I’ve lived a charmed life these 46 years. Oh, you might not think it looking from the outside as you are: I wear tennis shoes, jeans and a polo shirt to my work, where I work on my feet for 8+ hours a day; I have a house in the suburbs that I clean thoroughly every weekend instead of going out; I get to field calls from my mom’s assisted living facility at my lunch hour while I scarf down a snickers bar and some water, and I have a son that I worry about constantly.
Trust me, I’m charmed. I”m not sure if my parents made a deal with the devil or what, but I’ve been pretty damned lucky.
Case in point: today I got an e-mail letting me know that a former employer was shutting down as of this Sunday. Well, in the first case, they’re not “a former employer” they’re Schmemily, Meg and Ken and they are some of the best memories I’ve got. No that’s not the lucky part. The lucky part is that Meg hired me in the first place. I started thinking about all of the great memories that I have tied to Escential Lotions & Oils…and the list goes on and on. I remember the first time I walked in there, well before I even applied to work there. The very first person I ran in to was Z, which I remember because she was so freakin’ beautiful that I just stared and stammered the whole time I was ordering Body Shampoo scented with Oil of Rosemary. (4 oz bottle) Yes, I remember. I thought it was funny when we became friends later. And yes, I’m still in awe of her beauty.
D, the manager at the 23rd store, took me to my first real concert – Crowded House at the Roseland. We waited in line so we could be first and we were right up against the stage (she knew I was claustrophobic and thought if I was up against the stage I would forget all the people. She was right). A little known act was opening for them, you might know her as Sheryl Crow, and she is WAY better live.
C introduced me to modern art…Jackson Pollock in particular. And while son J is not specifically named after THAT Jackson, he likes to think he is. When he came home from preschool upset for getting in trouble for “scribble scrabble” art I pulled my Pollock autobiography off the shelf, flipped a few pages and said, “See this, it sold for 5 million. You tell them scribble scrabble IS art.” To this day one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received is, after looking at one of paintings, “Wow, this reminds me of Lee Krasner’s work”.
T and husband J and I had drinks after work every friday night at the Horse Brass pub. Just to defrag from the week, vent when needed, and relax. That was where I tasted my samples of wedding cake. Wedding cake I should add, that was baked by one of my incense reps, Lulu. I had what is the best damn wedding cake I have ever tasted. Her name was Lulu and every time I saw her I said, “You know Lulu means pearl in Swahili.”
I trained T on 9/11. She showed up (and I was impressed that she showed up) and I just said, well, let’s do this. We made 300 some dollars that day. There was no business. And lots of phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls. i was impressed that T took it all in stride. I thought, “You can handle today you’ll be fine.”
On the saturday before Christmas (the busiest day at the store) we invited everyone to the pub for drinks and husband J bought the first round, probably because he was grateful that he didn’t work retail.
At my interview, 11 years ago for a job with my current company, I was told “this isn’t like most companies – the owners actually care about their associates”. My first thought was “I’m used to that, you think you can do better?”. Can you say your boss invited you to Christmas Eve dinner because she knew you would be alone? And then you proceeded to possibly drink too much with her daughter? Irish coffees! I didn’t know that wasn’t how most jobs work – because that wasn’t what I was used to. Now I know that isn’t the norm, and that just makes me more appreciative of what I have.
When husband J and I finally got married, after 10 years together, Meg asked if she could throw me a reception as a present. Emily did the catering, Joyce did the flowers and Damon made our rings. My wedding was truly a family affair, in the best way. I go to weddings now and instead of feeling envy which friends tell me is normal, I just think of how lucky I was to have such amazing people in my life at that time.
I’ve been gone almost 12 years now, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of someone from Escential. A story about M (and the fucking floating candle incident!!!), telling my favorite waiter about Z glaring at Daniel Day-Lewis in a Starbucks (or stepping on Lauren Bacall!), D taking me to Roseland, Schmem and me having Sidecars at Jake’s Grill (or coffee with the guys before work), leaving my lunch leftovers for M at her house and being afraid of her dogs (who’s afraid on Bichon Frise? This girl.)
So many great things happened to me all because I got one interview, and one job, from one amazing woman. My life will never be the same, and to say that I am grateful doesn’t cut it. Meg changed my life, for the better. I know that life is full of goodbyes. I get that. What makes it charmed is that I appreciate it.
Thank you Meg, Ken and Emily. I love you,