[clever title]

i have a question...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Overheard at Work, vol. CVIII

Well.

All I can say is that I can't believe it is almost November.

13 year old girl, on getting her period: I was so excited but now I am ready for menopause.

16 year old boy, while I was discussing a young woman playing Tinkerbell in her school play: Can I be Peter Pan cuz I'm fly.

Me, while drawing a heart on my colleague's arm: Can you tell what I'm drawing?
Colleague: I hope it's not a dick.

13 year old girl, singing: Do what you want, what you want with my body...do what you want, what you want with my nostrils!

Me, to 7 year old boy: Can we be friends?
Boy: That depends.
Me: On what?
Boy: On a doughnut. And a pet dog.
Me: If I give you a doughnut and a pet dog, we'll be friends?
Boy: Very good friends!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Two Scenes

He wore brightly patterned socks and kept getting up for more food, explaining to me how eating after fasting all day is like salvation. How he reaches a haze during his fast and how he got lost driving earlier in the day but didn’t mind because he didn’t have anywhere important to be.

He asked what it felt like to break a fast after not fasting all day. I told him it was just dinner to me.

We had met earlier by the food but he had seemed kind of cold and grumpy.

Turns out he was just hungry.

Someone commented that we were talking so animatedly but from across the room, so eventually he moved to the chair next to me.

We talked about how Beyonce and Jay Z must easily keep the romance alive because they probably only spent 60 nights a year in the same place. He somehow convinced me to download the Kim Kardashian game.

I told him he had ruined my life.

Somehow we got into my life goals and work frustrations, big questions of what’s next and where I should live and what I should be doing. He told me to send him a postcard from wherever I ended up.

He was a journalist in New York who lived with his girlfriend, and only one of those things was a legitimate turn on.

I realized he reminded me of my childhood friend Alex whom I had had a debilitating crush on.

I genuinely laughed out loud for most the evening and didn’t think about it until later that it had been so long since I had instantly connected so well with a stranger that I had assumed I couldn’t do it anymore.

***
It’s raining as I transfer trains, and my boots and socks are soggy, but I am almost home so it doesn’t matter.

A crowd of young men approach me and one of them crouches down as if to take advantage of my umbrella.

I stop to commiserate good-naturedly, “It is pretty nasty out. I would give it to you if I didn’t have somewhere to go…”

One of them shouts after me, “You would GIVE IT TO ME, huh? You want a piece of ass?”

I stop, shocked, and turn around, “Oh, THAT’S NICE!”

He hollers back, “COME ON, BABY!” And his friends shuffle him away.

I keep walking, disappointed and shaken.

I tend to not mind getting cat-called on the street. I’m always surprised and amused, and I also always hope that whoever has called out in admiration will just keep moving and not bother me further.

It’s at once exhilarating and anxiety-inducing.

Which is what it sometimes feels like to be a woman to me.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Overheard at Work, vol. CVII

THIS WEEK SUCKED!!!!!!!!

I AM SO GLAD IT'S FINALLY OVER!

Colleague A, expressing his game plan for a random night out with a few of us: I'm not gonna go crazy if we get crazy.

Me, entering the tech lab: What's going on in here?!
7-year-old boy: PARTY!

13-year-old girl: You can get that swag money from being a doctor.

Teen boy: I'm 17, about to be 18. I'm gonna go to the strip club for the first time!

Me, to colleague B: I just want you to find a wonderful man.
Colleague B: Oh, Annie. Can I just get my Bachelor's degree?

13-year-old girl: I think trail mix is just a scavenger hunt for M&Ms.

And then, "Ooh, dark chocolate! Dark chocolate for a dark chocolate woman!"

Saturday, September 13, 2014

To My Cousin's Daughter, on the Eve of her 4th Birthday

Dear E.W.E.,

Wow! How quickly the year you were 3 went!

And tomorrow, you’ll be 4! A year closer to kindergarten, to driving, to taking over the world.

I love the girl you’re becoming: the kind of girl who wears TWO Halloween costumes, the kind of girl whose favorite movies are Muppets from Space and My Neighbor Totoro, the kind of girl who goes all in when it comes to licking the brownie batter bowl, the kind of girl who will take every chance she can get to swim, throw a ball, run, jump, and dance.

The kind of girl who sees me from down the street and barrels into my arms, screaming “PRETZEL!”

You are one cool chick: full of fire and wit and steel and drive.

This has been a particularly tough year for our family: losing our matriarch (your great-grandmother) in September last year and then our beloved David (your Kahuna) in May.

Suddenly, our invincibility was questioned; we felt a little more fragile, a little less protected.

But our strength as a family has never wavered.

You have so many people around you who love, cherish, and support you and each other.

How lucky we are.

Happy birthday!

I love you.

Love,

Pretzel

Friday, September 5, 2014

Overheard at Work, vol. CVI

We just got through two of the most difficult weeks I've ever experienced at this job, after the tragic death of one of our co-workers,a young woman who had grown up at work and had devoted her life to service to her community.

We spent last week reeling, trying to pick up pieces, and wandering around waiting for something to happen.

This week, we have opened to kids and I can't say it's not jarring to have them back in the building after such an intense time as a staff.

Still, through it all, I work with some hilarious people, and we found time to laugh and be silly.

Coworker A, after lifting me clear off the ground: I'm strong when I want to be. I just can't do CPR!

Coworker B: Food fixes everything. Well, except fatness.

Coworker B: I like to live a cute life.

Coworker C, after refusing to put her sweater on, despite being cold: My sweater smells like grief.

Me: You look pretty today!
14-year-old girl: It's the second day of school. I'm still pretending I'm functioning.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Overheard at Work, vol. CV

Well, that was a doozy of a week back from vacation!

Tuesday, I caught up on emails, helped at the front desk, ran my club, and felt relatively back in the swing of things.

Wednesday, I had a meeting about hiring a work-study in our film program, led a field trip of forty kids under 10 to a rollerskating rink and took five teens to see Finding Neverland, the new musical at A.R.T.

Thursday, I covered the morning teen program, ran two clubs, and prepped for today.

Today, I helped run a trivia rotation during our End of Summer Extravaganza, covered the front desk, helped film the Music Showcase, and prepped our Awards Ceremony for the end of the day. I sat down for maybe 30 minutes all day.

Now, of course, I have a little cold and I'm going to bed early.

But Summer 2014 is over.

7-year-old boy, sobbing about not being able to buy a drink at the rollerskating rink: There's no hope for me!

Same boy, whining because he was bored: I'm not having any fun!
Me: Well, you should have brought money to play the arcade games.
Boy: I'm poor!

10-year-old boy, on the bus from the rollerskating field trip: He's bothering me! He said I need to get butt surgery!

Me, to a 14-year-old boy, whose nicknamed Junito: What's Junito mean?
Boy: I don't know!
Teen girl, after I looked it up, laughing: It means "a very short man with a very large penis!"
Boy: ...I'm short.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Overheard on Vacation

Well, that week sure went quickly! Back to the grind tomorrow, but memories of naps with the 3-year-old, battles of wits with the 8-year-old, and nights of wine and games linger as I heat up soup and look forward to showering and going to sleep in my own bed.

8-year-old, tattling on 3-year-old, who had grabbed my copy of Game of Thrones: He's trying to read George Martin!!

3YO: Knock knock!
Me: Who's there?
3YO: Penis butthole.
Me: Penis butthole who?
3YO: Penis butthole.

3YO: I am going to eat YOU for dinner!
Me: What will I taste like?
3YO: Watermelon.
Me: What will YOU taste like?
3YO: Applesauce.

3YO, entering the bathroom, as I finished: Can I see your pee?

3YO: Do you like beer?
Me: Sure!
3YO: No, you don't because there's spiders in it and spiders are yucky to eat.

Me, reading a timeline 8YO made about him and his brother: He just came out of his mommy's tummy.
8YO: I didn't want to say asshole.
Me: Babies don't come out of their mommies' assholes!
8YO: Yes, they do!

Me, to 3YO: Do you want to come to Boston with me?
3YO: Yes!
Me: What will we do there?
3YO: Run and turn and jump and jog.

D: I am going to show you something so you stop talking.
8YO: Never.