narrated by: Eva Barthelet
Paloma is a finishing her last semester as a junior, and is set on going to Eastborough University, just like her boyfriend, Oliver. So it only seemed fitting that we tag along with Oliver and his Dad, Finn to tour the campus.
I’m not sure how I’m going to afford this for her. We have enough issues trying to pay our bills in a timely manner, but I thought it was an important right of passage to take the tour. The tour guide informed us that there was financial aid available, grants, scholarships, and loans.
I realize as we eat lunch in the campus cafeteria, that I don’t really know Oliver’s family very well. Considering our kids have been friends since we moved here in 2008, and have been dating for a few years on top of that. They aren’t financially better off than us, they make more than we do, but they have bigger expenses. Or at least they have more kids than us, a larger property as well.
Oliver received a total of five scholarships and grants, after that, Oliver will have to take out a loan. I impressed on Paloma that she needs to work hard for that amount of aid, or it’s going to be one expensive burden for her.
She seemed to have taken me seriously. Maybe seeing the price tag that comes with the education, dorm stay, and if she wants spending money, but she started doing her studies much more regularly.
Oliver is still working hard to maintain his high GPA, so they work upstairs in the office.
She doesn’t know exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. She has mentioned the desire to open a bakery, since she loves to bake, I thought it would be a good fit. But she seems to think it’s a pipe dream, and is trying to find something stable to study in, outside of culinary.
I know she’s serious about going to Eastborough though, when I see Oliver trying to distract her.
He got bored enough, that he tried to train Linny’s old pet rock to perform tricks.
A few years ago, I put Paloma on birth control, and I’m so glad I did. This is one area that I don’t ask about, I’m not sure if I should or not. But my Mom is always around keeping an eye on the kids when they are at our house. Even if it annoys them, they never say anything rude to her.
I’ve been at The Red Mill for more than five years, and Paloma for two years now. It works so well having us work at the same place, since we don’t live in South Port, and only have one vehicle. Most of the time my days go smoothly, but now and then we get someone who tries to skip out on their bill. It’s up to me to reprimand them, catch them, and take care of it. None of the servers would do this, and Eric can’t always be at the restaurant. He’s a busy man with his pub that he also owns and runs.
The bartender Jace has been flirting with me pretty regularly. I’m not sure if he’s actually serious though, and I know that I’m more than a decade older than him. Some people just like to flirt, to feel good about themselves, and I can’t tell if he’s one of those people.
My biggest concern was when Lorelei came in to speak with Eric. When I took her phone call and scheduled the meeting, I had asked Eric point blank if he was going to fire Paloma to rehire Lorelei. He told me he wasn’t.
I was still wary when she came in. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a good girl, but my family needs this income. Paloma wants to get the Dannon Business Award, and she needs to work at a local business to obtain that. It pays for her first full year of college, we need that.
Maybe I should have been more concerned. He decreased Paloma’s pay, and in the end he laid me off.
He explained that he wanted to spend less time here, and more at the Pub, and he wanted someone he could trust to run this location. I’d always thought that someday I’d get the promotion to manager here. Instead though, he’s giving it to Lorelei, she has the education, he had said. I was only laid-off, he thought there might be a place for me down the road, but budget wise he couldn’t afford Lorelei’s new salary on top of mine.
So I did what any self-respecting, single mother, whose had enough of life would do.
I went home and cried. Then ate a pint of cookie dough ice cream, and danced with Linny in our jammies. She always cheers me up.
Mom got a job when Linny started school at the hot dog stand in the shopping center. She insisted that I would be able to find a job sooner than later. Eric was going to give me a great reference if anyone called, and I believed that he would. He didn’t seem happy with his decision, not that I forgave him for making it. I didn’t want to throw a tantrum though, I needed him to continue thinking highly of me, especially if I couldn’t find a new job.
On an afternoon off, Mom went over to have pie and coffee with Norma, who lives next door, and discuss life, and hopefully job openings. They usually have an idea of what is going on all around with running the Northern Moose.
She didn’t disappoint. Apparently Mary Gavigan had just opened the doors to her own baby boutique, and was hiring. Norma didn’t know how good the pay would be, but thought I would have a chance since we all live in Millwood. People here tend to prefer others from the area.
Mom was at work, and Paloma was out with Oliver, so I took Linny with me to apply for a job at the Mini Sprout.
I was super nervous, my palms all sweaty, and I just knew she’d want to shake my hand. It wasn’t busy inside, so I was pretty positive that she wasn’t hiring, the business was new after all, how much full-time help could she really need.
It turned out that she did need help though. She’d just had a baby boy named Ezra, she explained, and she couldn’t possibly be everywhere at once. She didn’t need a manager, but she could use someone like me, with experience and not a spring chicken.
I figure she’s about my age, and I couldn’t imagine having a baby at this stage in my life. I don’t envy her that, but I’m glad that it works out in my favor.
She offered me the job on the spot, and introduced me to her college aged son, Isaiah who is also helping her out when he has the time.
I was going to start immediately, and the schedule was different than my old job. I would work twelve hour days, for four days a week. It meant that Paloma had to quit at The Red Mill, cause she had no transportation to get to work. Which I’m pretty sure Eric knew would happen. Instead she is staying home with Linny, while my Mom is at work too.
I think she’s enjoying it though, she’s been baking with Linny, and even said that Rachael could spend the night. They aren’t the best of friends, but I’m hoping they will become good friends.
On my way to work one morning, I got a phone call from Gideon. We had gone out one night years ago, and I had called it off before it could get started. He had heard the news about me getting laid off, and wanted to get a cup of coffee.
I agreed that coffee would be nice, if he didn’t mind drinking it after 9pm, cause I was off to work.
He didn’t mind, and I was nervous all day at work. It was really busy, and I kept feeling like Isaiah was watching me to make sure I wasn’t lousy. And I really am lousy. I’ve been a hostess for five years, I have never been a cashier.
I am great with angry and outrageous customers though, I dealt with those all the time before.
The cash register owns me at this point. I feel too old to be learning new skills, Paloma told me that if a teen can do it, so can I. But she doesn’t get what it’s like to be in your forties, and trying to learn new skills.
Overall, I’m really liking my new job. It sounds like if the business takes off, that I’ll be promoted to manager, and that comes with a pay increase. The customers are mostly other mothers, and generally in a blissed out mood to be having babies.
And the other staff she hired, Bethany, is actually really great for a young girl. She’s not as young as Lorelei, which is a good thing in my opinion. I’m a little tired working with such young people.
Gideon met up with me at Planet Java to get a pastry and a cup of coffee. I opted for a decaf raspberry mocha, and a slice of chocolate cake. It was likely the best cake I’ve ever eaten.
The beginning of the evening was a little awkward. I had fully rejected him a few years ago, and we hadn’t really kept in touch after that point. He’s 33, so not quite a whole decade younger than me. I’m not sure how much it bothers me anymore though. It’s nice having company, and I’ll admit that I get a little jealous that Paloma and Oliver have each other.
Gideon knew the vocalist/guitarist that was performing, and went up to say hi. I thought it was pretty neat that he had some connections, though I wouldn’t likely admit that.
After wards he offered to take me home, but I had my own car with me. Instead we sat in his sedan like we were high schoolers, talking about little things like favorite colors, and eventually fooling around a little. It’s been far too long since I’ve been with anyone, and after we broke off our making out, I told him that I was certainly interested in a second date, if he was willing.
At this point, I figure Paloma is well on her way to living her own life, and I can’t possibly wait until Linny is before I start dating again.
Doesn’t this girl deserve some happiness?
I snapped that on her date, she was just staring off. She had the want to woohoo and woohoo in a car, and they kept coming back as soon as she met them… We are talking 5x in a row people! Clearly, it’s been TOO long for her!
She got the ROS for being laid off. It’s really worked out well, though at the time I wasn’t the happiest with it. Mini Sprout tour at n99 for those who haven’t seen it. Poor Mary, having a third son! This is my biggest family with all boys, though they came with one already.
I edited all the shifts in MTS OFB career, and put Eva on a 9a-9p shift, 4 days a week. So she really is gone quite a lot.
Thanks for reading! 🙂