Ten Random Memories
inspired by Dan1. My first job was in a small pie shop, Katy's Pantry, which was owned by Katy and Betty. They had three employees, me, Buzz and Marilyn. The kitchen was small, much like a modern home kitchen from today, with three ovens, two stoves, one large sink and two refrigerator/freezers. There was a big wooden block in the middle where we did most of our food preparation. We had a little boom box in the kitchen and whenever "Take The Long Way Home" came on, Betty would turn up the volume and we would all dance around the kitchen using wooden spoons for microphones.
2. During my first Christmas break from college, my friend Kim invited me to work with her as a gift wrapper at a gourmet store in Oklahoma City. We made gift baskets and bows and wrapped gifts all day. On Christmas Eve at closing time a family came in and we were asked to stay until they were finished. I learned that it was their family tradition to do all their shopping on Christmas Eve at this particular store. They spent thousands of dollars and the sales clerks just kept bringing us things to wrap. They were there almost three hours, and they gave each of us a $100 tip.
3. I once worked at a Jewish deli in Dallas. It was the largest deli/caterer in Dallas at the time, which was quite a surprise to me since it was also the filthiest place I had ever seen. One day a woman and man came in to buy some lox and cream cheese. They were both attractive, but I don't remember much about her face. She was wearing pants and a suit jacket....no shirt. No buttons.
4. When I turned 19 my newest college friends planned a big celebration for me. They told me that our plans were a secret, but they were taking me to dinner and for a surprise. They picked me up at the dorm and gave me a Ralph Lauren sweater from Harold's! (They could NOT afford that!) Then we took off driving. We drove for nearly two hours before we arrived at a Tonkawa football game in some little town. I know why they took me there...it was because I had a crush on a guy from Tonkawa AND one of my hosts that night was from Tonkawa, so it was a nice little setup. HOWEVER, they did not bring any money, and I did not bring any money...and there was no food! I got a little grouchy about their failure to deliver on their promise to take me to dinner when I found out they had all eaten before we left. I regret that now. I should have been all grateful and happy and stuff.
5. When I lived in Iowa I had a best friend named Stephie Bennett. We were like sisters. We even got matching haircuts. She really was my sanity there as I struggled with making new friends and dealing with the meanest third grade teacher EVER. So, one time about 12 years ago I thought I would try to find her on classmates.com by registering under my grade school. Sure enough, she contacted me! She said, "Are you that girl that lived down the street?" Well, I was just learning that email messages often fail to communicate emotions, and I apparently forgot that she really didn't know me anymore (or my sense of humor), so - well - I wrote back and played all hurt that she called me "that girl down the street." She removed herself from classmates.com the very next day and has been unreachable since then. I SCARED HER AWAY! It absolutely makes me insane that she thinks I'm a nutcase! I often flog myself for this transgression.
but, really, how much of an idiot move was that?
6. When my dad turned 50 his girlfriend planned a big surprise party for him. He lived in Colorado at the time, and she asked me to drive up and be at the party. I did (of course). He was really surprised and happy - more because I was there than because of the party. Everyone was jovial. Then his business partner pulled me aside (during the party!) to say, "Your dad doesn't want me to tell you this...but he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease."
And that, my friends, is not the way to celebrate a friend's birthday.
(see how I suddenly seem like less of an idiot here?)
7. One of my strangest Christmas days was in 1989. I had a crush on Eric. He found out I would be alone on Christmas day because my family had gone to Indiana and I had to stay here to work. He invited me to his home for dinner with his family. I was ecstatic!! I made cranberry bread and cookies to take with me and I made sure to look my best. I drove two hours to get to his home and when I walked in the front door, there was his cousin, who was adopted, and who also had a crush on Eric. She was clearly not happy to see me there, and she scowled at me all the day long. His family was lovely and all, but - wow.
8. After a two-month camp at Interlochen, the out-of-state students were bussed to the nearest local airport to fly home. As we were all waiting at the airport, a girl I did not know started to panic. She could not find her airline tickets. She started going through her coat, her purse, her luggage. Her friends looked under the chairs, in the cushions, in the trash can. As I watched, I thought I should probably double check to be sure I had MY tickets. I opened my purse and there were HER tickets right next to MY tickets!!! Oh, the horror. I had to tell her I had them, although I had no idea why I had them or how they got in my purse. I still don't understand it!
9. When I was in 4th grade our family was friends with a family that had two boys. Their son, Bart, was a year older than me. I heard my parents talking with his parents about how Bart and I would make a good match. At that moment, Bart suddenly became the yuckiest thing on the planet. I would get sick to my stomach just thinking about him. That is also during the time in my life when the words "kiss" and "purse" made me sick to my stomach. Is that normal?
10. Last winter giant flakes of snow fell in Oklahoma. Spencer and Colin and I went outside a caught them on our coats. All of us were yelling, "Look at THIS one!" and we were running back and forth squealing with delight. My boys were loving something I've always loved - and it was a very good day.