So, what's been happening since last we spoke? Let's run it down, shall we?
Wednesday, Christmas Eve: worked a half-day. The owner brought in lunch for everyone...from a barbeque restaurant. What does a vegetarian eat in this situation? A cheese sandwich dipped in barbeque sauce, plus sides of potato salad and cole slaw. Fully carbo-loaded, I went home and lazed for the rest of the afternoon. Went to church that evening, sang, people loved it, went home. Alone. Sigh.
Thursday, Christmas Day: slept until nearly 8:00 a.m.! (This is definitely sleeping in for me.) Went to the office to feed the work cats, and then waited at home for my family to arrive. Which they did at the unheard-of time of 11:30 a.m.! (It's really hard to get my sister and brother-in-law out and about that early on a weekday.) I had specifically requested that nobody spend much money on presents for me, since I had very little to spend on anyone else. (I must have been prescient, since I made the request even before I spent my Christmas bonus PLUS on car repairs.) Well, they didn't completely heed my request, and I was the recipient of a gift card to CP Jenney's, and my new cleaning girl, MUFFY:
Why "Muffy," you're asking? Well, she's girly and lightweight and PINK. Oh, so pink. I'm not sure this picture adequately conveys the pinkness of the pink. Longtime readers will remember that I am not such a fan of PINK, overall...which my sister knew, of course...and why she thought it hilarious to give me a bright pink vacuum. I have to admit, I grin a little every time I see it. Perhaps that was the point.
We then proceeded to the nearest Chinese buffet. (It's true, they are all open. It's not true, however, that the waiters will gather around your table and sing "Deck the harrs with boughs of horry." Sadly.) I was amused by the fact that my mother seemed to need to assure every staff member who came to the table that WE didn't usually eat out on Christmas, and in fact, this was our very first time, and it was only because she and my sister were so tired of cooking for their catering business. It made me giggle. They're not judging us, Mom! You're not a bad mother 'cause you're not cooking a turkey and baking pies today.
Anyway, here comes the heartwarming part of the story...
A very old man entered the restaurant just as we did. All by himself. Which is enough to make you sad, all on its own. But then my brother-in-law happened to be in earshot when the management required the very old man to pay upfront for his meal. (They weren't doing this to anyone else.) Now, maybe they have reason to know that he's a bad risk, and maybe they were just suspicious because he seemed so downtrodden. Whatever, it's still a bummer.
Now, my brother-in-law and I don't always see eye-to-eye. We have very, VERY different political viewpoints, and that has caused some problems. But he treats my sister well, and I have known him to be very generous. Well, he went up to the manager and told them to give the old man his money back, and put his lunch on our tab. Nice, right? It gets better.
When our bill came, my parents and my bro-in-law began haggling, as usual, over who would pay. My mother finally threw some cash down on the table and announced that she would under no circumstances take it back. B-I-L announced with equal fervor that he was paying the bill with his credit card, and that cash wasn't going into HIS pocket. At which point my sister quietly announced that she knew whose pocket it was going into...and she walked it over to the table where the old man was still sitting, slipped it into his hand and wished him a merry Christmas. She said when he opened his hand and saw the bills all he could say was "oh, oh, oh." Now, I don't care if the old coot spent the whole thing on hookers and blow, that's still a Hallmark moment!
We went back to the house, they got on the road towards home, and that's about it for Christmas Day. Though I am happy to report that the fruit bars from, let's say..."Borgan's Makery," the little hometown bakery I hadn't been to in forever, are just as fabulous as I remembered them. I had specifically requested that they bring me some, as I hadn't had one in 20 years, and then had a panicked moment where I worried that maybe they had changed the recipe, and I was going to spoil my memories. Needless worry. Heh. What is a "fruit bar"? Well, it's a really chewy, flat cookie full of dried fruit. It's better than it sounds.
Friday, Boxing Day: I slept until 8:00 again, then went to feed the office cats. On my way back home, I suddenly lost my power steering. Lovely! With some over-the-phone coaching from my dad, I managed to figure out that a belt was broken. There's an auto parts store near my house, so I went there, purchased a new belt, and then took my choice of several of a strip mall full of "mecanicos," any of which the auto parts guy assured me could help me out. (Yes, I kind of live near Little Mexico.) I picked the one with the most recently painted signage, and what seemed to be a bustling business. The guy agreed to replace the belt: "five minutes...twenty dollars?" I handed him cash, he didn't write anything down or give me a receipt, and off I went, happy as could be. It's good to know there's an agreeable shade tree mecanico so close by. I swung by the grocery store to make sure I had enough cat food until payday, in case yet ANOTHER thing broke on the stinkin' car and stranded me without wheels.
Then, later that afternoon...I decided to brave the mall. I know, I know...what was I thinking? Well, I made it out alive, having pretty much used up gift cards from my mother and the owner of my company. I scored a nice black vest, a pepper grinder to match the salt grinder I bought with last year's card from my boss, a BIG jar of peppercorns, a new throw to cover my ugly couch and some socks. Merry Christmas to me. The remaining $8 on my "Jenney's" card will have to wait for another day, as I couldn't stand one more minute in that crowd.
Saturday, the Day After the Day After Christmas: aside from a couple of trips to feed the work cats, I didn't leave the house. Nor did I shower or change out of what passes for my "pajamas." It was nice.
Sunday, the Day After...ah, I give up: Fed the cats, went to church, stopped at the grocery store for sundried tomatoes, made my "famous" hot, cheesy dip and went to readers' club (where my blog identity was revealed to the room at large, so...hi there, readers, if you're reading). There was LOTS of food, and I ended up taking about half the dip home. On the plus side--I got to take half of the cheesy goodness home! On the minus side--I had to take half of the cheesy badness home. Heh.
And...I guess that's it. Would you like a quick bachelor update? I thought you would.
Guy #1 (the "you have too many cats" guy) and I are having a lovely little pen pal friendship. It's kind of fun getting to know someone with the pressure off. There's no "will we or won't we," as I know we won't...so, we're just chatting. He might even come to my church some Sunday.
Guy #2--the outright lunatic. Peppered me with additional pleas to consider his wooing, including one missive which assured me that he was a good risk, as he has remained friends with ALL his exes, "except for that one crazy in Colorado last summer." Ha! I ignored the emails, and I guess he showed me! Yesterday he informed me that he was now interested in someone else, and SHE is not only interested in him, but she's going to let him come over and fix her jacuzzi. Well, looks like I sure lost out there, huh?
Guy #3--the "love poetry" guy. Well, his response to my (perhaps too honestly) saying that I would probably post unsolicited erotica on my blog was short and sweet: "Merry Christmas and have a good 2009." Okay, dude...I certainly hope to.
I had a tentative date for dinner or a movie tonight with Obama Guy, but apparently it was even more tentative than I thought, as I haven't heard from him since he assured me via email a couple of days ago that he would be in touch to discuss details. Umm...dude...you're running out of time. The smart money says that he calls me around 8:00 tonight to see if I'm ready to make plans. The smarter money says I'm no Rules Girl, but that's WAY too late to begin the date planning. Sigh. For the record, I don't think he's intentionally playing any games...he just operates on a different time continuum than I do. Guess working the overnight shift most nights messes with your concept of appropriate "start" times.
I had a couple of messages from additional guys on "Flentyofpish," but I'm not planning to respond to either of them. At least not positively. Though I kind of really want to respond to "Kiss me and then act like you dont want to kiss me again" with "Dude! Has this EVER worked?" Probably best to just leave it where it lays though. Lord have mercy on the single girl.