Strap On Your Support Hose.

Strap on your support hose –the veteran pastry chef laughed as she gave me the best bit of industry advice I’d ever received.

 

Her honesty was charming and the woman I’d simply known as “teacher,” transformed into, “champion of femininity, feminism and food.”  Her message resounded.   I needn’t be warned twice about the swollen legs and unsightly veins triggered by years of working on my feet.  I like shorts and I intend to keep wearing them for years to come.

 

Her underlying message – preserve yourself, both physically and spiritually.  Use support hose to maintain your body and choose your jobs carefully to maintain your soul.

 

So, I wear my support hose every day.  Strapped in nylon, next to 350-degree ovens, carrying sheet pans, whist hurdling my own boobs, I sometimes feel as though I’ve lost my mind.   My boss might tell me this means I’m headed in the right direction…after all, we’re all mad here.   Still, its amazing how my legs feel considerably less tired at the end of the day and I feel good that I’m doing something positive for my body.

 

The job aspect is trickier, but so far I’ve had amazing luck surrounding myself with positive people.   Maintaining some semblance of a personal life while remaining dedicated to the food industry isn’t always easy.   Long and odd hours make us well matched to those in the medical field, while our pay scale draws us to thespian types.  All of these careers ask a lot of their people, so a strong crew of compassionate co-workers is incredibly important.

 

I’ve done some staging (shadow/trail shifts) in New York City and the tone of the  kitchens was grim.  The people were hard working and the food was beyond exquisite, but there was an undeniable feeling that your neighbor would happily throw you under the next passing bus.  I’ve often said that cooks are more parts pirate than professional, but I’d meant that in the yo-ho and rum sort of way.  These people took my statement to new level of cutthroat.  I’ll admit I’m competitive when it comes to gym-class dodge ball, but war and espionage have never appealed to me.

 

I love the simple honesty of making a good cookie.  So, when I starting looking for a new job in the great Empire State, I was interviewing the people I’d be working with as much as they were interviewing me.   I was not going to leave my wonderful friends at Big City Neighborhood Bakery in Boston for just anyone.   They’d set a high bar that was going to be hard to match.

 

Eventually, I found Le Chateau Chic in New York – a boutique hotel, outside the city, with an intimate kitchen and a parking lot without meter maids.   The kitchen had an air of kindness about it and it would just be the pastry chef and myself working side by side.   While moves are always nerve-wracking, this kitchen presented itself in a way that eased my anxieties.  In fact, the collaborative tone and honesty of Le Chateau Chic stirred the feelings of possibility that can sometimes fade with routine. I felt encouraged, a little bit braver, and armed with and ample supply of support hose to start my next big adventure.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Strap On Your Support Hose.

  1. annie martinez

    you are amazing Marissa. I love your writing style and your life sounds wholesome and fun. hope to see you soon!

  2. Scott

    Good for you… it sounds exciting. Going to check it out on the internet. Sounds quaint. Merle and I are always looking …

  3. Bee

    You’re living your life and making it exactly what you want it to be, I so admire you! If I can finagle my loan payments down and move to the city and have a job that blends cooking and writing I’d be the happiest lady. Good luck on your adventure, please keep blogging!

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