A few weeks ago I was pontificating on how fabulous it is to not have my entire identity tied to my job. After twenty years in all things real estate and office related, after decades of answering to The Man and marching to His orders down to what to wear, and after a life time of 8-5 fucktardery I declared, “fuck y’all, I’m a waitress now!”. Take that office zombie life! I can just write, drink wine and throw plates of chicken fried steak at people for pocket cash! D’oh. I would like to amend my previous statement now. My mental health depends on a little group hug I like to call a Come To Jeebus meeting.
In Austin you are summed up by a simple formula: job title + education + (shoes +watch+car+zip code)= epic. Or not. All easy and quantifiable pieces of awesome to state who you are. At the risk of sounding bitchy(er) , I always knew where I stood in Austin and it was good. Preferred seating at my favorite bars, friends in every nook and cranny, favoritism from the shoe boys at Nordstrom’s and invites to the secret purse room at Saks 5th Avenue. Sounds fantastically conceited and you can think what you want about Austin Cat because she gives zero fucks. Tell me how you feel after you have lived the awesome of getting a call from the Nordstrom’s shoe department letting you know your favorite designer shoes are going on clearance and a pair of your size in all styles have been held aside for you. That lifestyle was thirty years of clawing my way to the top and a very enjoyable way to spend a weekend. Here in New Town, however, your total good citizen worth is based on two questions. The first is fucking mind-boggling to me and down right offensive to ask as far as I’m concerned. They may as well ask me if I like anal sex because that, as well as their #1 go- to -get- to -know- you -question, should result in a black eye or two for them.
Before your name, hi how are you or anything socially acceptable you are pretty much guaranteed to be asked where you go to church. Not if you go. Seriously? Um, I don’t go nor do I believe an any invisible man in the sky, magical eight armed woman, fat man in a sheet or anything of the like. I don’t care if you do, nor do I judge you on it. Believe what you like and whatever makes you warm and fuzzy- just don’t tread on my right to do the same. I’m not even convinced they really want to know me- I am more certain they would like to collect gossip intelligence on the new people. I can’t win on #1 which makes my answer to the #2 question incredibly high stakes. This explains why I have yet to make any acquaintances close enough to even remotely be described as “friend”.
“Hi, where do you worship”
“Um, I don’t go to church per sa…”
“Oh. Well, you DO believe. Right?”
“My name is Cat nice to meet you! I’m from Austin how are you!”
“Well what do you DO Cat?”
Fucktastic! If they didn’t like my first answer then this one is really gonna make them shit a King James Bible.
“I write a blog about general fucktardery, dumb asses I cross paths with, my shoes, my period and shit that pisses me off in general. It’s funny, though! Most days.”
“Oh and I’m a waitress so I can get out of the house and earn some pocket-money and get my two tattoo sleeves done. And buy more wine. And save puppies.”
I can’t tell if being a writer or waitress is worse here. I definitely know I need to find a man to worship and in a hurry if I want any chance at all of a social life here. The silly fact is that I get lonely. I need gossip, girl time and general shopping debauchery every now and again! Since there are more liquor stores than churches here (and there’s a Jeebus House on pretty much every corner) I guess I can’t claim Jack Daniels as my deity. I need a non violent reply. Believe me there have been so many times I would have liked to have slapped the fucktard out of some very holier-than-everyone-else-rude-ass-nosey bitches. Call it divine intervention or my brain trying to keep me out of jail, but I have noticed a distinct lack of fashion here which gives me a brilliant but totally believable answer to #1. From now on when I am asked where I worship I will respond that my home church is in Austin at St. Nordies and my leaders are Reverends C. Klein and Bandolino. When asked what it is I do I will reply that I am a social issues journalist with a focus in urban fine art. Yes, I do believe these responses will earn me the dignity of a country club invitation and perhaps the nice people here will soon realize I won’t eat their children, set their house wives free or single-handedly ruin their fine Jeebus fearing society.