Money, Part 3- a Frat Boy is Born

2014-09-28 11.37.16

Eventually I realized that that job at the drug store wasn’t going to get me that car. Heck, it would barley pay for the gas in the Volkswagen to get me back and forth to school. I got resentful and disheartened. Plus, no matter how hard I worked, how much I sprinted around, the place stayed filthy. To make matters worse, the women in the family of the owner told him that in their opinion I wasn’t doing a sufficient job keeping the place clean. When the pharmacist told me this, he also took the opportunity to point out that he had agreed for me to work one hour a day and I had been working more. Band practice and basketball practice were starting anyway so we decided that to bring in “another boy” to help out would be a good idea. Eventually he got more hours, I got less until I just faded away as the drink box boy.

The next job I had was at a local steak house. It was run by two militant lesbians who pretty much treated everyone who worked there like they were worthless pieces of shit. They would walk through, scowling at each of us, throwing drive-by insults at the jobs we did. I started out running the register and making cheesecake. Eventually, I “moved up” to waiter. This particular roadside chow house was a favorite of the post-church crowd and I could tell what religion the groups were by the time the shuffled in. I remember the “boat shoes” I wore when I worked there. I had nearly worn the soles off of them. The diners summonsed us with condescension worthy of royalty and my fellow servers and I would literally be soaked in sweat by the end of the night. I wasn’t making enough money and I knew what the solution to that was: if you’re not making enough money, you’re not working  hard enough. So I poured more sweet tea, smiled more, and kissed enough Baptist ass to qualify us all for an altar call.

The company paid us $2.05 an our which was legal because it was assumed that we’d make up the rest to bring us to minimum wage by the tips we made.  Minimum wage was $3.34 so most of the time I did. You had to work very hard for that buck on the table at the end. The Christians might have been very generous with God in the collection plate but they were pretty damn stingy with the people bringing them their yeast rolls.  To walk with $30 at the end of the night was considered a good night, $50 was cause for celebration, anything above that felt like I’d hit the lottery.

I forgot to mention, I did get that car– well, not actually the Z28, but a newer model VW bug, this one was light blue and semi-automatic!  I loved my “new” little car and probably wouldn’t have loved the Camero much more. It wasn’t my tip money that bought it, it was my cousin Ron. He was a dentist and the richest person I knew. He had studied hard and gone to Dental school and invested wisely and now it was paying off. I didn’t take this point lightly and when it came time to head to college, I was pre-med for the first two years, determined to one day be an oral surgeon so I could buy people cars if I wanted to too!  But by the end of my sophomore year (and three semesters of Chemistry– and actually witnessing oral surgery), I decided that being a oral surgeon was not for me. After all, I’d always been such a wildly creative person, clearly I should choice something where I could put that to work. But it would have to be something where I could make a lot of money! I was done with having anybody tell me I couldn’t do something because “it just simply costs too much.” I’d have to find something where I could be creative and make a shit-ton of money. Advertising!

When I left the junior college close to our house and moved away to The University of Alabama, I changed my major to Advertising with a minor in Marketing. I was glad I had dodged the bullet on dental school and was sure I’d found the right profession for me. Creative and responsible.  The perfect combination.

There were a lot of other changes happening about this time. I’d been so mercilessly bullied growing up in Walker County I desperately hoped my new life “away at college” would be different. It occurred to me that none of these people at Bama really knew who I was. I could reinvent myself if I wanted. I was sick of being the kind of guy everybody seemed to hate. I wanted to be one of the guys everybody liked. I looked around to see who that was. Basically at an SEC school and especially at Bama, that was either athlete or frat boy. Athlete was out (or so I thought at the time) so I deduced to become a frat daddy. I looked at the boys, reeking of bourbon and confidence to see what the difference in the way they looked and the I looked was. They wore loafers like I did but they weren’t wearing any socks –so I threw away my socks. Their hair was long like mine but they didn’t seem to wash theirs and they were wearing ball caps bulled down over their eyes. I threw away the shampoo and bought a ball cap.  Most importantly, I did my very best to exorcise any inkling of effeminate behavior; I knew I could “drink like a man,” now it was time to start acting like one. There was one more thing the frat boys seemed to be that I wasn’t: rich!  And there was no real way to fix that one quickly. My job at Red Lobster barely paid the bills. But there are “solutions” to such a problem, little rectangular plastic solutions with logos like “Visa” and “MasterCard” and “American Express.” For any of you who remember being new to a major university, you probably remember that the credit card companies virtually beg you to fill your wallets and purses with these dangerous little time bombs. I needed to pass as a rich little frat brat and until I could figure out how to get rich on my own, these little babies would help me fake it till I could.

Here’s the check list from yesterday, I’m doing a little better. Baby steps.

1) List ten things for which I am grateful. YES

2) Meditate ten minutes morning and evening. YES

3) Read spiritual literature for ten minutes each morning. YES

4) Keep a record of every penny that came in and every penny that went out. NO

5) Work out (CrossFit or lift, Sunday is my off day). YES, worked back and biceps with Spud

6) Be true to my sexual reboot program. NO

7) 30 minutes of Mobility WOD (Google it if you don’t know what this is). NO

8) Pray for Adam Nelson. YES

9)  Tithe 10% where I’m spiritually fed and invest 10% for the future. start now on every penny that comes in, no matter how large or small the amount. NOTHING CAME IN

10) Write for four hours each and every day. NO, but I did manage at least one.

11)  Drink a gallon of water. YES

12) Spend one hour per day working for the Mehadi Foundation. NO, although I did take some steps in that direction.

Like I said– baby steps.

See y’all tomorrow.

About this entry