Monday, July 11, 2011

The stop sign at Dry Creek and Humboldt

The course of my entire adult life can be traced back to one small decision:  Left or right at the stop sign?  It was late August 1998.  I had just moved to Denver with my family from Billings, MT and needed to find a job. 

In Billings, I had worked at a Red Robin as a hostess, and the serving jobs were coveted.  Denver looked to be a different animal in the job market, it seemed like everywhere we went there were “now hiring” signs, so I was hopeful. 

I made a plan for myself that August afternoon.  I needed a job, and I needed gas in my car.  I would apply at two places for a serving job, and see what happened.  Red Robin would be my first choice, because I had worked there before.  Then, we had been to a “Chili’s” with my family earlier in the week, and there was a gas station in the same little strip mall area.  So, I’ll go to Red Robin and fill out an application, then fill up the car, then go to Chili’s. 

I wore a denim skirt with cargo pockets, a white t-shirt, and the platform converse-style tennis shoes that were so popular that summer.  I remember putting on that outfit and remembering that I had once dressed my Barbie doll in a very similar outfit when I was a kid, and isn’t it funny how fashion always comes back around?  Anyway, that’s beside the point.

I hopped in my little 1978 MGB and was on my way.  My parents live in a little neighborhood that backs up to Dry Creek Road.  Dry Creek Road is a pretty busy street.  I stopped at the stop-sign on Humboldt, ready to pull out and make a left hand turn to head toward Red Robin and waited for traffic so that I could turn left.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, I re-thought my plan.  I decided to just go ahead and turn right and go to Chili’s first, then fill up the car, then I’d stop at Red Robin, then I’d come home.  That way I could stop waiting, for the love.

I went in to Chili’s and filled out an application.  I was hired on the spot.  I never made it to Red Robin. 

I’ll never know what would have happened had I just turned left.  But, as far as I know, my entire adult life hinged on that small decision to turn right.

For one thing, it made life simpler.  Every time I went to work while living with my parents I could just turn right.  Phew.  Good decision.  But, here’s the thing:  I met lots of people working there, people that I still keep in touch with and love today.  I met my best girlfriend there, who (seven years after the fateful turn) introduced me to my husband. 

And the rest is history.

1 comment:

  1. ...and I'm glad you made a "right" because shortly after, I was transferred to HR Chili's and got to know you, and those same friends you mentioned, and then eventually my beautiful wife... all because you took a right! Thanks God!