Tuesday of Gripes

The BIG BIG News
is that my dearest friend had her second baby boy this morning, ten pounds, six ounces, way the hell out there in Spokane, Washington. Welcome to the world, baby Corbin.

Okay, a warning: Aside from learning that there was a BOY living in my friend for all these months, I’ve had a pretty bad day.

Rant One:
Coming back to work today was a stretch. I had four glorious days at home—granted, they were guest-filled and sleep-deprived—but they were MINE, and I dragged myself across the river kicking and screaming this morning and sat at my desk drooling and lifeless like I’d just had shock treatments. Now that Birdy is here, it’s like I have my safe little underwater world with soft lights and muffled sounds where I’m just a mama, and then I get hooked in the mouth and yanked up, splashing and gasping for air and say “HOLY SHIT, what the fuck is going on out here?” and there’s a job and bills and a bunch of other crap to deal with. And then I get photographed and put in a cooler and skinned and eaten for dinner. Or something like that. Maybe it’s more like I get thrown back into the lake and forget all about it ever happening, until the next morning when I’m jerked into the air, flopping around and freaking out and then just glassing over until I get released again.

The Black Bean Salad is Worth It
No groceries for lunches, since we checked out of our real lives for a few days over the weekend, so I met Andy at my favorite Caribbean place, unable to see straight due to my need for a black bean salad with rice—I think everything I ate over the weekend was yellow and starchy and I am at risk for scurvy at this point if I don’t start hitting the greens.

So we go. It’s tiny and packed. And we wait and we wait with a lot of other people. It’s a place where, when it’s crowded, the waiting people stand in the doorway and breathe down the necks of the people eating, because the tables are so close to the door and there’s simply nowhere else to go. Lots of “girls from the office” waiting today, with stinky perfume and big hair and long, slicked nails. And clip-on nametags from the medical practices. And poofy feet stuffed into impossible shoes. And nonstop talking about the wait. The thought/ sight/ smell of office culture really makes my skin crawl these days.

We ended up being seated at what was meant to be a four-top, made into 2 two-tops– the tables separated by about six inches and another couple sitting right next to us. And the woman had just returned from a European trip where she’d visited concentration camps, and was describing what she learned there as if she was describing her trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania to see how they make chocolate. Oh, and we were right next to the to-go line. And by “right next to the to-go line” I mean that people’s asses were hanging over our table while they stood in line to order their jerk chicken. We didn’t talk. Angry, hungry stares from one side, “They tattooed them because photos were too expensive” on the other, and asses all along the edge of the table. Remarkably, the salad was still delicious—imagine eating your very own delicious salad at the DMV, because it was like that. And possibly next to a Nazi.

In Addition to Automatic Locks
Add to the list of impressive features about the Ford Explorer: cupholders the size of bathtubs. You know, we don’t ALL drink big gulp/ giant slurps/ gallon-o-soda, but that’s who the Explorer is courting with these things. As I drove down the hill on 24th to cross West End, (and at several other points during my driving time) my water bottle came flying out of the cup holder and onto the floor under my feet. Driving a Ford Explorer downhill toward a stop light also happens to be a lot like driving a stagecoach down a mountain, rambunctious and out of control and with a lot of shit sliding around.

I’ll Return Your Call Within One Business Day
Add to list of weird tasks I do at work: calling references for the phone installation guy. I called 11 people today to ask them for a reference for the phone installation guy, to confirm that he’s legit. And most of them didn’t understand AT ALL, and thought I was calling to say “Are you happy with your phone service?” Which I hope I never, ever have to say to another human being. The reason I’m saying this is that I realized that when I get someone’s voice mail, I almost always picture them sitting at their desks, waiting for a quiet moment, recording and re-recording their outgoing message, playing it back, cringing, recording again. So then when I get the voice mail, I think, “hmmm. This is the one they went with. Interesting.”

Ugh.
Add to the list of things I feel badly about: being shitty to my mom on the phone this afternoon. I simply cannot answer so many questions at one time, nor re-create the last 72 hours in vivid detail, but there are kinder ways to say that. And with my funk totally out of whack today, I probably should not have even called her back, as a favor to her.

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