat-athons, he admitted to me that he has never asked a woman out. I was stunned. I asked him, "How does a man get to the age of 35 without asking a woman out?" To which he replied that he prefers to be the pursued, rather than the pursuer. This would seem to be an advantage for me, as I am fairly direct in relationships, and prefer to hunt rather than be hunted. Sounds great, right?
Nope. We both had last Saturday night off, so I casually asked him if he wanted to go to a movie with me. I even chose a movie I know he would like to see, he watches Reno 911 all the time and the movie came out last week. He agreed and voila! We had our first "date."
That day, I called him to see when he wanted to get together. He had some friends come over unexpectedly and wanted to get some laundry done after they left. He said he would call me back when he was finished. Time passes. He calls at about 5 and hems and haws about getting together. The laundry is finished but his buddies are still visiting. I tell him that it's ok of he doesn't want to go out. (You know, the passive-aggressive girl thing, where we pretend everything is fine, but we are really disappointed.) He says okay.
Life goes on, we continue to see each other at work and talk on the phone. With no mention of getting together. I am hesitant to ask him out again, as I have already put myself out there once. It's his turn, right? I am a bit puzzled. I don't quite understand why he would devote all of this time to getting to know me and then back out of plans. I belong to the "He's Just Not That Into You" generation, after all.
So... what's up with that?
I happened upon the hospitality industry when I was 18 years old. I needed a job to help pay some of my college expenses and luckily for me, a position as a banquet server opened up at a Marriott close to campus. I was pretty damn good at it, so I was made a banquet captain in pretty short order. I didn't think of it as a career, I was just glad to have my room and board taken care of.
I changed schools to be closer to home, due to my mothers constant medical battles, and found a new job, this time at a hotel front desk. Again- I was good at it, so I moved into a supervisory position within three months of my hire.
I graduated, with two degrees that mean absolutely nothing without some further education. Being young and hedonistic, I decided to put off pursuing my masters for a period of time. I did, however, take a new postition as an Assistant Front Office Manager at a very swankt property in the downtown area.
Then came the car accident. Hospitalization, physical therapy, money issues, ongoing bills that I couldn't pay, not to mention the loss of my car (it was a hit and run- I have now learned the importance of excellent insurance). The accident, and various other life-changing situations contributed to my resignation from the creme de la creme of St. Louis hotels.
So, I got my feet back under me (literally and figuratively!) and when I was ready, took a position at my current place of employment. It was less money and less prestige, but I needed a job so I took it. I have done well there, have made some good friends and had some wonderful experiences. It was a good place to pick myself back up again.
Now I am ready for my life to begin again. Just this afternoon, I received a job offer that will forever change the course of my career. Almost double the pay, better hours, better benefits, and I am working for a world-renowned institution. And that's not even the great part about this job.
I have finally broken into non-operational hotel management! My dream. What I feel I can be most effective at. What I love to do. And if I do well here, the sky is the limit as far as opportunity is concerned.
I have waited and toiled for 5 years for this moment. I'm going to go have a beer to celebrate. Just wanted to share...
But it's from someone I am not interested in.
One of my employees, Aimee, got a call from a gentleman asking about me this evening. He was calling to verify that I worked there, and to check on the spelling of my name. The sweet man wanted to send me flowers for V-day. Aimee came to tell me about it and I was a bit disappointed that she didn't get his name.
THEN, 1-800-FLOWERS calls, to verify that I will in fact be available to sign for the flowers. Aimee, smart woman that she is, talks the flower girl into giving her the name of my would-be secret admirer. So now the secret's out. And I wish it wasn't.
See, he's a very nice guy. He came into town for an art show and we got to talking, I helped him set up his show and even scored a few free paintings (my co-workers told me he was interested in me then, but I didn't believe them!). But I have no romantic interest in the guy whatsoever. Even if I did, he lives in Texas and... I do not.
We have talked on the phone a few times, and had a few pleasant conversations. He asked if I was going to be in his area any time soon, and I told him that I probably wouldn't. I don't think I have given him any indication that there is a chance for romance, but I have been nice- and that can be misconstrued at times.
Argh! How do you tell someone that you're not interested without hurting their feelings???
Valentine's Day is here- and I think people are getting antsy.
I don't get very many winks or emails and I am fine with that. I gave up on this site as a way to meet men long ago. I am a blogger and I am perfectly content with that.
But over the past three days, my inbox runneth over. 7 winks, 6 emails. That is more activity than I have seen in the past two months. The natives are getting restless and I can't help but think V-Day might have something to do with it.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! May you find all you could ever wish for and more!
Thanks to Rstarre and Debbieinitaly for inspiring this.
Now that Michael has banned me from the MM bar and grill, I can no longer buy shots all around for my worthy buddies. In lieu of that, I am sending flowers.
The first one goes to Debbieinitaly. Thanks for making me laugh, lady. You're a good egg. Enjoy, you may not be able to smell them- but they sure are pretty!
Who do you want to send flowers to?
Ok, here's my piece.
Remember when Nascarowner's facade was crumbling a bit? And people kept defending him, saying that even if he wasn't being exactly truthful, he was still a good guy? I feel the same way about Healey. He isn't a jerk, he just had a jerk-like moment. Or two. Or ten.
He is a good guy. Chivalrous and funny as hell. But he got pushed too far and said some things he shouldn't have said. I was pissed when I read some of his comments, ask Trey- he had to listen to me.
Then I asked myself, "How would I feel if my good intentions were turned into an act of petty jealousy?" From day one, Healey was attacked and reviled for trying to open our eyes to the truth. People said that he was just trying to diminish Tim so the attention would be back on him. He was told that he just wanted to control others. The poor guy was just trying to look out for us. And we reamed him. Repeatedly.
I don't like the fact that he called women stupid. But I am trying to understand where he was coming from. And I understand frustration and anger. I think we all do.
Katie, SO, Cassie and Co. I am sorry you were hurt by some of the things Healey said. I think anyone that reads what you have to say knows that you are smart women. Beautiful women, insightful women. Forgiving women, hopefully? Women that will not allow this resentment to start another war? I hope that is the case, because if we continue along this vein, that is exactly where we are headed. And none of us want to go there again.
Healey, I love you to pieces. You make me laugh and you have been nothing but kind to me. But perhaps an apology is in order? These ladies aren't stupid. They aren't hens, they aren't cows, as far as I can see they don't resemble barnyard animals of any kind. They are just hurting. All because they wanted to have faith in someone. I want them to have faith in you again, just as I do. I think an apology might go a long way.
As for Trey, I can't recall him saying anything denigrating to women that wasn't totally tongue-in-cheek. He gets lumped in with Healey for better or for worse. Lucklily for him, with Healey, it's usually for better. Let me assure you ladies that if given the opportunity, he is one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met. Kind, Funny. Sweet. A good friend. Handsome on top of all that. Hey, if I lived in NC we might be married by now, (I would have to tie him up and drug him to get him to the altar, but that's a whole 'nother story) That's how much I love the guy.
I just want peace. I want us all to respect each other and try to understand each others motives. So attack me if you wish, I can take it. Put all the anger on me if you have to, Trey will tell you that I have a temper, but it is long to burn and quick to die. Just please try and move along. In friendship and blogging harmony.
Turnabout is fair play, buddy!
Trey was recently given a great honor as well. His company gave him some big time leadership award. He is actually the first recipient of this award, I think they made it up so he would start doing some actual work. It is clear plastic- not as cool as my plaque, but then, nothing is.
So, Trey is a leader. And the higher-ups at his company are apparently smoking some serious drugs.
All joking aside though, I am proud of you, babe! Congratulations to Trey!
Some of you expressed an interest in my former singing career. For those of you that don't give a crap, click on.
I have been singing since I was in 4th grade. I started off in choirs- school choirs and the Saint Louis Symphony Children's Choirs. We performed in concert with... the Saint Louis Symphony. Imagine that.
I started taking private voice lessons when I was in 7th grade. Thanks to my parents and the varied and in-depth musical education they gave me, I have many musical interests, but gravitated toward blues and jazz. I kept up my classical studies as a sidebar because they help with breath control and technical skills.
For a long time, I really just viewed my career as a path to opportunity. As a result of my training, I got to perform at Powell Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall (believe it or not, the acoustics are better at Powell) I sang the national anthem at a Rams game once, got to study in Sweden with Walt Whitman's grandson, got to perform at Disneyland, even had the chance to sing for the Pope when he came to Saint Louis. When I went to college, I got a vocal scholarship- part of the reason I could afford to go to an expensive, private university.
When I graduated, I started singing with bands around the area. It was no longer about the networking, the traveling I could do, the bright spots on my resume. It was about the music again. I think I enjoyed music more than I ever have during that time period.
Yes, I have been recorded with several bands. For the most part, I was backup, though I do have several solo efforts on compilation CDs as well as two writing credits under my belt. I never made a commitment to a band. It just didn't interest me.
What do I sound like? It depends. I have a fairly wide range. I am a natural soprano, but can become an alto fairly easily. I just had to train harder to hit that vocal register. When I sing jazz, I have been told I sound like Norah Jones. When I sing blues, I sound like- well, Norah Jones singing the blues, I suppose. I can also do a pretty good Sarah McClaghlan and an acceptable Amy Lee. When I sing something like "Ave Maria," (you don't even want to know how many languages I can sing that song in!) I have what the experts call a bell-like tone. As I'm sure you can imagine, this just means that my voice is very clear. And high. I have never been able to shatter glass, but I can rattle tinfoil if I take a very deep breath first.
Was I well-known? In certain circles, yes. I was very much a part of the music scene a few years ago. My music teachers and parents also helped me to gain some name recognition. Who do you think set up those jobs for me? After awhile, I was sought out. I also got to teach music from time to time. I volunteered at a children's home, directed a choir for them and student taught while in school.
I don't sing much anymore outside of the shower. I never wanted to make it a career. I enjoy singing and am pretty damn good at it. Or at least I used to be. But to be successful in the music business, you have to have a PASSION for it. A hunger that I never really had. Music served it's purpose for a time, but I have always been more people-oriented in nature. Musicians and artists are born narcissists. I never had that in me.
I will sing lullabyes to my children when they are born. I will sing karaoke when I'm out with my friends. I will sing loudly in the car as I idle in traffic. But that is about the extent of it.
So, now you know.
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of my favorite sayings.
I was reminiscing the other day (birthdays will do that to you!) and thought of one of the best moments of my life. No, it wasn't the day I graduated high school. Or college, for that matter. It wasn't the day that I performed at Carnegie Hall, nor was it the day I sang at a Rams game. It wasn't the day I left to teach English in Turkey, and it wasn't the day I came home from that long absence. These were all wonderful days, this is true. But I am thinking of a simpler joy.
I was going through a particularly rough time in my life. I was on my own, I was lonely, I was broke and worried and so caught up in myself, that I couldn't see the world around me. I think we all have these times. I was getting off work late that night and a man I was passionately in love with was walking me to my car. It was bitterly cold, one of those nights when the wind and rain chill you to your very bones.
I worked in a seedy part of town, so it was not uncommon to see the faceless, nameless homeless as one ventured down the street. I had trained myself to just look past them, and recited the "rules" every time I passed by one of these sad individuals. Don't take out your wallet in front of them. Never let them see that you have any money. If you give to them once, they will expect it every time. Things like that, rules that kept me from seeing the humanity behind the dirt and smell.
As I was hurrying to my car, my companion stopped short. I turned to see what had stalled him and saw an old black man slumped against the wall of our building. He was obviously homeless and it shames me to this day that my first impulse was to just continue the walk to my car, as if no one was there. Not my lover. He was better than that.
He approached the gentleman and asked if he was all right. We got no response, just a slight twitch of the eye to let us know he was still alive. We moved still closer and knelt to the man, gently touched his tattered coat to attempt to wake him. He jumped at this point and started babbling incoherently. I was scared. Again, not my lover.
As I stood guard, he walked to his car a few feet away and opened his trunk. Inside was a warm coat, one obviously made for nights like these. He returned to the car and helped the old man into it. The poor thing scarcely seemed to notice. Inspired and more in love with this man than ever, I went next door to our neighborhood greasy diner and bought the largest cup of coffee I could find. The woman behind the counter had too much make-up and too few teeth, but nothing was wrong with her eyes. She had seen what we were doing, and as nothing was wrong with her heart, either- she did what she could. Into a white bag, she placed some warm rolls and other various food items. A container of milk. A carton of apple sauce. Nutritious foods that didn't cost much, but would mean the world to this man. I offered payment, but she just smiled a gap-toothed smile and shrugged.
I went back to this man, laid his newfound bounty at his feet. He stirred and sipped at the strong black coffee. My lover and I stood at his feet, hand in hand and asked if there was anything else we could do. We could call a shelter, take him there. We could call family if he had any. He declined. Said, "I's used ta the cold."
So, though it felt like it wasn't enough, we went. The man offered no thanks. We weren't expecting any. We didn't change his life. We just gave him a brief respite from what must have been a very cold and cruel world.
Four people were connected that day. A sad, scared young girl, a beautiful man, a not-so-beautiful diner worker and our unexpected catalyst, a down on his luck hobo. Four people were helped that night. Not just one. I knew that with my heart. I went home and settled into a warm bed with a man I loved on an unforgiving night and finally remembered to give thanks. For all that I had and all that I could give. I have never forgotten that lesson. God gave that to me. I am never alone in this world. There is always someone who needs my help, always someone I can offer myself to, always a reason for gratitude.
"Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself."
Now that we have determined that some people here are not real, (not naming names, don't have enough money to be sued!) let's remember the real people...
"Hi. My name is Lauren. I am young, single and ready to mingle!"
I also feel slightly ridiculous for typing such a stupid sentence.
Beautiful people with wonderful hearts abound on these pages. Most are single. (Trey321, Willprt, Bambidag, LatinPrincess, AmandaRenee, Boopster, much2muchfun, Healey, Cupid, Cassie... these are the first to come to mind, but by no means the only people I feel this way about!)
So, let's move on. And perhaps find love in the process.
Do I have the "Sugarbaby" stamped across my forehead?
The IM window always pops up when I sign on and for some reason, really old men seem to think it is appropriate to start hitting on me. Asking if I want someone to spoil me. No, I do not. Especially not when the spoiler looks really tan because all of their age spots have kind of melted together. I have nothing against older men. I prefer them, in fact. But we're talking Depends and early bird special gummed meatloaf old here.
Why is this? I know this happens to everyone, but tonight I do not have the patience for it.
So, I have been doing chores around the house today and to motivate me, I created one of the strangest playlists ever. It looks like a schizophrenic got ahold of my downloads. As I was listening to Justin Timberlake and Bob Dylan, Ludacris and Marc Broussard, James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" came on. I paused and reflected on the past year and came to the conclusion that the song fits- minus the whole heroin addiction/commitment to a mental institution thing. Of course.
So, what's your theme song?
I think we're alone now...
there doesn't seem to be anyone aa-rooound.
I think we're alone now...
The beating of our hearts is the only soo-ound.
Seriously, I think we are the only ones still awake. It's the curse of being a night owl insomniac with a weird work schedule, right.
Hope you're having a good night.
So, here's another short and sweet question. When did you lose it?
No, not your mind and I don't mean your key ring. Your precious gift. Your virtue. Your purity.
In more blunt terms, when did you pop your cherry?