Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Filipina Ladies Room

There is a ladies room on the second floor of the County building that I sometimes use because it's a little farther away and so involves a short walk and therefore more time away from my desk. It's the little pleasures.

Anyway, every time I visit, there are typically two or three ladies already there. And they are invariably Filipina. They are County employees and they are speaking Tagalog.

And while I am there I quietly listen to their conversations as they wash their hands and fix their hair, never understanding a single word that they're saying.

And then I walk back to my office wondering why that ladies room and not some other ladies room has become the Filipina Ladies Room. I think about a ladies room surveillance, noting from where the ladies come and to where they go after. I wonder how and why they all started using those facilities.

By the time I return to my desk I've usually forgotten about it. But not today! I'm going to get to the bottom of this. No pun intended.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lost and Found

Tony was having a feng shui attack on Saturday. I sat on his bed as he hoed out his closet, and carried bags of clothes, including a green and purple leather/satin reversible Mighty Ducks jacket, to the VFW Post. (Its time had definitely come.)

In the car, he was still stricken by the attack. He pulled out papers from the glove box and center console. And to pass the time, I read a magazine in the passenger seat. When he pulled a tube of hand cream from the console, I took the opportunity to slather some on, removing my engagement ring and placing it on my lap, in the open magazine.

Which I promptly threw into the bag of trash Tony was collecting. With the ring still inside it.

Except I didn't realize this of course until I stood up outside the car and noticed my bare ring finger.

I patted my sweatshirt pockets and my shorts pockets and I think I said something like: "My ring! My ring! Where is it? Help me! Help meeeeee!"

Tony calmly looked around the car, under my seat and then asked if I was sure I had taken it off in the car.

"Yes! No... I don't know!"

He then sat back down in the driver's seat. And as my heart raced and my mouth went dry, he methodically removed one item at a time until he heard a clink. And caught a glimmer. And followed the flash of light to a little nook by the door where my ring sat waiting to be picked back up.

He put it back onto my finger. I cried and hugged him.

"I thought it was goooone." I cried.

But it's not! And I'm not taking it off anymore!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


It used to be princesses. Princesses in the morning, at night, all the live long day. "Sleeping Beauty" on the portable DVD player, fast-forwarding through the scary parts. Lengthy discussions on Cinderella's step-sisters and her various outfits: brown dress to scrub the floor, blue to the ball, white to marry the Prince.

Since Sept. 8, the DVD player has not been turned on. Not even once. Sept. 8 was the first day of kindergarten.

And now, Natalie has a new addiction. It's more intense than her love for princesses. And harder for me to understand. (You see, my success has come despite my work ethic, not because of it.)

It's homework.
Yes, homework in kindergarten. I cursed it. I railed against it. But then I saw how much Natalie liked it and how much she was blossoming. It was just another part of this amazing burst of confidence. And now, I use it to my advantage.

Last night, she wouldn't undress for her bath. And I had to ask her three times to clear the table. She just couldn't tear herself away from her homework.

Then I had what Oprah calls the "Aha Moment."

"Natalie, if you don't get into the bath right now, there's no homework tonight!"

She was in that bath in two minutes flat.