Despite the fact that we graduated culinary school with honours, it didn’t come easy; as any honors student of any faculty/study will tell you...it takes hard work to be at the top of your class.
As we’ve mentioned in previous writing, after our car accident we had slight brain damage that had granted us, through a series of neurological testing, private test rooms and longer testing periods through disability services in the Second University we attended (where we started a Nutritional Science degree for a year and a half). It being University, you could be a disability student and still be somewhat anonymous and discrete about it, especially if you were us, a “mature” (26 years old) student, who had no desire to make friends on campus. (though we did have a study partner once, for accounting…a class which we failed miserably).
Once we got to Culinary School we felt we didn’t need to register with disability services and we were proud, so we tried to manage, knowing that if we got granted disability status for testing, and took tests in a separate room from our classmates, in a small class setting, they would all notice and ask questions. We were ashamed of our mental disability, prior to the accident we were able to manage distractions, work together fine, and organize thought structures much more effectively. We were a top student in First University, were we studied fine arts and communications, before the accident. Some classes we didn’t even have to attend, we scored higher marks than most of the people who went to class, and we didn’t study all that much, even though in those days we were living with The Mother and smoking pot every minute that we weren’t in classes, or working out to maintain our huge weight loss.
It turns out, in the end, we had to register. Instructors began to question our focus ability for tests, we knew we could do better than we were, we knew the information, we just couldn’t test in a room full of people. So we registered with disability services, and we took tests in a private room, in far less time we were allotted, and our text book grades improved.
Culinary school, and cooking in general, was always something that came natural to us, being from a food oriented family, we were engrained with the keen interest of at least eating food…which is only part of the reason we gained so much weight over the years, in addition to depression, various other mental health issues, and an unlimited food budget with time to experiment, was also to blame (the only good thing that came from our short lived relationship and marriage to The Ex Husband).
Slowly over the years we had gotten to 275 pounds, thankfully we lost it (100 pound in 9 months, back in the day) and gained an interest in food, from a nutritional standpoint, and then moved onto culinary arts when being in University got entirely too difficult for us to manage, and we began neglecting our studies to pour over cookbooks and internet sites; and create recipes and plan dinner parties trying to teach ourselves how to do it all better.
Man, one of the things we are confident in is that we can cook…can we cook…but we can hardly ever cook anything we are satisfied with – other people beg for our cooking, or have in the past; but because we live alone, and we are hyper sensitive to any weight gain, one of us fears food now, and a couple of us refuse to eat.
Culinary school, for us, was the most fun we can imagine having as an adult in school, and was as eye opening as the time we sold Kirby Vacuum cleaners door-to-door in one of the Mountain States. Being an older (“mature”) student, we got on well with the instructors, had a good report; and us being some of us, occasionally mouthy and opinionated, meant they all knew who we were – and the majourity of them enjoyed it.
It was in culinary school where we started smoking again, unfortunately. We’d been cigarette-free for at least four years, even as we had been in a relationship with Talented Boyfriend, a smoker; but as the last semester of classes loomed the stress, the physical pain, and influences from new friends in our social life began to take an effect, and by the time we graduated culinary school we were a smoker again, and it increased from there.
While in culinary school we ended the year long relationship with a man we were seeing and living with (Dreadfully Boring Boyfriend), because of several illicit affairs we had gotten tangled up in. We spent a couple of months sleeping on Standby’s living room floor, after we had broken off our love triangle with him and Firecracker, a girl who had been in love with us, and they began dating. To say we were hurt to have been second choice to our first choice would be putting it lightly, and sleeping in his apartment for those months, over the holiday season, eroded our friendship for awhile.
Those two years of culinary school also presented us with an opportunity to make friends all on our own, previously the only people we’d know in the city where we lived where fellow-musicians of Talented Boyfriend, so we were basically alone once we got the Culinary School. We made a lot of friends, like Partner In Crime; but we also made a friend in an ex-girlfriend of a musician who had been the first female we’d ever met in the City, we’ll call her Sexy Librarian. We became good friends with Sexy Librarian when we reunited she was super intelligent, and appealed to some of us very much. The friendship ended, as most of our female friendships do, when we met The Non-Bestie. Sexy Librarian commented on not being able to keep up with our party lifestyle, one facilitate by a new crowd of people we were merging with, and so, gradually she was gone, and was replaced by The Non-Bestie.
Culinary school was the first time we’d ever done hard drugs, having stuck with marijuana, and the accidental laced doobie when living with The Body Piercer.
As anybody who has read our first story of culinary school, you’ll know that we went through a “stage”, (you call it a stage, we call it letting Emmie run too much of the show). One of the last weeks of culinary school the class was at a local pub, there was a lot of drinking, and we were doing shots of tequila (we don’t even like tequila). Somehow we ended up in the washroom with a fellow female student, and as we stood there and talked to her, drunk, sharing boy talk we both came to the sudden realization that we were fucking the same guy from class (he was our bootie call, in those days, and nobody knew we were “seeing” him).
In a frantic state, she yanked us into a bathroom stall, locked the door, mumbling, and from her purse pulled a small white packet and her keys. That was the first day we ever tried cocaine; at about the age of (physically) 28, in the bathroom of a pub stall, with a hot younger woman from culinary school.
She took the first line off of the key, dipped the key in the baggie and instructed us what to do.
To this day we don’t remember feeling strange, or much different, just very...alert. We do, however, remember being dropped off at home, standing in the middle of the house we were renting in the hippie/yuppie part of the city, and exclaiming out loud while standing in the living room, to nobody but ourselves, “What.The.Fuck.Was.That”.
We were glad not to be around cocaine the next day, because even though we had a vague recollection of it, and the feeling we had, the post nasal drip down the back of our throat left us wanting more.
Around this time we also started dating Younger Man, our first younger man, 8 years our junior (we’d always been in to considerably older ones) and while it didn’t last more than a few months, it was an experience we should have learned from; however, it didn’t prevent us from moving on to the next younger man relationship, with one of a similar age difference; but apparently even the stalking, the leaving gifts on our doorstep and apologies accompanied by gifts when his jealousy would get out of hand when we refused to let him call us his girlfriend (he was also a culinary school student), didn’t sway us from moving on to the next relationship with Significant Other, a young man we terminated our relationship with last August (2011).
The friendship with Significant Other prior to dating didn’t seem to prevent us from pursuing a future, of sorts, with him. It was right before Christmas break our last semester of culinary school when we were pulling something from our locker, when we first met him and became friends. He stopped to talk to us and we thought him weird looking at that moment, he was probably high though. He was a massive pot head, and from a very young age, and could pass as a burn-out in almost any setting.
The worked in a restaurant that employed a server who also worked at the previous restaurant we had worked in. Long story short, he had told the waitress he liked us, and at the holiday party of the restaurant that Christmas she told us the things he had asked and said about us, so we knew he liked us and we teased and flirted with him in the halls at school while we dated Younger Man for a few months. Significant Other would call us up and ask us if we wanted to get high.
Our first memory of him was the night we didn’t have many people over (the goal of the evening was to smoke a bunch of pot we had in our freezer that was getting to dry to finish on our own) and he was slamming beers and smoking massive amounts of weed (that he had brought). He stepped out for a cigarette and came back into the house, went to the washroom and then informed us he had thrown up in the snow in front of the house and in the washroom on our second floor. We told him he really didn’t have to share that with us, and a little while later he was too inebriated to tolerate, so we requested Standby, still our friend in those days, drive him home. Obviously it was love right from the start. A fixer-upper!
That house we rented in the hippie/yuppie neighbourhood was the last place we held temporary residence, that last semester of culinary school we got a payment from the trucking company whose trucker had been responsible for our car accident. It wasn’t a lot, it was enough to buy a shitty house, in a tolerable shitty neighbourhood, buy a new bed, and some furnishing, things of which we’d owned none, being practically transient for years.
During one of the final parties we had in that house a guest of a guest rammed his head through the car window of a neighbour's vehicle, and with a house full of people that neighbour came barreling into the house, located us and told us what had happened, and that he had called the police. Some of the male guests located the young man, chased him down, and beat him up on the corner within view of our front steps.
Us being drunk, and high as a kite, we tried to maintain some calm, and as we sat on the steps of the house and awaited the police, crying, scared, because we were not a resident of the country we were living, and we’d never had the police called on any of our countless parties, people began fleeing. Word was that when the news traveled to the third story of the house there were drugs being stashed, and people trying to figure out how to escape out the third story windows. Fun times.
It wasn’t long, only a few months in that house, before we had to move out anyway, so it was a good thing we had the money to buy a house. The landlady, who didn’t live in the city, from that point on, had all the neighbours watching the place, and if more than two people entered the house she would call to “check up” on us. We were being watched, by neighbourhood watch.
When we bought the house in that sketchy neighbourhood, where we would live for just over two years, Significant Other moved in with us the very first day. He will be, for us, the last man/person we had a desire to “fix”, because as Frank re-emerged, finally, during the span of that relationship, due to a variety of reasons, we decided The Other Girl was going to stop trying to “fix” others and instead she would try to fix us. It didn’t work out exactly as planned, but the final year of the last two years of her life, The Other Girl began to write, even before we had her start a blog.
But that’s a story for the next entry of our history.
Didn't click the links but want to read some more of our life story, specifically about how we came to be We?
- *We Are Just Call Me Frank | The Power Of We
- 1. Addressing The Issue of Frank: Part 1 (2011)
- 2. The Emergence of Frank: The Beginning (8 Yrs Old)
- 3. The Emergence of Frank: The Second Coming (13 Yrs Old)
- 4. The Emergence of Frank: Three Times A Rescuer (21 Yrs Old)
- 5. The Emergence of Frank: Frank's Failure (23 Yrs Old)
- 6. We Go To University & We Take A Lover
- 7. Life Without Frank - The First Two Years
- 7b. Collision: The Other Girls Accident/Franks Coma (2004)
- 8. Culinary School and Affairs
(one day, one day all of this will be elaborated on even more...until then, these are the shells of our lives)