Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Atlanta is...fine. My first day here was disconcerting because I spent the first half of the day inside a building that I hadn't had a good look at from the outside. When I finally saw them, the exteriors were less than impressive, matching the less than inspiring interiors. I have a couple of buddies who I'm eating lunch with but not spending the evenings with.

I ate dinner with my grad school friend last night and we had a great time. I don't know her that well, but it's good so see her happy and contended. I told her about the imaginary boyfriend and she was delighted. She asked me a few questions and said my story was credible. I'm not sure I can tell the lie, though, if it comes to it, but I've been going over the story in my head for the last couple of days.

His name is Jack Karchmer and he is from Pennsylvania, but he moved around a lot as a kid. His parents are divorced. His mom lives in Maryland, his dad is in PA. He does computer stuff. We met at an art gallery. He's shy, but funny. He's tall, medium build, but a bit awkward--the lanky, gawky type. He's 33. I like him a lot.

I elected to spend tonight on my own. There is a fancy mall across the street from the hotel and a super-fancy mall one block away. I walked to the super-fancy mall tonight. Shops included: Tiffany's, Giorgio Armani, and Saks Fifth Avenue. I bought a pink silk/cotton twin-set and two skirts at Talbot's. Their clothing is very conservative, but if you choose carefully, there are nice classic pieces to be found. And it fits me. And everything was on sale.

I talked to my mom while I shopped, which was fairly amusing. Our conversation deteriorated slightly when she started to nag me about taking my stuff out of her house. We have this argument a couple of times a year. Unlike most kids, I had to move every single thing I owned out of my mom's house when I was 18 and she moved to a tiny houseboat. When I left Seattle, she let me leave my skis, ski clothing and two pieces of furniture that were technically mine, but which she has used for years: a 'slipper' chair and a gate-leg table. When my grandmother died, I asked for the china, and mom agreed to keep it for me. What this has led to are occasional accusations that I'm refusing to take these things. For a time, it was true. I didn't want the fancy Wedgwood china in my dumpy grad school apartment, nor did I have room for the chair and table. But, in her view a box of china, a table (which is being used) and a small chair are, indeed, evidence of my misanthropy. Even though she explicitly agreed to keep them for me.

I told her tonight, as I always do, that I'll take the things as soon as I can, but I don't know how to go about shipping the chair. I even said, this time, that I'd send her money to ship the things. She complained that it was a pain and I need to do the shipping myself. We've talked about it so many times and she's agreed not to nag me about it, but she won't stop. I asked her why she was bringing it up and she didn't have an answer. Only that she's planning to move soon and doesn't want to deal with those things. I suppose she's just anxious about moving, though she has no definite plans to move. I reminded her that she agreed not to talk about it and to keep the things until I could get them and she said it wasn't true. Yes, she accused me of lying. I almost hung up right then, but I told a deep breath and de-escalated the conversation. Hooray for me!

However, the next time I'm home, I'm getting those things out of there so I NEVER have to talk to her about it again. At least she's not making fun of me. That's something.

Grateful for: new clothes!

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