Getting Legit


This was the topic of conversation that I had with Tami as we walked through the throngs of shoppers and tourists running amok around Union Square this afternoon.

We were on our way to Optical Underground to get me some new glasses.

And can I just say, THANK YOU, to the people who so wisely suggested it to me.  Wow.  It truly rocks, it rocks so hard, I am about to stop blogging and go YELP it.  Not really, but I think you get my point.  It was pretty freaking awesome.  I got a fabulous pair of frames for less than the hideousness I had picked out at Kaiser.

The glasses officially seal the deal on my hipsterishness, however.  That and the job working at a boutique (my moniker) bicycle shop in the Mission.  The tattoo sleeves on my arms and the nose ring are just incidentals.


Although, it does not apparently matter that I have lived in San Francisco for nine years, I still have a Midwestern twang that comes out in awkward spots–like at work in front of the ridiculously cool tech marketing guy (who actually was wearing the genuine item just so distressed leather boat shoes with no socks, an item that I don’t care how fucking cool it is, I will not where boat shoes.  Well, unless they’re the pair of turquoise blue platform ones I saw in the most recent issue of Nylon, those are hella hot)–who glanced up at me and said, “yah, der hey, where bouts you hailin’ from”.  Oh, gonna sink below the floor boards and die.

Ugh, you can tattoo me, you can hipsterize me, you can dunk me in Burning Man, and it still leaks out, damn you Wisconsin, I can’t ever fully escape.  No matter how much I may insist that I really laud from Silicon Valley, Palo Alto was where I was born, Stanford anyone?  Or is it Santa Clara county?  Fuck if I know, I haven’t been back since I was four and a half.

Nevertheless, back to the conversation before I segued into hipsterville.  Tami walked me through a semi-panic attack as I again confronted the I cannot afford to live where I live nor, I am seeing clearly now, live in the room I am supposedly going to look at tomorrow.  I won’t be looking.  It’s too expensive.  I cannot deny it.  Every which way I look at it, it’s just too much.

And while I believe that it is only a momentary glitch in the Universe that I am making $15/hour, I don’t know when that will change and I am not willing to not, oh, I don’t know, not eat, because I have to pay my half of the utilities bill.  Yeah, that thing–you know, cable, internet, PG&E, etc, that I did not negotiate into the cost of the $900 a month room.  It would appear that I was whistling in the dark.

I am used to paying about $14-$18 a month for PG&E.  That was what I was thinking in the back of my head would continue. Ah, nope, silly rabbit, houses cost more to live in than that.  When the full picture came clear to me today how much it would really be to live there, I lost it.  Albeit not at first, it sort of crept in and co-mingled around my ankles for a while, then suddenly leapt up and smacked me in the face.

Oh hey, you there, I was trying to not pay attention to you, go away.

Tami made some suggestions and gave me a lot, and I do mean, a lot of perspective.  First, she re-iterated that I was ahead of the curve for seeing that my time had come to an end for the nannying, that there really was nowhere else for me to go with it.  Second, that after four and a half years of being basically under the table, I was getting legit.  Getting legit, paying taxes, doing it the good old-fashioned American way.

That and starting in on the ground floor somewhere and working my way up.  Whether that means staying with the bike shop or parlaying the experience upwards and outwards.  I just don’t know, but the whole going legit thing, sounded pretty spot on.  In more than one manner of speaking I have gotten my feet underneath me and I am constantly learning and growing.  And exploring new skill sets.

It may “feel” at times that I am running in place or going backwards, but that is not the case.  I am moving forward, just not always at the pace I want to be.

Forgetful, I am, the journey’s the point, not the destination.

I mean, how satisfying will it feel to just magically have that house with those floors and that view and the fire pit and those windows just dropped in my lap.  Versus, the joy of struggling and striving and finding my way to it, the satisfaction will be much richer and warmer on long arduous road.  Sort of like getting a cup of instant cocoa made with luke warm water in a styrofoam cup versus the pre-heated china bowl of  slowly simmered, gently stirred hot milk nestled up around artisanal chocolate infused with vanilla bean pods and adorned with home-made just slightly toasted marshmallows with fresh ground organically sourced nutmeg.

I want the latter, fyi.

At least hypothetically, I am not going anywhere near a bowl of sugar any time soon.  But the image is nice, no?

So along those lines, I have found myself in the humble space of yet again crashing at the family’s house in Potrero.  I got to see the divine Miss Junebug tonight and Charlie REno!  Such exquisiteness.  The two most delicious creatures, who talked about feeding me stinky feet and poop pizza for the first twenty minutes I was there, but you know, there’s some lovableness mixed in that recipe, despite the utter grossness of it.  They really are pure sunshine (Juni’s dad is employed by the sun, dontcha know–I was informed of this when she asked me what she tasted like and I said, “sunshine” and she said, “that’s because my daddy works for the sun”.  Dying.  Dad works in solar).

Reno’s folks asked after my transition change from nanny to bike shop as Reno and Juni ran laps around us and how it was going and I told them, it’s great, it’s a huge uptick in satisfaction and interaction with the human, adult, race, and a dramatic down tick in money.  I let them know I was moving out of my apartment in Nob Hill and once again in that weirdo limbo land of not yet knowing where I am going to land–on little cat feet–I am keeping the cats.

I just can’t stand the idea of giving the fuckers up, even though it makes it such a challenge to find a place to live.  Seriously the one time I was really thinking, I could let them go, Uni comes and hops in my lap, nestles down, sans claws, and starts licking my hands and purring.

Manipulative little beastie.


Saddled with cats is worse than being saddled with a crack head room-mate as far as getting a place is concerned.

Then, Reno’s folks said, stay with us.

Oh god.  I had nothing to say.  I was a little blown away.  I should know better, Juni and Charlie’s folks have always, always, always, taken care of me, yet, to be so considered is still overwhelming and makes me get choked up and humble, oh yeah, humble, big big humble.

When you leave a nanny gig with starry eyes all a glow about how you’re going to be the next Dave Eggers or what’s the dude’s name, Running with Scissors, grr, late night blog post, can’t remember, or Henry Miller (you know he was just writing about his life in Paris, eating and drinking and having sex and hanging with his friends) only to be back in the same boat two years later not knowing where you and your silly cats are going to live–oh, hey, what about in the attic room at your old employers home, I can say there’s room on my plate for some humble pie.  With a good dollop of abashed to spice it up.

But I am not stupid.  I may be humbled, I have had some ego levelling, that’s for sure, but I am not going to look a gift horse, or a room in the mouth.

Between staying there and staying at Robyn’s I will have a rent free December.  One in which I can cozy up a little financial breathing space (as long as my direct deposit goes the fuck through) and maybe even a little respite from the stress of having to find a place.  I will make money while the sun shines too.

I am taking Mrs. Fishkin’s advice–this nanny is now open for the holiday season.  You got a holiday party you want to go to, call me up.  I’ll do it.  I need to supplement the $15/hour income while the getting is hot.  Then, who knows, January is going to come up roses.  There is money on the horizon there is prosperity around the bend, and its legit.

And the best thing?

Really, truly, the best thing, I will be successful, despite the Neanderthal brain stomping around the feargrounds in my brain, I will.  Because I will pass on these gifts so freely given me.

I cannot wait to play the largess forward–the glasses, the rooms, the open arms of my community, I am an investment, and I promise you from the midst of the side-walk sale in my apartment–I will play it forward.  I will give it all back and more.

Legitimately and with interest.

A lot of interest.

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