This week's prompt: Spectacular
Other than the kid's pitching prowess in a couple of softball games, I haven't had a lot of contact with the spectacular this week. It hasn't been bad, though. Sometimes good enough is just that.
I had some good lunches this week. The first was with my former co-workers in Fake Cow County. We attended a joint training with Catherine the Cocaine Whore, whom we've all know of yore. Even though she thinks we're all hopelessly country, Catherine is good at her job and she's also got a corporate expense account, which meant lunch was on her. It was good to see everyone and learn what has changed and what has not. It felt like slipping into an old pair of tennis shoes.
The second lunch involved me standing in line at Subway with my current co-workers. Co-workers who forgot to tell me they were ditching our normal Wednesday lunch plans in favor of industrial sandwiches. The only way I discovered this was that I, too, ditched the usual plan and showed up at the sandwich shop only to find them there ahead of me. While we waited on our flatbreads and cold cuts, they introduced me to two very cute gray-haired ladies, obviously long-time lunch buddies who never needed to finish a sentence to be completely understood by each other.
I was introduced by name and as the "probation chief". Both ladies expressed their pleasure at making my acquaintance and then one asked "Where are your crutches? I heard you were on crutches."
Yep. I'd never seen either of these two before in my life. This is life in a small town. It's the same everywhere, right? (No more crutches, just another week or so with a knee brace.)
The third lunch was a going-away potluck for the County Treasurer's assistant. Just like in seventh grade, we all gravitated into our usual groups and cliques for the meal. I snagged at seat at the most isolated table and bullied the sweet young thang who is Sushi's replacement into joining me. She's nice and inexperienced and no match for obnoxious older women. She came quietly. I told her I was declaring this the cool kids table, and sure enough, within a few minutes we were joined by the Judge, the DA's assistant and the County Attorney's assistant, all of whom are equally obnoxious and even older than I, although they're not all women.
This was my first chance to spend any time with young Barbie. I like her. She seems to be a genuinely good person. She's beautiful and apparently fairly intelligent. And, for the time being, shy.
I like shy. Shy is a good thing in my book. I'm hoping it means she's got depth. We didn't really get to know each other any better over lunch, mostly because everyone else is a pushy story-teller, and she isn't one to butt in, but this was a good start and I hope I can pull bits and pieces of her personality out into the open over the next few months.
As for the pushy-story tellers, they made me laugh. Out loud. They reminded me of an article I read this week about advice to Japanese travelers who are visiting the U.S. for the first time. The Asian tourist was warned that American women laugh loud and long and in your face. American women do not hide their wide smiles behind a demure hand or turn away so that no one is made uncomfortable by their quiet giggles. American men are guilty of the same sort of behavior, not caring who sees or hears their guffaws.
The Judge told us about the first week of his marriage which involved him being totally enthralled with the wonders of his inaugural experience with satellite television, involving a NASA-esque dish covering an entire corner of the back yard and a remote control of Tolstoy complexities. All this while his wife was calling for help from the suds-engulfed bathroom where the whirlpool tub was completely out of control. She kept shouting for "Bill! Bill!", but all he heard was Lucy Ricardo screeching for "Ricky! Ricky!".
Then there was the story of the flaming toilet paper roll. Followed by a comparison of septic system experiences, which we all contributed to, having lived in the country at one time or another. This went on and on and on.
There was a discussion of the correct septic system toilet paper choice protocol. And various toilet paper chaff factors. And the number of squares that is appropriate for each personal experience. And then the discussion of the tragedy of the courthouse toilet paper that doesn't even have squares, making accurate measurement an exercise in tissuey futility.
Finally I tossed the remnants of my dinner roll into a puddle of tomato sauce and looked around the table. "Good Lord, people! Y'all have put WAY more thought into toilet paper than I have EVER considered possible."
Barbie laughed. I think she's got potential.