Monday, October 20, 2008

Teach Them Well and Let Them Lead the Way

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my little sister. Not my biological sister but my "match" through Big Brothers/Big Sisters, I'll call her T. We have been matched since early this summer and I always get a kick out of hanging out with her.

We went to a farm where they had hayrides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, a petting zoo and pony (well actually it was more like a Clydesdale) rides. We, of course, partook in all they had to offer. I think there is a mutual understanding between adults who don't have children of their own and the children they spend time with that the kid will have no shame in asking for (or at least hinting at) things they want and the adult will have no self control in dispensing money or treats to the child.

I don't know if T doesn't get junk food very often or is she is an addict but either way, when she's with me we can't pass a food/beverage purveying establishment without a swivel of her head and a comment such as "Ooh, they have Fanta," or "mmm, I sure do love some cinnamon sugar covered soft pretzel sticks dipped in caramel sauce."

Whatever it is we, of course, stop to get some. My justification is that I give her the money so she can conduct the transaction and figure out what bills she needs to use- I'm teaching her, it's all for the sake of the future.

Yesterday it was hot dogs and popcorn and apple cider and caramel apples. Although in this case, I totally lapped her on the caramel apple. She was still nibbling the peanuts and I had hit core and she stopped and said "You sure are hungry."
It wasn't so much hunger as that I have it down to a science, which took years.

Sometimes she actually buys things for herself, which I love because that means she is going to bust out her purse, which has a lovely bedazzled key chain clipped to the outside and also contains the following:

- Another key chain, with no keys on it
- A cell phone (she is nine)
- A Nintendo DS and multiple games, which she usually tries to show me while I'm driving
- Assorted candy
- A small bottle of bubbles
- An assortment of crumpled dollar bills

I've been trying to think of what to get her when I go on vacation next week- I'm starting to think some Kinder oughta do it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Next Customer, Please

So I went to Whole Foods yesterday to get some soup and my total came to $5.27. Uncharacteristically, I had cash on me, and even more unusual, I had exact change. I handed the money to the cashier and he said "Perfect." Without realizing it was coming out of my mouth I said in a low voice kind of in the back of my throat, "That's how I do it."

"What?!" I thought to myself. Where did that come from? I typically don't engage in too much banter with cashiers and service providers, since I figure they just want to keep things moving until they can count out their drawer and go home. They don't need more people making the same jokes, asking the same questions.

Like when I went to rent a car recently and when they said "we'll bring your Toyota Camry right around." I had to fight the urge to reply "What, no Porsche?" I was so glad I did since about 30 seconds later I heard one of the Enterprise guys on the phone, totally fake laughing saying "aha, I don't think the Corvette is available today, sir, but we'll have the Taurus washed and waxed for you."

They probably get that joke once an hour- but I wonder if they've ever put someone in a full-size sedan and heard the customer remark, almost to themselves, "that's how I do it."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What Seems to be the Problem, Officer?

The other night I had a dream that I was wheeling my suitcase down the sidewalk (not sure where I was going) and a cop on a navy blue Big Wheel with reflective stickers and flashing lights rode up behind me and "pulled me over." It was an adult man, riding a Big Wheel, wearing a helmet and I was worried about what I'd done wrong.

I would love to have that one analyzed.