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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anonymous Letter to You Know Who

There is resentment, of course there is. I know there is resentment in your household as well. Partners are meant to work together as a team, and when that opportunity is taken away it leaves jealousy and hurt in its wake.

I have a history of a rather successful working relationship with Ben, but our working relationship was never up for discussion. I believe plans were made previous to any negotiations or resume views. It's okay, too. Each business owner creates the environment they want. That's the joy of being a business owner; THAT is the joy I will achieve one day. I know Ben and I will become successful in business together, even if now is not the time for it.

When John and Elise came over for a bit yesterday, the conversation at the table was inevitably "restaurant" talk. Not just any restaurant though. It was your restaurant, of course. I realized for the first time that family doesn't exist anymore. I mean, it does, but there will never be a conversation that does not somehow relate to the restaurant. Family get togethers and big dinners will never be the same. Family and business has been placed on the same level.

What's the big deal? I'm sure you're asking. Well, it's not a big deal, except that it is. The problem is this: Those of us who have no involvement (either through our fault or through no fault of our own) have possibly lost the "family" connection. No longer are we included in discussions, no longer are we taken seriously. No longer are we involved in the largest family function of the year. Maybe I'm speaking only for myself, or maybe I'm able to put into words what other people are afraid to.

There are three essential reasons this is taxing on me and my emotional state on a constant basis. The first is that I was trying and working very hard on building a family connection that I have always missed. The second is that I feel like I'm not being taken seriously on a professional level. The third and most important is this: It feels like Sheep Ranch and your wedding all over again. I was not uninvited, I just wasn't welcome there. It was crushing. I replay that situation and the resentment of that day, simply because it feels so much the same. I have the same raw emotion toward this situation.

Honestly, I'm excited to be involved in something other than the restaurant. It feels okay, though not overwhelmingly wonderful, to be on my own in this big world. However, I'd be excited to have something to talk to Ben and my family about; something besides the restaurant I'm not involved in.

Perhaps if I was taken seriously, if I were regarded as a professional by my family, it would be easier. Perhaps if I wasn't an emotional mess, it would be easier on me. However, maybe I'm right. Maybe my feelings are validated. I am insecure.

Maybe our family could get together for dinner and make a pact to not talk about the restaurant. I wonder how that would go. It would make for a nice blog entry, at any rate.

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