Life is good in Charleston as I have mentioned. I have been going to the beach and cooking healthy meals. Vacation hours. I am enjoying long walks around town and Real Housewives of New Jersey marathons.
Next week, real life begins. I go to NYC this week to visit Sissy and pick out my bling. I am also going to a Wiggles concerts with the babies that I am oddly excited for. Then, it is time to really make Charleston a home and not just a destination, which includes getting a job.
One of the many things that bothered me in Chicago was a me-centric mentality. The idea that me comes before we. In Chicago, doors were slammed in my face when I carried heavy bags of groceries, drivers cut me off on icy expressways, young men avoided eye contact while they read their iPhones comfortably seated on busy trains and buses while pregnant and elderly ladies stood, people pushed and shoved to get through crowds at concerts, ballgames, and even on the sidewalk.
In Chicago, I was always one car honk and middle finger away from life. Just when I was enjoying a little stroll and an iced latte deep in my own thoughts, some schmo would ruin it for me by almost killing me with his scooter while I walked correctly across an intersection. "I HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY, ASSHOLE!!!!!" Oy.
Don't even start with the clients I worked with in Chicago. And yes, many of them were unbelievably kind and incredibly gracious, but some, well, some just didn't want to pay for their own events. Somehow, they thought they were entitled to things for free because they were getting married. These same clients had weddings that WAY exceeded their budgets (declined credit cards and bounced checks...I have seen it all!) and couldn't be convinced to spend realistically for them. They used their weddings to make them into something they will never be. Popular. Liked. Perhaps even semi-famous for a second. The Facebook photos were more important than the actual experience. ME ME ME time ALL of the time. I have met some ladies who are so self-obsessed and narcissistic that they make Kim K and Paris look humble.
I do feel like a person's true character comes out on their wedding day and it ain't always pretty. More to come on that in future posts.
In Charleston, I have noticed that I am sometimes on the defensive unnecessarily. I am waiting to be budged at Starbucks, I am anticipating that someone at Publix will steal my parking spot, I grimace at 4 way stop signs anxious that my turn will be skipped, but it never happens.
There is a we here in Charleston that isn't in Chicago.
In Charleston, a man who worked at the grocery store helped me to my car with my heavy bags, a young hunk in his early 20's gave me his chaise lounger at the pool when no more were left in the sun and then carried another one over from the shady part for himself, a lady at Spinning class brought me a towel when she noticed I didn't have one. Men stand to meet me. People let you through when you are being seated by a hostess at a busy restaurant on a Saturday night. No one pushes or shoves to get to the bar at a concert.
I stand with my fits cocked, yet I never have to use them.
This world we live in, well, we all share it. It is no more yours than it is mine. Life can be easy or it can be hard. In Chicago people take and in Charleston people give.
I know I am generalizing and I know that Charleston is still shiny and new. There will be a day when I am cut off, shoved, but hopefully not spit on.
Oh yes, a while back in the Windy City, a groom's father, high on cocaine, spit on me and called me a fat cunt. Because he owed money for a bar tab for a late night party he offered to pay for. He didn't like the total bill, even though he consumed 8 cocktails himself at 14 dollars a pop. Bonus detail, he knew how much it would be weeks beforehand and acted like it was no problem, joked at how I was talking money with him because he had so much of it. But, when push came to
Now, I trust my instincts.
Well, that is another story for another day.
Time to get real.
I am done being defensive for just being me and I am ready to live in the we.