All I know

Thank god for strangers who take the time to let you know.
I’ve always depended on the opinions of strangers.

Dave and Chet both had their band debuts last night. Georgia just texted to say Chet’s was fab. Dave’s, I would call really good. They played great, each of them individually sounded fab, but the mics didn’t work, so the instruments were much louder than the voices, which, when you’re a band, is not totally fab. But they rolled with it, and people seemed to really love them. Next time, some amps.

We hung out with Kismet and Kyle and Billy and Joan beforehand. Had dinner at Crisp and then went to have a drink before the music. Every bar we walked into had a distinctive odor. As an Amazon review of a possible purse I once wanted to buy said, “All I know is this bag smells BAD.” One bar smelled like vomit, another like yeast but not yeasty bread baking. Kyle thought maybe chlorine, which would have been preferable. The third smelled like air freshener which ordinarily would set me off, but suddenly seemed like at least they were trying.

We had a drink and then headed to the theatre where Midwest was playing an after-the-show set in the lobby. For friends and any theatre patrons who wanted to stick around. I realized about halfway through that I can’t go to live performances anymore. I spend most of the time being angry at whoever is talking during the show. Fifty people squeezed into that room, 48 of them listening intently to catch the words and the harmonies that were tumbling out, beautiful but a little remote, and all I can hear are two people talking, I swear in fake British accents, about studying abroad.

Although I turned around, very pointedly in my opinion, several times, they just kept talking. Something about a theatre program in London. Maybe I should have done something more, but if they turned out to be friends of someone else in the band, it could be awkward later.

Like last week at City Winery, when a table-full of women next to us kept yakking it up like they were at an Applebee’s, all the way through the singer’s ballad. I waited until I caught the eye of one of them, and then I smiled, and then she smiled, and then I mimed turning down a stereo. Her eyebrows went up, and then I nodded at the stage, and then she said something to her friends, and they all stared at me. I smiled back and looked, again I would say pointedly, at the stage.

They quieted down, but later, at the break before the headliner came on, the woman came up to me in the women’s room. “I just wanted to say,” she said, “I didn’t know we were being so loud.”

I washed my hands and tried to laugh it off. “Oh, I’m terrible about things like that.”

Clearly she agreed because she said again, “We didn’t think we were being that loud.” She added, “My friend said you can order food here, so we can talk if we want.”

I couldn’t make sense of that, so I just said, “Enjoy the next act.”

“My friend’s daughter is one of the musicians,” is what she left me with.

“I hope that means you’ll keep your trap shut,” is what I didn’t spit back.

I dodged a blogllet

email message from Georgia.
Tina Fey's loss.

I came dangerously close to posting one of those cute husband and wife stories that make me sick when I have to read them. It would start in anger, and include a few adorable zingers. By the end, the couple would have reached a deeper understanding and appreciation of their bond. The final line would carry both a laugh and a universal truth. It would have involved my driving. Highlights:

“Are you driving extra carefully because of your new glasses?” “Do I seem like I’m driving extra carefully?” “You seem like you’re driving incredibly carefully.” His hands grip an imaginary wheel and he leans forward like Mr. Magoo.

I won’t continue. I don’t have to, because I just got an email from my friend Georgia. She doesn’t bother with blogs and stories. She just numbers everything and gets it off her desk. Like this:

See if you can use any of this. I was going to send all this to Tina Fey, but she prefers my weekend material.

1. My mom is having her bowling team friends over on Monday for lunch after they bowl. There have been multiple conversations about what she’d prepare—brunch food? Soup? Something else? The last I heard it was going to be a wild rice soup that she could prepare the night before and put in a crock pot, some warm bread, and apple bars. Simple. Delicious.

Tonight my sister told me about Mom’s new plan. It seems that Mom was at Steak ‘n Shake recently. It was busy, so she sat at the counter. While there, she admired the Mexican grill guy’s spatula skills. The waiter told her this guy’s a good cook—he doesn’t just make hamburgers. Well! Apparently that’s all the recommendation my mom needed. This grill guy is coming to her house on Monday to cater her luncheon. This woman who is starting to get creeped out by staying alone at night has invited a stranger to cook for her and her friends. Tacos.

2. My daughter is taking a career and college planning course. She apparently hates it. Doesn’t like the teacher. Thinks it is a waste of time. Her most recent assignment was to interview someone about his job. 10 questions were prepared in class. Then she was supposed to write a thanks-for-meeting-with-me sort of letter. Simple, yes? Especially since she chose to interview my husband. Well, here’s what she wrote:

Daughter
Address
Date

Dad
Address

Dear Dad,
Thank you for answering my questions the other day. This is a follow up to the interview for my (stupid) career planning class; we are practicing thank-you letters. It is good you like your job. I did not know that you wanted to be a comedian and piano player. It is sort of amusing how you got an internship.
Sincerely,
Daughter (I think I lost several IQ points writing this. Seriously. I sound like a kindergartener. Or a robot. This is, very possibly, the worst thing I have ever written.)

Lucky for all of us, the teacher gave her an F, not detention.

3. Tomorrow I’m meeting with an acquaintance who wants to hire me as a bone marrow donor recruiter. $12/hour plus mileage. Sounds like I’d travel around the state, when it was convenient, and work at bone marrow drives. Since I am She Who Can’t Say No, I said Yes. I hope I don’t get an embroidered polo shirt to wear.

There’s more, but I think this did the trick. I’ve pulled away from my cute story, even the part where I make an excellent point about how people of a certain gender always seem to think people of another certain gender drive like crap. So Georgia, thanks for saving me and my loyal readers from a fate worse than death. Hope your week picks up.