One day at a time...

soaking up each and every one of them!

Cathy GF

Cathy GF
The Bay and The Lake, California, USA
December 29
Living the adventure of change


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AUGUST 4, 2011 1:10PM

"When I Feel Like Killing Someone I Get Dressed Up"

Rate: 29 Flag

You know when the bar tender's had a bad day when she walks behind the bar at the beginning of her shift and fixes herself two double shots, while staring at the customers in front of her, from one end to the other.

In this very moment, the piercing scan with that glassy glaze over slitted eyes, tells you all you need to know about how your evening is going to go while sitting at your favorite bar with only one thing in mind.  You need a cocktail right now, because your day has just ended with one drudge cycle and the serious need to begin the next.

It's what we anticipate through all the commuter traffic, gaseous odors that weave their snake-like trail  into your vehichle through the tightly closed vents, the repeated breaking and wall to wall traffic, sqinting to see the familiar exit to take you a few more miles, a couple more blocks, dreams of parking kharma and a hurried walk across the street, around the corner, through the open doors, while spying the last stool at the end of the bar. Long winded and out of breath, you've arrived.

Favorite bar tender preparing to clock out, you plead with your eyes for him to make contact, offer you a long neck, cold burst of suds.  You see him filling a chilled glass from the tap and the anticipation stirs you to stretch your spine upward, stiffen your anxious posture and create presense.  Your pleading body language maintains feigned dignity as you open your mouth to ask for a drink (pretty please)?

"I'm done," sounds like unfamiliar words from a foreign land, the lingo that disrupts your breathing and the very purpose for being in this moment in time.  "You are?"  (you can't be serious).  "Could you please make me something special before you leave?"  (What you're really saying is, "Can you give me a hug?")  "Sure, OK."  (Bless you, darlin' boy!)!

As visibily aggitated bar tender glares at your end of the bar, you pretend to be invisible.  It's her bar now; her shift and covetted tips that await her expectant hand-to-pocket.  This will likely be the only drink you order this night as the energy has clearly changed, both in substance and in attitude that is thicker than the frigid morning fog.

The perfect "Special Margarita" with the mouth watering floater on top, arrives none too soon.  Tempting green straw finds it's way to your mouth just in the nick of time.  Instant, melting relief washes over you while the cool tart liquid swirls around the tongue and down the arid throat, cooling the heat of the day's events.  If ever there was time for a genuine prayer of thanks, this was it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Oh, oh.  What's he doing?!  Bringing her over to my end of the bar, she gives me an unusually steely look, directly into my eyes so I return the look as softly as possible, daring not to he introduces us.  (yikes!)  No hint of friendliness in her manner or attitude, he tells me she is taking over my tab.  He turns to her and makes some comment on her uncommonly different attire for the casual neighborhood bar, to which she says quite matter of factly, "When I feel like killing someone, I get dressed up!"  

Without stopping to take a breath, she said, "I've had a really bad day!"  

Well, OK, then.  On this point, we can agree on something.  Wisely intending sincere interest, I became the ear she needed for the next ten minutes, between her trips to the tap to refill her regular's glasses, wine refills and some casual introductions to those seated around me.  Seemed like many pairs of eyes were on me during this intercourse of female bonding (of sorts).  Even more interest directed at me when they learned that I was "Julie's Mom."  Bar tendress, too, lost the intense glaze in her eyes, which warmed at the realization that I was mom to one of their own. (phew)

"What are you drinking," she asked?  Explaining that Scott had made me a "Special Margarita,"  Julie walked in to join me with a big squishy mother-daughter hug.  Instant sunshine surrounded Julie (birds singing over the rainbow; you name it!) least a feeling of pure relief and joy overcame me when she arrived.  She needed some "Mommy time" and I was more than happy to oblidge.  

Being the baby daughter of three, she has always had my maternal heart strings wrapped around all her beautiful, perfectly manicured fingers. And she knows it!  She promptly and confidently walked around the bar and fixed herself a concoction of gin, freshly squeezed pink gratefruit juice, splash of Triple Sec and a hint of bitters on the rocks and rejoined me, offering me a sip.  A recipe of her making, I was surprised that I liked it at once and comlimented her for her creative culinary skills.  She had clocked out at 5:00 PM, after a seven hour shift, to spend an evening with her mom, with a scrumptuous Sushi feast to follow at another local favorite eatery.

As we walked out of the bar to head to dinner, all eyes were on us approvingly and enviably even, as we possess that mother-daughter bond that is as tangibly obvious as it is warming.  Corny, I know, but it's the best feeling in the world to be with your baby daughter, flashes of life events and glimpses of years of struggles, fears and maternal angst all melting away.  

Clasping my hand in hers, walking down the block, I felt like the luckiest mom in the world.  Because, I am.


It's good to be "Julie's Mom"


Photo taken on Mother's Day - May 2011 


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And Kelly and Michele's mom, too!

All's well that ends well...last night!
Which one's the mom (seriously!)?
I would have rated for the title and the great pic alone. Thanks for the good stuff in between!
what a sweet post.. great pic
Toritto - No Kidding! Gotta get busy with posts about the other two!

Gee Bee - I'll never tell! Hah! You're 2 kind!

bluestocking babe - Thanks very much, babe!

Linda - Thanks, kiddo! xoxo
"Clasping my hand in hers, walking down the block, I felt like the luckiest mom in the world. Because, I am."

But you look like sisters! Seriously - this is such a feel-good post about motherhood and daughters. Lucky you and your daughters.
Gosh this is so good and ends where I'd not suspected. r.
Fusun A - I truly am a lucky mom! Have the best relationships with the 3! Thanks or your sweet comment!

Jon - Oh good! I love doing that in my stories and poems. Thanks!
Though I never drink alchohol, this was a delightful read
DH - Thanks very much! And know, that even for me, it's not really about the alcohol (tho it makes for good descriptives, it's about that letting go at the end of a hard, hot day...the time to simply, "chill."
I know I don't have to tell you to cherish every moment. They go so fast. -R-
Sheila - Yes, she is!

Christine - Don't I know it! Thanks.
Yeah, I guess I gotta go to one of these kind once in a while, Cathy. Good one. Like sister; like sister!!

Anyway, as a former professional bartender, I gotta mention that when my wife ordered a Mojito in New Hope PA the other day, I was stunned to see the (fine looking female) bartender actually muddle the mint before putting it in the glass. Haven’t seen a bartender doing any muddling in years!

Good pix!
I am sure it is good to be Cathy's daughter. Great story, my mouth is watering for one of those drinks she invented.
Rated with love.
I am sure it is good to be Cathy's daughter. Great story, my mouth is watering for one of those drinks she invented.
Rated with love.
Just Cathy, Writing so good I almost got thirsty reading it. I love mother-daughter stories and this is no exception. Lucky both of you!
Cathy, format this through Final Draft/a>, and pitch it for a new sitcom pilot. This sizzles.
Frank - "Muddling." For sure! My daughter hand squeezed the pink grapefruit with a cool gadget, which many bars do not do either. My baby makes me proud, whether a dancer, a pastry chef, a double major or just Julie! I was a professional flight attendant back in the day, when we did make drinks from scratch and cooked rack of lamb to perfection, in First Class International - TWA - back in the day! Thanks much for coming by this mushy post!

Romantic Poetess - Let us know when you are in SF and we'll direct you to where she is tending bar! Better yet, we'll have an SF OS Gathering of Like Minds! Look Out! Thanks!

Scarlett - Thanks for your comment! Come again!

Matt - You selling me something?! Kidding! Checked it out and will give it some thought. You may, however, be an audience of ONE!!! Love you for it! Thanks!
You hooked me with the title and slowly reeled me in with the story. A sweet ending to a sour day for all parties involved. R
Well written and tantalizing.
Warm-hearted for a cozy Friday read here. Yeap, you look more like the youthful sister.
Trudge - You sweet talkin' man, you! Thanks!

Sweetfeet - Love the word, tantalizing! Thanks!

Golden Phoenix - You know how to hook me in! Thanks! Friday already?! Dang!
I love this title! And, the story behind it...very descriptive, Cathy.
Smiling here in the knowledge of what it's like to have that special and close bond between mother and daughter.
Fantastic post. The title grabs and the grand writing keeps you on the bar stool. Fine work.
I had my own mother-daughter bonding today in a slightly different venue: preparing my third grade classroom for the upcoming year with the help of my daughter, also a teacher. Good times. I will be in SF tomorrow night at the Warfield to see Frampton...anywhere near that bar? That grapefruit/gin/triple sec sounds divine!!
What a lovely post, Cathy. This is a very beautiful picture; who's the blonde?
Corny? I hardly think so. Why is it people apply that term to instances of genuine affection, to matters of the heart? A lovely post, and I don't know where I've seen the need for a day-refreshing, day redeeming drink better described.
Such a fun post, Cathy...I loved it. The whole bartenders at shift change thing was classic...right out of a novel.

What fun; enjoying a drink and dinner with your daughter. I love going out to dinner with my daughter, though she's a tad young to sit at the bar yet. Thank you for bringing us along.
I would love you to be my mom.
mypsyche - Thanks! The line grabbed me when I heard her say it and the rest is this post!

Little Kate - Yes, it is the best!

Scylla - Thanks very much!

lschmoopie - Yes! It's Rickhouse in downtown SF! Say that Julie's mom sent you. Have a blast at the concert!

Macco - Yes...proud doesn't even begin to say it, but you know what I mean! Thanks, proud papa!

Thoth - Thank you! Silly, you know it's me on left and daughter on right!

Jerry - Oh, but baby daughter read this and said it was "soooooooo corny...but sweet." Her words, exactly! Oh well, better to be corny than to never feel it's true meaning. Thanks you!

Smithery - Oh, you and your sweetheart have so many memory makers yet to come with your daughters! It's the best!

Algis - Ahhh, that's the sweetest thing ever! Love my girls to the max! Thanks so much!
Snoreville - You, too, honey pie!