Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cat food

Today, I left the house at 8:15am to hoof it to the drug store to get kitty litter and an emergency supply of cat food. I dropped off the goods at home and went to my second, last and completely unnecessary physical therapy appointment. Got to work by 10:30am.

Why is it that I had no problem getting out of the house in 20 minutes flat (brushed, combed and washed) when it had to do with the cat, but it's a goddamn miracle if I can make it to the office by 9:35?

Do I hate my job that much?
On the way home from work last night, I stopped by my favorite Chinese place to pick up a couple of roast pork buns. When I walked in, a large, middle-aged Black woman was leaning against the display case with a copy of the yellow pages open before her. She said, "Can you read this?" She pointed to a line in the yellow pages. "Can you read the number for Wisconsin Avenue?"

I looked and saw a listing for a pawnbroker with two addresses, one on Wisconsin. "This one?" I read the number out loud.

"That's it. Thank you baby." She gestured to the man behind the counter. "He can't read anything."

I thought, 'But neither can you.'

As she gathered her bags, she said "He can't do nothing. Couldn't read a number. I'm glad I don't live in Communist China!" Then she left.

Let me get this straight, you go into a restaurant with no intention of buying anything, ask to see the phone book and then get angry when the staff cannot read a phone number to you? When I stepped into the situation, I couldn't tell exactly what was going on. I just smiled a lot, said little, and figured if I could give the crazy lady what she wanted, she would leave.

As soon as she left, the guy behind the counter (the same guy who is always there) said, "How can I help you?" He smiled a big, warm smile. It was the friendliest service I've ever received there, and if you live in DC, you know how valuable that is.
When I got home last night, I found a holiday card waiting for me. I don't receive many holiday cards because I don't send any (a Jewish privilege). I try and answer every card I get, though, which may account for why I stay on two or three lists.

This card, however, was totally unexpected. It was from an acquaintance who I met looking for salsa dancing companions a few years ago. We tried many times to make plans but we only succeeded twice. Her excuse was always "house hunting." She did finally buy a house, long after I'd given up on her, and she sent me a handwritten invitation to the housewarming party. I was astonished by the inclusion in the invitation of two business-like cards listing the places where she was registered. Registered? For a housewarming? I thought it was pretty nervy. But I figured, what the hey, it was a housewarming, I'd probably bring something anyway, so why not pick something from her registry? There was not a single item on the registry for less than $50. For someone I'd met twice? That seemed most unreasonable. The registry had things like china and flatware and appliances.

I felt arm-twisted into getting her something, but I showed up with candles, chocolates and bath soaps. I spent maybe $25. She had quite a spread at that housewarming. Tons of food--shrimp, wine, fancy stuff. And a room upstairs where she showed me all the big gifts. She said how much she liked my present, but I felt very uncomfortable. That was the last time I saw her and it was over a year ago.

The non-holiday specific card contained this message, "Jamy--Let's find an opportunity to get together soon. Call me (202) 555-5555. Sally"

My first reaction? Nervy! "Call me?" Really? Sweetheart, I am in the phone book. I have not changed my number, my email or my mailing address. If you actually wanted to see me, why haven't you done something about it? I have invited you to the last several parties I had and where were you? Nowhere. The time you said you would come, you were a no-show.

Call you? I think not.
Check out I'm not a girl, not yet a wino today. Kris has done a lovely public service by asking bloggers everywhere to submit their "Best of 2005" and linking us all up. I have two pieces in the "Romance/Relationships" category (natch). There is a wonderful variety of blogs represented, so take a look and maybe you'll find something new to entertain and delight you. Thanks Kris--it's much appreciated.

Grateful for: odds and ends.

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