My Crossroad Year

What were you doing in the year 2002?

I was 23 years old and had just graduated college with a degree in communications. I knew I had to find a job but I had NO idea what I wanted to do with my life.

To make some money I decided to attend bartending school and got a bartending job at a Japanese Steakhouse where I was A. the only employee who did not speak Japanese and B. where I would meet my future husband. It was there that I learned all about Sushi and would come to love the simple meal of chicken yakatori with white rice.

Believe it or not the bar had regulars. One was a Vietnam vet who would come in everyday drinking copious amounts of Sake and complaining about his various ex-wives and his current one. He had a spectacular red handlebar mustache. When I asked him why he continued to marry he said “I love every one of them. They just drive me too crazy after a while.”

Another regular would literally come in everyday after work for 15 minutes. He would drink 2 vodka shots straight and then go home. He never talked, and to this day I wonder what he was bracing himself for.

The most entertaining was watching people interact who were obviously on a date. Their body language was ALWAYS a dead giveaway on if it was going well or not. And I loved talking to all the customers and hearing their stories.

I met my husband when he started coming after work with some co-workers. After a while he started writing letters or drawing pictures on napkins and would leave them with his tip. After we started dating he would leave flowers on my windshield. Ah – the romance of courtship.

After a few months of bartending I moved to Philadelphia and took a job at a Cancer Research Journal. And then I got married. But those are other stories. I will always remember my time as a bartender and the role it played when I was at such a crossroads in life.

What was your crossroads year?