My Only Way Out

(is to go so far in)

Seeing someone in a different light

Posted by Cauri on October 3, 2006

Not having a computer is taking its toll on me.  I can’t write when anyone else is around, besides what I’ve scribbled down in notebooks.  I finally have some alone-time, so it’s two entries in one morning.  I just didn’t want my only entry of the week to be so negative.

I’ve really bonded with the moms I’ve been babysitting for lately.  There were two groups that I was part of that really brought everything together…When I babysat for a local feminist/moms club and my old storytimes.  Storytime is what brought everybody together, and now I babysit for a giant circle of people, all interconnected.  Most of the parents I babysit for are friends now, and it’s sort of weird that I’m like this extension of everyone’s family.  There are two families I still babysit for constantly (and have been for the past few years), so they literally are like family to me.  Whenever I have an issue and need to rant, there’s always one mom I can pick up the phone and just rant to, and she always has some funny, sarcastic comment that always puts it in perspective for me.  The other mom I’m closest with has really been pushing me forward with my career.  These are two very successful women, both with liberal views I can relate to.  I watch them with their kids, and it’s exactly how I want to be with my own in the future.

I’ve started with another family more recently (hence a traumatic throw-up incident last week), but this is a woman I used to work with at Starbucks (We will call her Donna).  It’s sort of weird, because I really wasn’t very close with her at Starbucks until maybe my last month or so.  Maybe it was just because I didn’t work with her that often, maybe I just never took the time to really get to know her, I’m not sure.  But the changing moment in our relationship happened on a Friday morning, when I’d woken up at 4:30 to open at my store, and got a call around 8:30 from my district manager, wondering why I wasn’t in Florham Park.  Florham Park was having a nightmare of a day, and they didn’t have anybody in charge.  When I finished my shift at my store, around 12, I shot over to Florham Park.  I was immediately greeted by a giant mess of confusion.  It was actually really disgusting, the condition the store was left in.  Coffee spilled everywhere, caramel drizzled here & there, fruit flies having a picnic.  (These are actually the very reasons I have never returned to this Starbucks.)  It was just gross, and several times I covered my mouth and prayed I wouldn’t throw up.  I was surrounded by a bunch of teenagers who had no clue how to do anything (not even wash their own hands), and when I heard a familiar “Court!”  and turned around to see Donna, I didn’t even hesitate to run over and hug her (and i do NOT hug people.)  It was SO nice to see someone I knew, someone who actually cared about health codes!  I didn’t even have to ask her to do anything–She immediately joined with me to scrub and mop and fill the dishwasher and refill sanitizer buckets, etc, etc, until the store was at our standards (or at least as close as it was going to get).

And that was the changing moment of our relationship.  Since then, I came to realize that, despite our age difference, she was a person that I could really get along with.  She’s very open, and brutally honest, and I envy her for that.  The first time I stepped foot in her house, it felt like home.  She has three huge dogs who scared me to death at first, but even they immediately welcomed me.  The first time I came over to play with her toddler, J, Donna had plenty of coffee and tofu to offer me and I instantly felt at home.  Donna and I ended up sitting on the floor, talking about everything from our spiritual views (She’s also Pagan, well, Wiccan, but we believe pretty similarly), and she also has a mother who went crazy and started claiming that her husband was abusive, when in fact, he was not.  And through Donna, I’ve had such a release, of, “Wow, what I’m feeling is normal”, and “I’m going to be just fine”, and I love the way she is raising her son to be independent and creative and polite.  I just felt at home there from day one, and it’s become a sort of safe haven for me.  After I finished my meeting with my advisor last week, I picked up the phone and ranted to Donna (who majored in early childhood ed herself), because I knew she’d have good advice.  It’s just weird how I never knew I had so much in common with this woman, and now she’s playing a major role in my life. 

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