Mar 8, 2019
Often times our jobs turn out to be like second families, and if it means dealing with the public, the 'family' plays a big role in figuring out what to make of things that happen at the 'home' we go to eight hours a day. I very much think we are sent places for a reason. Most of those reasons are to learn something and sometimes the only way to learn it is to do it. So life takes away one thing, and hands us another, its how we learn.
I never could remember the reason why we got into that fight. All I can remember is we were at his sister's house sitting on the couch and something happened that made me so angry that I slapped my husband! He slapped me back. I slapped him again. He grabbed me in anger and doubled up his fist ready to take the situation to the next bad step when his brother-in-law jumped up and yelled: "Get out of my house! I will not allow that to happen here!" It broke the tangle of emotions, and brought us back to reality at just the right moment. But we did bundle up the babies and leave. I knew things were not good for our marriage but I had no money to take care of the babies on my own. I had been applying for jobs to at least give me some money that was mine and make me feel like I had more to say about our lives. As it was, he acted like since he supported me, he owned me and he could do anything he wanted. It was obvious he was not really cut out for marriage and babies, but we were in the middle of it so we just played each day as it happened. But the slap thing had never happened before and we knew it took things to a level of having to make some choices.
When we got home our neighbor told me I had gotten a call from the theater where I had applied for work. We didn't have a phone in those days but always were lucky to have wonderful neighbors. Life always seemed to send me people I needed when I needed them most. I called the theater and set up a time for an interview. I knew it was time to work and gain some kind of independence. Deep down I knew my marriage would not last so it was time to begin forming the person I was ,not just a young wife and mother. I had never given my personal self any thought, all I wanted was him, and a life with him. But life was finally progressing to the step of needing to find out who I was as a person. It was as if that slap opened more doors than I could ever imagine existed. It put a different spin on my entire life.
Movie theaters were once very important places in every town! They were a gathering point, and they had things that TV was not designed to have such as long, new movies, fun places to meet the neighbors and talk about things, discuss current events. Theaters were designed to be interesting, attractive and a safe place to spend a couple of hours without anything else making any demands. There were ushers in uniforms with flashlights helping you find a nice place to sit. There was always a nice person in the ticket booth and a nice person in uniform at the front door taking your ticket. There was almost always a wonderful concession area where you could buy fresh popcorn and candy, and drinks. Sometimes there was a short order booth where you could get a milkshake, hot dog and small hamburger.The theaters provided something you could not get anywhere else and they worked hard to be a wonderful place to go.
I liked how this theater looked. Deep red carpets and walls with big gold and black trims and large, elaborate carvings around every door. The usher uniform was wine colored satin with gold trim, with long soft pant legs. Very beautiful and very comfortable. That would be my job, an usher, seating people, making sure the customers were happy as well as making sure they were behaving themselves. The usher was the friendly, overdressed theater cop always on the move. Since I had never met a stranger in my life, it was perfect for me. And even better, we had a female theater manager. That sort of thing just didn't happen back then, so we teamed up and talked all the time. My world was expanding in a good way.
This would be the second theater I had worked at so I fit right in. I started making friends right from the start such as the bus driver who, when he had his full uniform on, looked a lot like a cop. He must have been a local because he was allowed into the theater on his breaks and would stand in the isle behind the back seats and watch some of the movie before getting back on his bus and continuing his around and around life. I stood there too and we would chat quietly for a few minutes at least once a shift. He became very brother-like saying maybe my uniform needed some repairs, or.. my hair looked okay today but maybe I needed to change my eye make up because it looked a little dark.
The ticket taker was a nice young man who didn't have much of a life away from the theater. It was not only Jim's job, it was his social life meeting so many people every day in a personal eye-to-eye, hand-to-hand way. Some local regulars came a few times a week because they didn't have a social life either and they were greeted kindly in a family way.
One day I was in the office talking to the manager. We had a good friendship as well as the boss/worker thing so we often sat and talked about our personal life and tried to help each other even if it meant just listening. One day she was showing signs of distress about pain in her back. I told her I had been taught to push on certain places on a back and it helped pop things back into place. She said: "Do it! I will try anything!"
I said: "You have to lay down on your tummy and I have to sit on your lower back to be able to apply the pressure at the right spot." She headed for the large, over stuffed, ancient couch and flopped on her stomach waving her hand to come on and fix me! I straddled her back on the couch and started placing my hands on the right spots, pushing now and then, searching again, pushing again, and in the middle of one of the pushes , Jim came rushing in to the office, got about half way in and it was obvious he thought for sure he had walked in on something he should not have seen and stood in the doorway with his mouth open trying to figure what to say!
"OH! I am sorry!" is what came out. The manager and I started laughing so hard we fell off the couch.
She yelled " Come in! What do you need!?" He stood half way in the still-open door staring at the floor blubbering an apology and stating the problem with nothing making any sense. In the meantime the manager and I were still laughing ourselves to tears, still trying to get off the floor. I have no doubt that all of us in that particular moment used it to bring laughter to our lives for many years to come.
It seems fate always takes me to a place for a reason. I may never know what the reason is but when it has been taken care of, things change, sometimes drastically, and send me to my next life-stop. Back in those days the Hell's Angels were a very large, tough motorcycle gang who did anything they wanted. Law enforcement was simply not equipped to handle strong men who carried guns and did not hesitate to use them at any moment. And one day when the gang attacked the theater for no reason, it was like a signal to me. As the dozens of motorcycles roared around in a circle in front of the theater, stopping traffic, throwing bricks into windows and nearly destroying the ticket booth, my inner voice said: Time to go, sweetie, this fun adventure has come to a close. We all come to that point in our lives. A time to enter and a time to leave. Listen to your inner voice. Life always has things we are supposed to do. Don't worry about the leaving, it's actually a beginning. Open the door, see what's next. You can do it!
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Image: www.depositphotos.com/# 133466182 Date: Nov 30, 2018
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