Monday, November 26, 2012

The Ultimate Sacrifice

I found out on Wednesday a week before Thanksgiving that I got the job! While I’d felt calm about either prospect—either I got the job or I’ll continue to look for one—I was delighted once it was confirmed.

I also got a third visit from Peter, and again the printer fell into line while he was here and became insubordinate after he left. The place that deploys Peter had said that if the printer doesn’t end up fixed, you get your money back, but, egged on by my mother, I decided to let them keep the $115 ($110 being the cost of “fixing” the printer and $5 being the amount I insisted Peter take for two unsanded 2x4s that he thought might help by giving the printer’s underside more clearance). After all, maybe it just can’t be fixed. Likely I broke it myself, and Peter did make three trips over here. When I told the fellow at the computer repair place that I didn’t want any money back, he reacted as if that doesn’t happen very often.

Now that I have a job, I need a mug to drink tea from while I’m there! At lunchtime the next day, Thursday, I walked up and down 24th St. in Noe Valley and went into any shop that seemed likely to contain a large and comely tea vessel, and saw some pretty things.

After spending half an hour hoping to stumble into the right object, I considered what would constitute a beautiful mug and thought of a lovely Japanese bowl I own. It would be nice to have a mug that looked like that. On my way home, I went into Scarlet Sage on Valencia St., a shop C. frequently mentions. It’s a wonderful place, full of gorgeous little items, soap, herbs, books, stuff for tea. Lo and behold, they actually had some saucers in the very pattern I’d thought of, which seemed rather cosmic. I bought two to use as coasters and told the counter lady that a friend of mine often visits there: C., who looks like Santa Claus? “Oh, yes, we know C.,” she said.

I researched the bike parking at the office building where I will report to work and it seems that this building is quite a wonderful place, very environmentally friendly, with a rooftop garden, and where bike parking is advertised as one of their many amenities, so that should be fine, though I called the building manager to see if they ever have bikes stolen from their racks. She said she’s never heard of such an incident.

I got a call of congratulations from Dwightly, my career coach, and we had a nice chat.

On Friday evening, I packed, and on Saturday flew to Detroit for Thanksgiving with my parents and sister in Ypsilanti. The trip was uneventful except for the grim family sitting in front of me on the plane. At first I took the person compulsively running her fingers over and over through her long, beautiful, red hair to be a teenager, but she was a grown woman sitting with her young daughter at her side, while her husband sat a row ahead with their baby girl, who was crying loudly for her mommy. Later the children traded seats and I heard the father berating the young girl, speaking to her in a sarcastic, belittling way. When we were deplaning, the child happened to stand near me and I was shocked to see the dead look in her eyes. If that’s how the father behaves in public, what is their home life like? So sad.

On Sunday morning, C. was back from El Salvador and we spoke on the phone. He said his stomach felt tender and that he was thinking of going to the emergency room. I said he might feel better after a nap, but that if he really thought he should go to the emergency room, then he probably should, and the next day he called and reported that he was just back from a night in the hospital and an emergency appendectomy! Sunday evening, Mom and Dad and I watched a documentary about the Dust Bowl.

Monday was a nice reading day, Mom and me together in the living room.

On Tuesday, Dad and I went to Knight’s in Ann Arbor to have lunch with some of his high school friends, and then we went to see his childhood home and the site of his erstwhile one-room schoolhouse, the latter at the northwest corner of Knight and Scio Church Rd. (two Knights in that day, I just realized). The house has fallen nearly into shambles, and only the fence remains of the school. Then it was on to take a look at my childhood home and back to Ypsi. In the late afternoon, my sister came over.

Ginny and I had lunch at Seva on Wednesday, which was very pleasant, and then Mom and I read in the living room all afternoon and evening.

On Thanksgiving, my sister came over and we had a beautiful, colorful meal, mostly made by Dad: vegan nut loaf, stuffing, gravy, Mexican bean salad, avocado slices. Mom made sweet potato biscuits and Dad served canned fruit and pomegranate juice. As for dessert, there was none, whereas usually there are several homemade treats. Because I don’t eat sugar anymore, everyone else skipped dessert without saying a word about it! Of course, it would have been fine with me if they had had dessert, so I was very touched by that thoughtful gesture.
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