About 15 years ago - I got fired for my first and only time in my life (that story is for a whole blog itself) and opened up the phone book the next day to the Restaurant section in the yellow pages.  I decided the first place I pointed at I would go and apply.  It was a country club.  I went that day and applied.  Two days later I got the job, a polyester monkey suit, a bow tie and a gold name plate. 
My first day on the job I walked around the "mansion" and it was spectacular.  Classic style with tons of wood and chandeliers. I had never seen this kind of wealth before - It was amazing.  I felt I was working for the rich folk....it was all so luxurious.  Remember I was a small town girl with blue collar parents and visited my grandparents farm on the weekends so I had never experienced the country club lifestyle..
After work that day - my first day - myself and the person that trained me went out and smoked grass. 

Yes I said smoke grass. 

It was probably the last time I did and was probably the first time I had in months back then.  He asked and I said yes.  why not I wanted to fit in.  It was super funny and awkward.  And after I did I got mega - paranoid that they were testing me and I was super afraid to go back into work the next day....but I digress....I got home and sat in the bathroom on the floor and laughed that I had just smoked pot with my trainer, in a tuxedo, after setting a table with 5 courses (silverware and glasses....)for a $200 wine dinner in the private dining room.

Anyway.  This is where I learned about the finer things in life.  I learned etiquette, great service, and how people needed and wanted to be treated when they had money....and even if they didnt have money. 
I could read people and say what they needed to hear.  I liked it. 

I also liked the food.  no - LOVED the food.....Chicken a la king, foleys haddock, cream soups, lobster, foie gras, luscious desserts, filets, scallops, bernaise, buerre blanc....you name it, i ate it.   I made in good with the chefs, worked long hours, and that meant I ate pretty much every meal there.....and I ate! WOA!. 

I  learned that Crudite was a fancy word for raw vegetables, I learned how to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes in 2 minutes in the elevator shaft.  And I smoked a LOT of them I may add.

I also owe the start of my wine career to here.  I was a true saleman....not knowing anything about wine but picking the most expensive ones and trying to sell them.  I learned the "cult" names and sold sold sold.  Then I started taking a snip out of bottles - OMG I loved wine....I remember drinking red wine first, never white like most start with.  Some of the member saw that I took a liking to wine and would let me try wines that I believed I could never afford or would be able to taste again.  They would tell me of their stories traveling to wine country and I listened like a starving child.  It was all so fancy and amazing and I wanted every part of it to be my life.
 
I loved the members there, some were like my family.  And still to this day I am friends with some so many years later......And my dentist, my lawyer, my tire guy, my eye guy, my real estate guy and many others are still there for me....

Well -
I worked on mens night - which was Thursdays....I was one of the only women allowed in the place back then and the guys smoked stogies, drank and gambled a lil....nothing too extreme.  As the hours passed, the sun set and the moon was high, these guys would talk shit and hang out after a day of golf.  It was harmless and a ton of laughs...As the night progressed and guys headed home, there was a group that stayed later then most, and as they were shaking dice or playing cards, they would yell -

"THIS IS THE FINAL ONE"

3 later they would say

"this is the FINAL FINAL"

Final final became a phrase I would hear every Thursday for years - may it be a drink or the last shake of the dice. I loved when they said that and it always made me smile.  Always.  Or after an extremely long day it would bring me relief knowing they were leaving shortly.   I havent heard those 2 words used together in years and I havent thought of it until this morning as I was brushing my teeth and staring at myself in the mirror.
I am done.
I had my final final.

Pam
3/5/2012 12:16:53 pm

First, what are you do with? Sounds serious!

Amber, we named our boat final, final. Duff says it so much the kids and their friends say it.

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Pam
3/5/2012 12:18:49 pm

meant to say "what are you done with?"

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Me
3/5/2012 12:23:36 pm

Pam I was thinking about u and Duffy tonigh as I was writing this!!!! Final final.....it was him who started that....love you guys

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