First of all, can I say that three glasses of Chianti make me a better mom? They really do.
I went to the retirement party tonight for my print shop bosses. Out of three freelancers (including the one who works in-house in my footsteps) I was the only one to show. So it was C and P the retirees, G the office manager and her husband, D the pressman and his wife, and S the sales guy/business partner and his wife. Just us Old Crew.
And the Old Crew is making a lot of adjustments. The old shop is closed, all the equipment and personnel moved and merged with the other place across town. Waaaay across town. G is talking about retiring herself and moving to Grand Junction. Me, I've got school and a new career to think about. And D the pressman (and all-around IT Genius and Problem-Solver) went on about one of the graphic designers quitting today because she wanted to 'do design work only' and was through with putting names on business cards, and didn't get along with him anyway.
I admit, my ears did perk up a little, but you know what? I didn't jump on it. Not like I would have a short time ago. And that felt good.*
C made a toast and we all stood, clinked glasses, laughed. P handed the waiter her camera and after he took a picture of all of us, he asked if we were mother and daughter.
“Because of the red hair?” P asked.
“No. You two have the same smile.”
It's funny. I'm sure if anyone were watching, what they saw was a family. And they wouldn't be that far off. C is the father, P the mother. (Think a kinder but just as opinionated Archie and a not-quite-so-ditzy Edith.) G is the eldest daughter, the steadfast one. D is the son who simultaneously wants approval and to rebel, who can't quite seem to leave the nest though he's tried since I've known him. And now he's the only one staying with the company.
Me, I'm the youngest daughter, and all that entails. I guess that leaves S as the weird uncle. Yeah, that works.
I looked at everyone and thought of the changes we'd all been through in the past ten years. And then I couldn't believe that ten years had passed.
The whole thing has the air of a series finale. Old characters you've grown to know and love, now sharing one last meal before moving on. And the camera pans back. Roll credits.
*Not that I'd turn down the work. I mean, if someone puts money in your hand, close your fist, right? But...I don't want to work with any other bosses in this capacity. I've held a few jobs, and the ones I liked best were the ones where I could like and respect my boss. I don't think I could like or respect these new bosses, from what I've heard.