Archive for August, 2013

That crazy girl at the …

August 7, 2013

1. Gym: The one who is weaving and swaying on the stationary bike, grunting and shaking  to the beat in her head. She stops every so often to stretch and hang her head in utter exhaustion on the handle bars. Tossing her head back and forth as if to fight off the inner demons/thighs crying for more rest, she regains her strength and starts to build momentum – pushing, pulling, grinding up that 80% hill. Go! Go! Go!

Gonna KILL uuuu!!

Gonna KILL uuuu!!

… this is all while the rest of the class is following the instructor and obediently participating in a seated sprint at a meager 60%. Thanks for the distraction.

2. Staples in Waltham, MA: Working alone on a project in a public space, you are a sitting duck to a variety of unfortunate events: pen theft, spilled coffee, the unexpected anti-immigration reform conversations. While constructing a proposal at a local Staples (my printer was out of ink and somehow this seemed easier), I was sitting near a girl who was working on her gorgeous wedding invites. The sparkling cut-out letters, wafting calligraphy and bright bows made her a beaming target. We’ll call little miss “Girl A”.

Girl A is proudly showing me her invitations like a toothy kindergartener when an odd woman shuffles up behind us and inquires about something with one of the customer service representatives. Whatever answer they gave her wasn’t acceptable, so she whirls around to face us with a gwuh-fah (say that out loud, it’s really fun!). Let’s call this woman “Old Bat” shall we? Old Bat approached Girl A and me to inspect what we were working on in a dreadfully tactless way of breaking into unsolicited conversation.

“You know? It’s all of these damned immigrants comin’ in here takin’ our jobs. That’s way I ain’t got no job. Some black person took it,” Old Bat explained to us as she picked up one of Girl A’s pieces of art. Much to the chagrin of Girl A.

“I’m sorry, what are you saying?” Girl A shot me a look of confusion and disbelief, I tried to go back to my proposal.

“That’s just the thang. I can’t get a job cuz of immigrants. They are takin’ everything we have!” Old Bat was really getting worked up and the customer service people were looking uncomfortable. Fortunately, Girl A was a woman now what with getting married and all, so she took matters into her own hands.

“I’m sorry. I can’t discuss this with you right now. We obviously have different views on things and I really need to finish this project. Thank you for understanding.”

Boom. Old Bat took her problems out of Staples and all Girl A and I could do was nervously laugh with each other.

“That literally happens to me ALL THE TIME,” Girl A lamented.

3. Bar/anywhere with alcohol: I once was with a customer – not the one who received the proposal from the previous example – and a woman came into the store to make a purchase. Things started normally enough what with the entry in through the door and all, but then things took a bizarre turn. She came right up to the counter:

“I really need a drink,” she sighed, placing her hands on the counter dramatically. My customer left the table where we were speaking to assist this to-be drunk woman. He couldn’t even get three words of greeting out of his mouth before this happened:

“My sister is going to jail for stealing from my mom! She even stole my cell phone and sold it for drugs. This is her fourth time in jail! I don’t know what to do,” the woman wailed. My customer looks over to me, my mouth has accidently dropped open, then we both look back at the woman who is so close to tears you can almost taste it.

“Well,” says my customer. “What’ll it be?”

4. What’s yours?