July 18, 2014

The 6 Things I Remember Forgetting

Hey, I know it’s summer and everything, but it’s getting late. Bedtime, kiddo. Georgia and I were watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. She had seen it before, so it wasn’t like she was missing out. We said bedtime prayers, and I kissed her goodnight.

The movie had sucked me in by that time and I wanted to know how everything would get sewed up in a tidy bow, so I went back to watching. It didn’t disappoint. I was entertained and nearly clapped as the credits rolled.

The next morning, I told Georgia what a clever movie it was. You watched the rest of it? Seriously, mom? Now I felt stupid. Well, yeah. I got hooked and wanted to see how it ended. She and Jamie exchanged looks.

Um, mom...you saw that movie already. At the movie theater. Don’t you remember?

Listen, my brain’s memory chip has been deleting a ton of low-priority information lately. But an entire movie? Like, a swath of time and place that I completely blanked out on? Between you and me, I still contend I did not see this movie before and will cling to that until my dying day; but really.

Truly.

There are more than a few things I can remember forgetting.

1. That meeting.
All my colleagues’ offices were empty. Then a colleague dressed in “meeting” clothes appeared in a rush out of nowhere and greeted me with Just so you know: we’ll be meeting in Suite A instead of Suite B.
There was a meeting?

2. The hot dogs
As the Chef-in-Chief, I declared We’re gonna have Chicago Dog Night! and headed to the store for Chicago Dog Night stuff. Came home, unpacked the bags: potato salad, chips, bright green relish, old fashioned yellow mustard, cucumbers, sport peppers, pickle spears, poppyseed buns...
..but no hot dogs.

3. The dog’s leash
Charley-the-Shih-Tzu-Poo quizzically stared at me as I left for the day. Momma gave you your treat already. That’s all I can do, honey. I’ll be back soon...okay? Georgia and I piled in the car and I tossed my stuff in the passenger seat -- purse, phone, charger, lunch and…
the dog’s leash.

4. Deodorant
Did I put some on today? I think I did...but did I? Welp...can’t be too careful.
*leaves house wearing ten layers of Secret*

5. Any password
‘nuf said.

6. The name, drive and folder of any file saved and accessed more than four weeks ago.
And someone always needs it printed and copied in triplicate for the do or die meeting that’s happening in ten minutes.

...and I’m sure there are many, numerous other things that could be added to this list, but I just can’t, um...remember them right now.

July 7, 2014

Delayed Gratification


Call it a case of the Meandering Mondays or just go ahead and say I'm trying to kick a case of Writer's Block. Whatever you wanna call it, somehow I got stuck on banks. If you're old enough, you remember there was a time when people actually visited the lobby and talked to tellers. It usually happened Saturdays since banks closed at 5:00 weekdays, and most people were working and couldn't make it to the bank by that time. The banks were open on Saturdays, but only until noon; so everyone had to make it there before closing...and heaven forbid you had a kid in tow:

Through tall glass double doors and into the lobby, traffic’s noise gives way to The Most Beautiful Girl or some other muzak. Everything there soaks up sunshine – from the navy blue carpet, to personal banker desks flanking each wall, to the velvet ropes and signs that instruct Wait Here for the next available teller.

An intimidatingly tall oblongish table dominates the lobby’s center. On it are slips of neatly stacked paper resting next to pens that are attached by silver chains to the big table. One by one, customers approach the table, take a slip and pen, and scribble some kind of financial hieroglyph, crumple it up, take another and begin scribbling again.

The line of tellers stretches from wall to wall. Clad in polyester outfits matching the carpet’s navy blue, they count out loud…and that’s five, ten, fifteen, twenty… and each counted bill snaps against veneered countertops in rhythm to Knock Three Times.

Photo: Creative Commons Fly, Flickr
The velvet ropes where people obediently heed the instruction to Wait Here are heavy. Their metal ends clang a little when accidently shaken by nervous adult or purposely by a bored child. An anemic rendition of Afternoon Delight whines against the scribbling and the clanging.

Somewhere in the long line of customers fidgets a kid whose spine and legs threaten to wet noodle and drop them to the floor in fit of sheer boredom.

An available teller’s Next Please saves that kid (and parent too) from wet noodle fate. After the business transaction is transacted, the kid receives a sucker from the teller.

My childhood was filled with long, taxing lessons in delayed gratification like the weekly Saturday trip to the bank. I guess this generation’s kids of twenty-four-hour banking and ATM cards will have to learn the same lessons another way.