Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bordering on the Not Quite Mannerly

Last Friday I got a company IM from the internal recruiter who had set up my recent job interview. He wanted to know if my current manager knew about the interview. I said he did, and that he had wished me luck. The recruiter said, “Looks positive,” at which point I knew I’d probably gotten the job, since I’m sure they don’t hint at a favorable outcome unless it’s pretty certain.

I called my mother to tell her things were looking hopeful.

“Does this mean a big-screen TV in the future?”

“Yeah, now I can buy a lot of stuff!”

“No, I meant our future.”

“Trust me, that never leaves my mind for one second.”

“After all,” she continued, “this couldn’t have happened without me and your father.”

“How so?”

“If we hadn’t given birth to you, you couldn’t have gotten this job.”

I’ll tell you who this actually couldn’t have happened without: the friend who said she thought I’d be a good business analyst and who lined up the very helpful meeting with the bracingly clear senior business analyst, which led me to focus my resume on that kind of role and then to apply for such jobs. Thank you, incomparable benefactor!

Friday evening C. and I had dinner at La Santaneca, and on Saturday, we lunched at Esperpento, getting along very nicely and finally solving our spicy potatoes problem by each getting our own order, plus we split some grilled asparagus.

Between the fellow building the trillion-dollar house and the city park in the center of the block being completely redone, the view from my living room windows is now considerably fancier. For years, I looked out at a shabby little abandoned wooden bungalow, and beyond that, an expanse of grass often populated by Latino soccer players.

It took many months for the park to be redone, and now it’s gorgeous, with lovely green turf, the two tennis courts sparkling new, and a splendid children’s play area with colorful, fanciful play equipment. However, the Latino soccer players largely seem to have disappeared, which is kind of sad—a lot is lost when a place becomes hospitable only to well-to-do white people—but there also seem to be a lot more organized activities happening, which is good, as many of them are for children. It makes me smile to hear 20 little girls screaming on the ball field.

Not so much the obnoxious fellow who shrieks something like “Patitucci!” every time there is a change of fortunes in his tennis game—I’d hoped he was going to move away during the months of refurbishment—ditto the blared instructions of the tennis coach who has started to ply his trade here.

On Sunday I did my cooking and watched I Heart Huckabees, which features everyone from Mark Wahlberg to Lily Tomlin to Isabelle Huppert. It wasn’t very good. I mainly watched it because Mark Wahlberg is in it.

This past Monday I made my biennial visit to my primary care provider, had my annual vision exam, and went to the hardware store for epoxy. In the evening, C. and I had dinner at La Santaneca and got into a fight, which was absolutely to be counted on, since he was leaving that very evening for El Salvador. There are certain things we don’t do well with, including impending time apart, eating, and any kind of stress whatsoever. However, our goodbye at the airport was pleasant. I took him there in a City CarShare. After we parted, I waited to see if he’d turn to wave, but he didn’t, so I got back in the car, and then, just as he was about to walk inside the terminal, he turned and waved.

Yesterday morning, Peter the printer fixer came over to see what he could do with my laser printer, which has been misfeeding consistently ever since there was a paper jam and I pounded the paper tray back in when it didn’t want to go. Peter has been fixing printers for a long time and came highly recommended. When he arrived, I buzzed him into the building and waited for him to knock on my door.

When that didn’t happen, I opened my door and stuck my head into the hallway and heard Peter calling, “Where are you? I can’t find you.”

“I’m in number four.”

“But I only see five through seven.”

“You’re on the floor above me. Come down one flight.”

“I only see five through seven! Where is number four? Help help!” And so forth.

At this point, I was losing faith in his powers of deduction and was about to yell, “I’ve changed my mind about having my printer fixed!” and slam my door, but couldn’t quite bring myself to do that. And perhaps being great at fixing printers doesn’t translate to being great at finding a given apartment in (ahem) a seven-unit building.

Peter proved to be older, very hard of hearing, and quite affable. After I told him about having forced the paper tray in, he examined the printer, found the problem, fixed it, demonstrated that it was no longer misfeeding, and left, after which it misfed again. He returned shortly with a few additional theories, including that the problem was that the toner was low. That hardly sounded plausible, but I went to OfficeMax and bought new toner ($91.13!), which of course didn’t help.

In the evening I went to Howie’s. One of our sangha members has commented a couple of times on my weight loss in frankly disapproving terms, as if it’s something I’ve done on purpose to offend her. This week, she asked whether I’d had dinner or not and asked, almost angrily, “Have you lost even more weight?” I said, “I don’t know,” and she said, before storming off, “Well, check it out—you look peaked.” This is starting to displease me. If I’d gained weight, I doubt she’d say (to my face), “You appear to me to be bordering on the corpulent.” It’s rather bittersweet to have finally lost weight and not feel good about it myself, plus basically have other people telling me I look terrible.
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