Posts Tagged ‘excuses’

Prom Apologies

20 December 2008

Dear J-

So to the downtown Spokane Bon Marche store Santa, 1976, let’s just say that the nearly-two-year-old that was plunked down on your lap wasn’t the most pleased to be there, so late at night anyway, and can we just sweep that meltdown under the table and let bygones be bygones?


But seriously, something that’s been stewing in the back of my mind for fifteen years or so — and I hate saying it, it sounds like I’m one of those people who never got over high school; it’s not something that kept me up at night, just more that I lost the chance to say anything at the time and in what’s becoming a trend for me, I lost track of, well, everyone not in my current life.  As a side note, I spent half an hour cleaning carpets this morning because I forgot to walk the dogs; theVet despairs of how easily distracted I am by the immediate task — this is why I’ve spent a small fortune on electronic brains that I invariably forget to update.

The point is that my relentless narcissism excluded any thought that hey, maybe it took TWO seventeen-year-olds (skip down to the Allman Brothers song, here) to multiply awkwardness into some perfect storm of silences and mis-communications.  It made for a memorable prom, but perhaps not the memories that most pairs take away from that particular night.  For my part, I left a lot unsaid; I wish I’d explained how long I’d waited — nearly three years, from the moment she’d walked in to homeroom — and that I didn’t care if there was no future in it, just to be there tonight with her was magical enough; all the steps — here for pictures, there for dinner, then back to the dance — all the rituals of tux and corsages and shaking the father’s hand — all that blurred together, all matching and missing the visions I’d had in my head for that night.

I’ll leave it there, but hasten to add that my contribution to it was not insignificant; as I’ve noted before, I chose inaction over initiative every time I had the choice.  My life was full of structure at seventeen; the next sixteen years have been filled with terror and learning at having that safety net slowly but surely cut away strand by strand until I learned (am learning) how and why to enjoy the moment for what it is, not compared to some ineffable ideal.



Company Politics

1 August 2008

Dear J-

I have Agriprocessors on my mind today; they’ve been in the news recently as the owners of the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the country, and most recently as the site of one of the largest immigration raids in US history.  It’s not the conditions, which apparently are little advanced over those seen in The Jungle, or the pending deportation of those folks nabbed in the raid — those are interesting facts, but not the focal point for me.

Both the employer and employee are at fault, after all, and yet one escapes punishment through the grace of excuses (“They had forged papers!”) and legal representation.  Driving home slowly today (traffic was slow for a good twenty-thirty miles, possibly due to the Del Mar horse track being in operation with its customary late-start Fridays), I tuned in to hear the traffic reports, which are given most frequently and reliably on the most rabidly right-wing of stations, AM 600, with your afternoon drive-time host Roger Hedgecock.

Today’s whipping boy for Roger was a Coast Guard officer, who had the temerity to succor rather than excoriate a boat full of illegal immigrants discovered off the coast of San Diego.  Roger pointed out that the operative word in Coast Guard is “guard,” and by noting that they’d broken the very law by attempting to enter the country illegally, and therefore could have no reasonable expectation of aid.  It sounds rather excuse-y to me again:  by dehumanizing any group you make it easier to hate.  If this is the richest country in the world; if we cannot enforce the laws equally for rich corporations and poor individuals; if we cannot share our wealth, then who switched my government when I wasn’t looking?


Nod and Smile

28 July 2008

Dear J-

What would possibly be the last thing you’d want to hear on a Monday, after turning in eight hours on a Sunday at work — the lone day theVet and I have off together — and this, soon after peeking at the request for overtime committing me to three consecutive Sundays of silence?  People who said “I have nothing to do,” come on down!  Sadly, this past Sunday was my most productive day in quite a while; despite my best efforts, I managed to crank out some electrical equipment records that made a little sense.

And yet with the new system, nothing’s really changed.  Folks who were working hard work just as much — they may not get as much done, but it’s because we’re re-inventing the processes we used to have down cold (twenty years of practice will do that for you) on the fly.  Folks who looked for excuses before — well, I’m running out of patience, unfortunately.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter that much; I mind the work less than I mind the social niceties of work, which are killing me.

I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.  When someone’s taking the time to talk to me, the least I can do is listen (the disconcerting thing is when folks I know are much smarter than me start listening in on my conversations in the hope that there’s some useful information to be gleaned), I suppose, rather than nodding, smiling, and continuing to type in an effort to hint at productivity.  I’m not a multitasker, unfortunately, and usually both suffer as a result:  not only do I fail to repeat the story, I manage to mangle the data in the meantime.