So it was December, 2011 - just one week shy of Christmas. Things with the Quiet One were going splendidly well...and then, well, something happened to him...something that had already happened to so many of my friends and what has happend to SO many others. He told me he was laid off. The unemployment club had now included my own boyfriend. I felt devastated FOR him. The Quiet One is a very skilled man, member of a union with years of experience in his craft. When he told me about it, I did what any woman would do: I stood by my man. The Quiet One had done so much for me already - it surely is NO ONE's fault when they are unexpectedly laid off due to budget issues. I knew it would be hard, but it would be harder because it was SO close to the holidays. I was suddenly flown back to December,1999.
From 1999 - 2001, I was a member of the KTU Morning Show. My role on the show was not the major role I had hoped for. Nor did I ever honestly get used to waking up at 4am. But nonetheless, I LOVED being there every morning & I was proud to be there. I was especially proud to be on the air on that tragic day of 9/11. I was humbled & extremely moved by how humanity & love survived...and I was honored to call in & report to KTU while on site at Ground Zero. So it was December 22nd, I believe. We were on the air for four hours, and had just signed off. We, the members of the morning show, made a big deal out of the fact we were going on vacation. "Have a GREAT Christmas everyone! We'll see you next year." We had all hugged one another. We all had smiles on our faces. It would be an entire week of vacation - and we needed it. But we had no idea it would be our last broadcast.
We were literally walking out the door, when our program director (at that time), said, "Hold on...before you go, I need to see you guys." At times I tend to be quite gullible, optimistic & naive...this was one of those times. I thought he was calling us in one by one to give us a Christmas bonus -so there I sat, waiting with a stupid smile on my face - while the others stared at the wall with dread. Out of 6 of us, only 2 would remain. I was shaking when I left the office. I was grateful that I would still have a job at KTU hosting my Freestyle Free For All on Sundays - but I was SO devastated to know that it would be my last day on the morning show. And right before Christmas!!! Suddenly I panicked. I called my mother, hysterical. My mother, of course, took the it-will-be-alright-you-don't-need-that-stress attitude. All I could think of was feeling that I was not "liked" on radio anymore and that I would not be able to do that Christmas shopping I had planned to do that very day. Now that extra money would have to be saved for a many rainy day. But I did indeed survive it all...and I'm still "liked" on KTU...as I will celebrate 15 years of being on the air this summer! But I knew EXACTLY how the Quiet One was feeling.
I assured him over and over again that he would find another job. I told him that God can never give him a better job, unless He cleared him from the one he already had. But I know how men feel. Most men equate their self-worth with what living they make; they feel proud to know they can "take care" of their family, or their woman. They also need to feel that they're filling a purpose - we all need that. So, the Quiet One nodded his head and was very upset that he couldn't buy me the one BIG Christmas gift he'd planned to buy me with the pay check he was supposed to receive. I told him I didn't need a big gift. I told him that HE was my gift...that God had given me EXACTLY what I wanted: a good man who respects me, cherishes who I am, who could care less that I sing, and who would honor me and be loyal. I'd take that any day over any piece of jewelry or a Kindle (lol...he knew I wanted a Kindle badly, lol).
So on Christmas, we took a ride to my visit my mom. And I was so proud of him. He helped set the table. He played with my nieces and later when we all sang my favorite Christmas carol, Carol of the Bells, he sang along as well. He was a GREAT sport! The magical moment came later on. I could not find him at all...and then I saw it. There he was, hands flying around in animated conversation. And who was he with? All 3 brothers & one uncle...they were talking and laughing. I walked into the kitchen where they were to listen in on the convo, when he said to me, "Sorry, honey, it's a guy thing." I laughed & walked out...and I felt proud. He doesn't believe me, but to see my boyfriend hanging out with my brothers and laughing - that was the best gift I could have ever received. After dessert, we took the ride home & cuddled on the sofa watching the Good Elf, or something like that. He apologized for not being able to give that big gift...but told me my gift was in the stocking. He had given me two pairs of the softest, coziest socks and two GORGEOUS pairs of EARRINGS! What was he talkng about? It was a perfect Christmas....I FINALLY am with someone who is REAL...
Fast forward to Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, the Quiet One STILL had not been able to find a job in his field, or even a different job altogether...and he was beginning to panic. I had to keep him calm...if we both panicked, it would make this bump in the road even worse. We kept Valentine's Day VERY simple. The Quiet One gave me a beautiful card, chocolate and he cooked my favorite dinner...I don't know what he calls it, but it's a delicious Italian dish with pasta, chicken, tomatoes and quiet ingredients, lol. He also baked me a lemon cake with a buttercream frosting, my favorite. We watched all our favorite tv shows & cuddled all night long...
Losing a job can be paralyzing, terrifying & can literally shake your foundation. But I am proud of him - he has NEVER quit. He has NEVER given up and he has NOT taken it out on me. That's what I'm most proud of him for. When people are under acute and high stress, it is easy to become quick tempererd and snap at the ones we love. Suddenly, under that type of pressure, it become easy to make the one you love a target and begin arguing about senseless things. But the Quiet One never changed. I love him for that. I am VERY proud of him. The fact is that since the job never came to him, he went to the job. Today, he has begun his own business & last week landed his first client. Last night, he landed a second! He's a good man and I have NO doubt, he will do well...and I love him. I really love him. So ladies if and when your man loses his job, or something truly meaningful to him - although you may want to get angry and panic...don't. Be his rock for a change, believe in him & his abilities, pray and then stand by your man!