Saturday, December 23, 2006

No Turning Back

Maureen says:
Did I need a lot of coaxing? You bet I did. I’m what you’d call selectively risk averse. Ask me to risk my heart and leave behind an entire established life to move to the other side of country and I’m your girl (this is exactly what Tom asked me to do after dating for a mere three months; we lived for two years in Carmel, California and returned to New England in August ’06, in large part, because we liked what we saw happening in downtown Manchester). Ask me to risk my finances and an entire established life to pursue a business venture with a success rate a coin flip could determine and I no longer know your name. I’m exaggerating, of course. I didn’t turn my back on Tom, but I did make him go through the painful exercises of answering the hard ‘what if’ questions, outlining worst-case scenarios, and detailing exit strategies that can be put into play if the coin toss isn’t in our favor.

But, like Tom, once the papers were signed, the monies distributed, and the keys in our hands, I experienced a sense of relief. There would be no more point/counterpoint discussion about whether or not to move forward with the venture. The deal was done and I was done creating anxiety around it.

Or was I? There was, after all, that restaurateur couple in Milford this summer, who, it was discovered, had been squatting inside their restaurant before they skipped town (they were flushing the toilets with water dredged from the river). A restaurant, I’d heard, that had been going for and getting $30 a plate. Maybe it was the price point that contributed to their demise. Who knows? It’s not my place either to speculate or pass judgment, but the end to their story is the sort, that if I don’t keep up with yoga practice, will surely keep me up nights even I agree with Tom when he says the key to any business, but especially restaurants, is what you do with the money that comes through your doors.

Fear, anxiety and tales of others’ woe aside, it’s something exactly like a gift having your life partner be so obviously fulfilled. After 20 years of increasingly supportive roles in the restaurant business, Tom’s not only taking center stage to star in his life, he’s producing and directing. Me? I’m the writer.

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