I do really hate getting caught, especially when what I was doing wasn’t actually wrong or Illegal. But, as it stands, last night I got caught getting my tips from the club last week ready to go to the bank so I could pay some bills today or tomorrow. I will explain the money part of that in a bit because I know someone is going to ask about it. So, yesterday evening all the kids were gone, dinner was on the grill, and I remembered I needed to go to the bank. Now, I don’t keep secrets about money from my wife, she knows I make a decent amount in tips bartending. She knows I also get a paycheck, she knows I’m a 10-99 employee as well which means we save 20% of my earnings to pay Uncle Sam in January. What she has yet to figure out is why a bartender in a full nude strip club is paid what I get paid. But, the money is the reason I am there. I can’t help it I am able to negotiate what my time and services are worth. A while back, when I started back, I agreed to work Wednesday and Thursday nights, roughly 30 hours between the two days, for $1200.00 since I knew I would be paying my own taxes.
Plus, as bartender I keep ALL of my tips, but I also get 5% of the tips to the waitresses, and 1% of the tips from the dancers. Doesn’t sound like much does it? The stack of money on the table represents my tips plus the additional tip outs from the dancers and waitresses. The bundles are $100.00 if you are counting. Since I report and pay taxes on this as well, it all stays well documented. Which, is what I was doing last night when my wife came strolling into the dining room, home early from work. She had a surprised look on her face, like I just showed her a sasquatch body laying on the table after varmint hunting. Needless to say, she wasn’t ever aware that at anytime during the week there is a similar amount of money tucked away in the safe. Then the conversation got ugly. Supposedly I am hiding it from her because she has been unaware. I tried to explain it all goes to our joint checking account, minus what goes to a separate joint savings account for taxes. Still not believing me I had to get my tablet so we could explore the last few months of Wells Fargo deposits. A new bit of information came to light that I was unaware of, she doesn’t pay attention to the account balances. How the hell not? Well, seems that since I have always been the monthly bill payer that I would let her know if there is a problem so she never worried about it.
Yet, I am the one being told I’m hiding money from her. I still can’t wrap my head around it because it seems like a bizarre way of thinking. Then, this morning it hits me, its because I am the man and she is the woman, therefore I am automatically wrong. But, I have a frugal wife, she is not a spend-o-holic, she believes, as I do, that we will want to take trips, pay for college, and still one day retire. So, I have no complaints in that department. No other department either really, perhaps the jumping to conclusions part, but we argue and communicate very well with each other. In the end, we spent a few hours in the hot tub drinking margaritas and not talking about work, money, or our worries. We just sat there butt-ass naked enjoying each other’s company under the partly cloudy sky listening to the hum of the margarita machine churning out the next batch. All and all, after dinner, the hot tub, and the excellent margaritas, we went to bed with smiles on our faces. She mentioned this morning that I’m still an asshole but she still loves me.
Taking the time to do something right now seems to be more of a luxury than a necessity. I can’t speak for everyone but that is how it usually is for me personally. There are times I truly don’t have time and there are times where I don’t feel like making the time. I am sure many of us treat “time” in the same fashion. Recently I noticed that I was getting into a very bad habit which I chose to correct before it did any substantial damage that I couldn’t reverse. I consider myself to be pretty self reliant capable of making the big boy decisions when I need and following through with the things I begin. I look to others to be able to do the exact same thing, without question and without excuses. However, I must admit that being unemployed has changed my perspective on my day to day events because now I have the time that once eluded me for so many years. Time to do what? Good question. When I was young, having too much time on my hands would prove to be a very negative thing because I could easily find trouble. Somewhere in time I out grew that and started to cherish a little free time. Move forward many years to the present and I definitely know that having the time just to breathe is very valuable. I know time will not stand still for me, I may stand still but everything around me moves at the speed of light, and I do not like that feeling. So, I have been up to some different things. Like what?
We have lived in our 3400 square foot house since the day it was finished being built close to ten years ago. It is a house that I designed personally years before with high hopes that one day I could live in it with my family. The one thing I never considered was taking better care of all the woodwork that I wanted. There is not one single piece of painted wood in the interior of this house. Everything was stained and sealed with a high gloss clear coat. I made an observation a few weeks ago which alarmed me a bit to say the very least. I was asked to dust, a task I have never done in this house because it is a chore split between my children still living at home. I never considered it to be a monumental task before attempting it myself. Before you hand me a tissue to wipe me tears just know that I do maintain, once a week all of the wood and tile floors. Did I mention there isn’t a stitch of carpet in the entire house? Besides, I was asked to dust the stuff that out of reach therefore out of sight. Example, the whole house is done with crown molding in every room including the pantries and all closets. It took some time cleaning all of that because I don’t think any of it has ever been touched since it was installed. I saw some sun damage to many pieces that get direct sunlight so I carefully removed them, taking them to my shop to be refinished. Once I was done I replaced each of the 46 pieces of crown molding in its original spot in the house. In between finishing the molding I continued cleaning. Once all the wood was cleaned, a task that took me a few days, about 30 hours total, I cleaned all of the 14 ceiling fans since their dust was standing out to me. I did take special time in the kitchen because oils from cooking tend to build up where one least suspects. And then, all of a sudden, I was done, it was over. After inspecting my work I decided to make me a big glass of ice water and have a rest in the hot tub outside. This was drained and cleaned last week so I was ready for a soak.
I think since I did not mention starting and/or finishing the cleaning to my wife she assumed it hadn’t been done yet. Yesterday she asked me ifni was going ton take care of it before this weekend. I am sure I had a bewildered look on my face after she asked. I explained, simply, that it was already done. She had a somewhat embarrassed look on her face when she said she didn’t know because I didn’t say anything. I explained I didn’t think there was anything to say. But that is the way things are, some are too busy to see their immediate surroundings unless something stands out irregularly. After a tour we sat at the bar in the kitchen where I showed her my “to-do” list and asked if there was anything she wanted to add. I got a grin and was told that it looks like I had it under control. She mentioned it would be nice if I did laundry as she giggled, reminding me that she would be damned if she would let a color-blind man anywhere near the laundry. Smart choice. So, anyway, when I woke up this morning and realized that my list was complete with the exception of “chores” around the house. It felt good knowing I took the time and accomplished what I had set out to do. As I sit here in my shop writing this I look around wondering when this place became such a wreck. Its on the list now. I will probably be working on the shop for a few days and when I am done it will be ready for the next project. No idea what it will be but since I have the time now it will probably be something off of that list. I have always wanted my own smokehouse out by the pond at the edge of the trees so maybe I will start that. I have allot of old oak planks I took from a barn demolition so I should be able to do it almost expense free. A project like this might be waiting another month or so until my son get about for the summer from school since he likes doing these kinds of things with me. He wants to learn “everything” I know so he can one day have a cool hobby too. He is great to work with and his brain is like a sponge. Usually it is shown or tell him once and that’s all it takes. So, always take time to take time because you never known when you might have the time once again.