I wanna be a whore for Halloween!

J and I are having a Halloween party! She said no to the streetwalker/devil costume. Probably because you can't tell from that angle but it's actually a thong.

She never lets me do anything fun.


Read the fine print

Today at lunch TD and I went to Ann Taylor Loft. I had a coupon I wanted to use. It took a few failed attempts but finally I tried on a green corduroy dress that fit well and is very fall. I came out of the dressing room, spun around, and got my first and only thumbs up from TD.

Satisfied, we headed to the register where I presented the saleswoman with my coupon.

"Do you have the receipt?"

"Ummmm, no. Why?"

"I need the original purchase receipt for the order the coupon was issued through."


"I'm very serious."

"I see that. I don't have the receipt with me, because that's just ridiculous."

"I can't activate the coupon without it."

"I'm in shock here. Does that not seem bizarre to you? Who needs a receipt to use a coupon?"

"It says right here on the coupon," she pointed to the information in 3pt font on the coupon the size of a small business card. "that you need to bring your receipt with you at the time of purchase."

"Who reads a coupon? I mean, you all should bold that. For real. No one reads their coupons."

"I'll hold this for you, miss. Just fill out this form with your name and phone number and you can come back at a later time with all the required documentation."

I sighed, took the pen and the form, and moved over on the counter to let the next customer step forward. The customer piled her clothes by the register and said "I have this coupon..."

"Do you have your original receipt with you?"

"Yes, it's right here."

The saleswoman gave me a pointed look and I narrowed my eyes in reponse.

"She is so clearly the exception!"


Under the bridge

So BF and I are trying to figure out our Thanksgiving plans. We're either going to my parents' in New Jersey or his aunt's in Chevy Chase. The allure of Washington D.C. is strong. I love D.C. in the fall. I still think of D.C. as the place where I almost ended up, but didn't. I don't have any claim on the city, but it's familiar nonetheless and sort of feels like coming home.

I know Thanksgiving isn't about where you spend it. But somehow cities become like people. You can't help but develop relationships with them. I feel similarly about San Fran, Minneapolis, Chicago, or New York. Going to those cities is not just about what you do there. It's about being there. When I think of D.C., I feel something. And that something keeps pulling me back.


The good girl

J has a friend who's broken hearted. She just got dumped by her long distance boyfriend of about a week. No judgment. Despite the brevity of the relationship, she's devestated. So J told me that the plan is to meet tonight at our neighborhood bar at 7p for drown-your-sorrows drinks. Grey's Anatomy is on for two hours tonight starting at 9p. Clearly I was at a crossroads. Good humanitarianism v television. You know which won out in the end.

"Can you ask her to get all her crying out in the beginning of the night because I need to be home by 9pm."

Guilt guilt guilt.

J replied, "I told her she can only cry for 5 minutes because I don't do pity parties. Seriously. I can't handle whining. They were together for a nanosecond."

Ahhhh, good ol' J. By comparison, I always rise the saint.


Got you where I want you

Recently, they've been painting the stairwells in the garage where I park. Whichever one they're working on is closed off temporarily. My stairwell has been closed off a few times in the past week or so. At first you just had to go to another kiosk to get in or out, but now they're suggesting you use the elevators to go one or two floors up or down. This in and of itself is not interesting to me, but what is interesting to me is how people respond to my comments while we're in the elevator politely avoiding eye contact.

Every time I get in there with another person, I bring up the inconvenience of the stairwell beautification project. These are some of the responses I've gotten:

"Yes, it's a shame to waste all that electricity using the elevator to go up one or two floors!" Hippy woman, probably works for a non-profit someplace downtown. I personally couldn't care less about the electricity, it's just that the elevators are sloooooowwwwwww.

"How good can a stupid stairwell look anyway? It'll look grey, that's how it'll look when it's done. Grey." Uptight business man, probably works in finance downtown. In his favor, he had impeccable manners - he insisted I both enter and exit the elevator before him as he waved his arm in a gallant gesture. Of course, he could have wanted me to go first in case there was a mugger either in the elevator or in the kiosk as we got off the elevator, in which case he is a yellow-bellied bastard.

Polite smile, no comment. This woman was probably a tourist, because she seemed both surprised and alarmed that I was speaking to her. We really are an aloof people, us New Englanders, so I can understand how I might have caught her off guard by actually smiling. To be honest, I caught myself off guard since it was after work and the gym and I'm usually anti-people by that point in the day.

"I like elevators better than stairs anyway!" Kid. Why he was alone in a parking garage is beyond me but it conjured images of Flatliners and I imagined him whipping out a hockey stick and beating me down.

Grunt. A man after my own heart. Annoyed that I was looking at and talking to him before he'd had his morning coffee, he rewarded me with a measured glare. Now THAT's appropriate 8am behavior. No need for extra friendliness! Just shut up in the vator! I hear ya, guy. You're right. Inappropriate time and place for idle chit chat.

After the Grunter I was starting to annoy myself with my own banality, so I stopped initiating the stairwell project exchanges. But I kinda had fun, and so now I'm afraid I might become one of those people who randomly talk to whomever they're nearest to just for the sake of talking. It's fascinating to see how people will react to you. I adore and abhor the very concept of people in equal measure. I either need to be surrounded by them or self-exiled, there is no in between.


It doesn't need to be this hard

But there's a sick sense of satisfaction when it is.

This morning I drove into work, and traffic was disastrous. As I was sitting in my car listening to the Fray and wistfully imagining how good my chai latte would taste when I finally got to have it, I received a text from R saying that she would be late getting in. Figuring that there was a very good chance that I'd also be late, I in turn texted TD to let her know that both R and I were held up. TD then responded to my text to let me know that E was out sick. Since we have such a small staff, this poses a problem since patients need to be moved around as a result. I texted R to let her know the new development, and she then texted TD to get the full, real-time scoop. Then she texted me to share the discussed resolution. I texted her back with an updated ETA based on the surprisingly dense and consistent traffic. She responded that she would see me when I arrived.

I'm not sure this is the most efficient phone tree, since calls(texts for us women who don't do voice communication pre-caffeine) seem to not only go down the list, but also climb back up. The funny thing is that no one gets in touch directly with JPow. She's not a scary boss, so avoiding her isn't at all necessary. But somehow those of us within the ranks feel compelled to cover for our own. Thus, elaborate strategies are born. And with them the seemingly female desire to multi-task whenever possible is fulfilled. I type with one finger while slowly inching toward the traffic light, a can of diet lemonade in my gear shift hand and iPod blaring distraction.


The bewitching of an otherwise ordinary world

Last night as I drove back into the city to see BF, I looked up at the sky and saw a beautiful full moon. Then Roxette came on the radio and for one minute the streetlights popped in halos, and everything seemed cast in magic.


Six of one

My coworker came at me this morning before I had my office door unlocked with this bad-self help-book gem of information: "I recently read about how all men fantasize about other women!"

Sigh. Really? "Well, women fantasize about other men all the time."

"Men look at other women!"

"Women imagine themselves in relationships with other men. Which do you think is more harmful?"

"I don't know... the looking is dangerous."

"Mental marriage is a little risky too."

"Whose side are you on?"

"No one's. But right now I'm visualizing Jessica Simpson as my calm, rational, quiet coworker. See, fantasy life is sometimes spurred on by unwelcomed female nagging."

"You're a traitor to our gender."

"Fair enough."