It was a typical Saturday night. Chloe was gone to her dad's house, and I was just starting my evening shift at Applebees. I walked toward the table, and immediately recognized the women sitting there. They aren't what I'd call gossips, but they are women...
Anyway, I smiled and greeted them, when one of them interrupted me and said, "Oh my God, what are you doing here?" She had that "ew" look on her face. I wasn't sure if she missed my nametag, or my apron, or the fact that I'd offered to get her something to drink. I fought my sarcasm, though, I did.
"I work weekends over here," I politely replied.
"Oh," she said, relieved. "So you're still teaching."
"No. Right now I'm staying home with Chloe."
"Oh," the "ew" tone was back.
I love teaching. I enjoy being submersed in language and literature on a daily basis. I love the feeling of half-days and long breaks. What I don't like, however, is the constant drama. There are cliques and double standards. The adult drama is often more intense than any of the teenage drama you hear about in the hallways.
I have enjoyed hearing the stories of how I'm this renegade evading the law, or how I was fired from three jobs, or how my license was revoked. However, my exit is just not that glamorous. I was never asked to leave a teaching position, except that one year with Jowell, but the board over-ruled that. I still hold a valid Missouri teaching license, which I will soon need to renew.
The truth is, there came a point where I couldn't take anymore. I needed a break. So I took one. I may go back to teaching in a year, I may go back in five, I may never go back.
For now, I enjoy staying home with Chloe. We spend lazy days in the pool, we run errands together, we watch t.v. together, we play together. We argue and fuss sometimes, and every morning we snuggle in bed together.
On the weekends I work three shifts at Applebees where I average 13 to 17 dollars an hour and take home cash money every weekend. I love my job. I clock out, and other than the occasional Apple-night-mare, work stays at work. Now and then I have a grouchy guest or I drop something, but for the most part I go hang out, do my job, and go home. The people there are enjoyable (mostly), and other than the occasional idiot, the staff is great. I'm stress-free, I have some money, and I'm spending time with my little mini-me.
That lady can feel sorry for me if she wants to, and she can wrinkle her nose at the sight of me with an apron full of straws rather than a red pen and loafers, but for me, for now, this is the good life.