This evening I was reaching into the little thrown pot where I keep my bobby pins and my fingers fumbled against something with sharp edges and I drew it out to see what it was...
It was my name pin from my six month stint working as a receptionist at The Hillcrest Country Club, an exclusively Jewish country club in Los Angeles and second home to some of the wealthiest and most powerful movers and shakers in said city.
You can just barely make out my name in the above picture....
The Hillcrest was also my own private hell for that half-year.
Before I started working for myself I was a receptionist-by-day-musician-by-night. Before I entered Purgatory at the Hillcrest gates I was the concierge at a fantastic members-only dining establishment call 'The Regency Club'.
Some of my fondest memories of that city are in the hallowed halls of that place: communal dinners with the mostly French waitstaff and my complete adoration for the Chef...
one night they made me a chocolate souffle and set me up in a private dining room lit by candles to enjoy it toute seule, the lights of Los Angeles twinkling outside the 15th story windows.....oh it was delicious, and like family.
My hours were sporadic and the pay was low, so I had to look for something more stable.
Enter the Hillcrest. I worked 40 hours a week and dreaded every second of it, except for the blessing of spending time with my amazing immediate co-workers.
The higher-ups were in a very strange position of having the members control their employ and so they were rigid, scared and unbearable... it was a very strange perfume indeed that wafted out of those formidable wooden doors!
I met tons of celebrities, handed Sidney Poitier his golf hat that he'd left the day before (swoontastic!) and ate some serious five star cuisine, but we were treated so poorly by certain members that I pretty much left in tears at least one day per week.
Eventually I made some choices and took a few big leaps of faith and found myself at Electronic Arts where I spent three years and would meet my future husband, and the job switch was a complete relief in so very many ways.
I look back on situations like those at The Hillcrest, where I had few choices and lived paycheck-to-paycheck.... where my very soul felt like a python was closing in for the death squeeze and I wonder at the benevolence of the universe and the spectacular change that only a few years can bring.
This world is truly a place of great mystery and grand twists of fate: where we are now is only a nanosecond in time: each minute a new possibility blooms!
A toast - to blessings and the opportunity to count them in every nook and cranny - even the bobby pin jar.