Last night our neighbor, Steve, invited us out to join some of his business colleagues for drinks and sushi. Seven of us settled into a table at Kamehachi, on E. Ontario. What a fun evening we had! Steve and his friends are all in the shoe business – four of them (including Steve) work for Kenneth Cole, and Angie, for Steve Madden. (BTW, these insiders say Kenneth Cole is a great guy, and Steve Madden is an a$$hol€.)
We ate too much sushi and drank too much wine, they talked shop and teased each other mercilessly, and it was a great time. It reminded me so much of the camaraderie of a night out with a bunch of Hilton people, and provided a little flashback to that type of friendly professional interaction we enjoyed for so many years. On the other hand…we heard about all the internal politics, management missteps, incompetent or crazy co-workers, and the dizzying pace of their business travel. When we first arrived, Angie was on the phone with a hotel in Little Rock, where she had left her hanging bag in the closet when she checked out that morning. We don’t miss any of that work-generated insanity!
Our new acquaintances asked us a lot of questions about our lifestyle. Sam, who is only 28 years old, wistfully said she wished she didn’t have to work. And the first thing I thought was, “No you don’t.” At her age we felt on top of the world, and enjoyed our professional careers. It was a great chapter for us both, and we wouldn’t do anything differently. But I don’t want to be 28 again, and we are more than satisfied with how everything has played out.
Thanks, Steve and Joe, for the excellent expense account meal for the poor retired folks on a fixed income, and for the pleasant taste of an evening of business entertainment.