Speaking of lucky, I should probably write a bit about Mrs. Underhill.
When I’ve been writing, for drama’s sake, I’ve occasionally overplayed her feelings about my little hobbies.
I met Mrs. Underhill at a particularly low point in my life. I’d gotten bored with my job as the kitchen manager of the wholesale and supply kitchen of a local restaurant chain and quit. Somehow I’d got a job as a delivery person, sales representative, and espresso jerk for a Coffee Roaster. To be honest, at that time, about all I had going on were my obsessions with food, drink, and out jazz.
We met when I applied to be a Jazz DJ at the listener sponsored radio station where she was the music director.
While she trained me to be a radio DJ, we really seemed to click. At least to me. To the point where, when she told me I was doing well enough to be in the booth on my own, I said something like, “But it’s so much more fun when you’re here!” And, apparently, I wasn’t the only one feeling something, as for most of the rest of the time I was a DJ, she found time to sit in the booth with me, chat, and do menial tasks while I was on the air.
Unfortunately, my career as a volunteer radio DJ at the community station was cut short when they decided to hire a local Jazz musician to do the show I had been hosting. It was probably for the best, as apparently some of the staff had gotten a bit fed up with my propensity to play noisy jazz out of the noon time call-in news show. What’s wrong with a little Sonny Sharrock at 1:00 PM?
When she called me up to tell me I hadn’t gotten the permanent show, I’m not quite sure what happened. Instead of getting mad or being disappointed, my main concern was that I wouldn’t get to hang out with her any longer. So I asked her out to a movie. And the rest, as they say, is history.
My career as a Coffee Delivery Person, Salesman, and Espresso Jerk also didn’t last long, as I was far more interested in hanging out with Mrs. Underhill than going to work. After that, I moved on to an even more glamorous job as a dishwasher, which was, probably, the real low point of my professional career.
So what is the point of all this, aside from reminiscing?
I’ve said in the past that Mrs. Underhill, “…wouldn’t put up with it for me to be a part time bartender in addition to my other career.”
That’s really quite a bit of an overstatement.
Mrs. Underhill has supported me in just about every bizarre, inexplicable twist and turn of my various careers and obsessions.
Whether it was getting up a 5 AM to deliver coffee, getting up at 6 AM to cook brunch, working just about every holiday and weekend for the first 5 years we were together, spending most of my paycheck on weird jazz CDs, compulsive computer game playing, or choosing to make every cocktail in the Savoy Cocktail Book.
As far as I can tell the rules are:
Make yourself happy. Make others happy. Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t hurt others. Pay the bills on time. Save some money.
So when we were at Tales of the Cocktail last year, it really peeved her when people would say things to her like, “You’re being a real trooper!” when she was having the time of her life. It also peeves her when I use her as an excuse to get out of social events or opportunities by portraying her as “The Disapproving Wife”.
So just a little shout out to Mrs. Flannestad, who has, for the past 18 (!) years been the furthest thing from a “Disapproving Wife” possible. She is totally proud of me and pleased as punch at whatever small acclaim I have managed to gather for my cocktail related activities.