Saturday, December 19, 2015

Here I am again on my own

Here I am again, at the laundromat. Our dryer died 2 weeks ago. It took us a week to decide to buy a new one, and then to choose the one we wanted. We ended up buying the 2014 model that happens to match our 2014 washing machine from the Sears outlet online but they're taking forever to confirm our order by email - it was supposed to have happened within 24 hours of placing the order. That was 52 hours ago (give or take).

There seems to be a lot of couples here. I don't recall doing laundry (in the short time I lived somewhere without machines of my own) as a team all that much. Maybe I just like the solitude.

Anyway, our cats have been vomiting and peeing on things they shouldn't be, and we need clean clothes, so here I am.

This laundromat doesn't get that busy but the people watching is superb. I shared my observations via text with a friend last week but decided to combine those messages with a real blog entry, today.

The couple next to me is a bit older - the gentleman has gray hair and is probably in his 60s. He's wearing a red hooded sweatshirt that says "North Anaheim All-Stars" on it, jeans, and sneakers. His female companion has dark brown hair, and she's wearing a black dress with a swirly white pattern on it, light pink leather flip flops, and a magenta cardigan. She has nice legs but I wonder if she's cold - it just started raining. They are taking this laundry operation very seriously. Their earnest expressions are what drew me to notice them, but then I saw a man's pleated white tuxedo shirt hanging on the cart. Most of their clothing appears to be black and white. My first bought was: he's a musician! Or maybe a magician! Or maybe the shirt is hers. She's the musician/magician! With skinny black pants, heels, and a blazer…?

The first couple I saw when I came in is having some sort of faux philosophical conversation. They're probably my age. The reason I called their conversation "faux" is because the woman said to the man, who was eating a burrito, "Are you not listening to me or can you just not hear?" She sounded petulant. She seems to be the kind of person who thinks asking endless questions is "conversing." Maybe that works but probably not if your companion appears to be ignoring you. I was not impressed. Also the dude is wearing sunglasses and it's almost dark outside. He's not Roy Orbison. I double checked.

My clothes are in the dryer now.

There was a pair of teenage boys here when I arrived, but they've left. They were playing loud video games on their phones. They removed and folded some large blankets from the dryers. Maybe they are going camping?

Last week I had this to say about the people I ran into at the laundromat. This was a texting conversation; my friend's comments (if salient) will be included. I reserve the right to edit and/or make shit up. I'm going to write it out like a real conversation, not texts.

"There's one other person here and she's adorable. She's probably 25 but she has a low, whiskey voice. She's wearing checkerboard Vans and sweat pants."

My friend said, "Keep an eye on that bitch. She might be doing recon for her baby daddy."

"You're right," I said. "I'm always distracted by a cute face. There's definitely a man in that woman's life, but she must not like him very much because though she folded his shirts, they're all inside out!"

"Maybe she's embarrassed by the graphics on the tees," my friend suggested. "FBI: Female Body Inspector."

"Maybe," I said. "Maybe one says 'Paid da cost to be da boss,' and the next one says 'Weiner Schnitzel Assistant Manager.'"

"Or another says, 'I'm with stupid (but at least she's pretty).'"

I told him, "Now there's a woman here with three blond boys. I'm guessing she's recently divorced; she doesn't look like the Rest of Us Here at the Laundromat. And the boys are all driving her crazy. They just left in their silver Mercedes minivan. Who takes custody of the washer and dryer?"

"Okay," I said.

There was a little more of this real/fake conversation but I think these were the good parts. And one of those lines attributed to "me" was really made by "him," but come on. At least I'm telling you now, right?

Now there's a whole new set of people here. I have 9 more minutes on my drying. I'm so cold and have been all day. I just want to go home and put some sweats on! Hopefully our new dryer will be delivered soon. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I Might Be Wrong*

Yesterday, I found out that a long-awaited (it literally took eons) promotion finally went through (effective December 10) for me.

It's funny, because a year and a half ago, when I was told that my duties would be changing and that I was expected to learn a whole new desk with more responsibility, I was pissed. Mad because I wasn't asked or given a choice, and worried I wouldn't be able to learn the new stuff (which is very complicated! And absolutely outside of my realm of experience up until that point).

However, as I am finding out from this experience (and others, fairly recently): my gut reaction of anger tends to be the wrong one. I need to think about this a LOT. Somebody once told me: anger = fear in a very nice coat. Maybe that doesn't really make sense, but I liked it (maybe I'd like a new coat). Anyway, I've learned a lot, continue to learn, and will try to remember that opportunities don't always come with a hug.

The thing is, when I got the news yesterday, I was happy (fully happy, proud, excited) for just about 1 minute. After that it occurred to me: I won't be able to tell my mom.

I shared the news with a friend of mine (via text, I was out on a walk) at work. When I said, "I wish I could tell my mother," he said, "Write her a letter." A few texts later, I was offended and upset. Why? Because my head is not on right, obviously,

This is why texting sucks.

This is why I need to be more grateful, and less self-centered.

This is why I need to get more sleep.

It got straightened out later, but not before I felt like an asshole - I guess I had assumed he was being sarcastic, and he was actually being quite sincere and kind, and I had to wonder: why do I do that?

Patrick had made plans to drive to Northridge to pick up something he bought on Craigslist last night, so I drove down with Jules and had a little celebratory dinner with my dad and Angie at Truxton's. It was nice to see them both and my dad was happy for me. When I told him how sad I had been all day about missing sharing this (and the whole rest of my life! Any news, good or bad) with my mom, he said, "You can tell her."

Literally 65 other people (on Facebook) told me this as well. Some said, "She already knows!" I've been skeptical, but thankful. That's a nice thing to say. Later, when Patrick got home from work, and I told him about missing sharing news with my mom, he said this:

"Just today I was talking to my dad and I told him stuff. Even though I don't believe in it, I still tell him things. Because what if I'm wrong?"

"What if I'm wrong" is a good way to think about this. And lots and lots of other things.

*This post composed with "I Might Be Wrong" by Radiohead playing in my brain. Yours too, I suspect.