Thursday, May 29, 2008

Be the First on Your Block to Own. . .

On Sunday mornings I love to read the comics. After cruising through the rest of the paper and separating out the circulars with good deals from the ones I am totally not interested in, but before I get to clipping coupons, I read the funnies.

A few weeks back there was a strip that had two boys at the mall forced to overhear someone’s cell phone conversation. The boys agreed that the mall should have a space where one can go for some privacy. Maybe a little room, with a door, and then the one suggested that this small room, with a door could also have a book that lists everyone’s number and a spare phone in case your cell phone dies.

Hahahahahahaha. Get it? They were describing a telephone booth. The very thing cell phones made obsolete? Oh (imagine me wiping tears from my eyes) man, I love the funnies.

Anyway, our company has recently moved away from plastic utensils to cups and cutlery made from corn in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint. The fact that they are slowly driving everyone insane is just an ancillary benefit.

You see, this corncob concoction was powerless against my pretty soft and spreadable cream cheese, it even folded under the slight pressure it took to spread my very soft peanut butter. Heck, it wasn’t even capable of moving my sugar-free preserves around an English muffin. You can see how this could lead to some frustration, first thing in the morning, before one’s coffee has had enough time to kick-in.

Now I had recently read, in a book about being a better employee that someone anonymously left on my desk chair, that instead of reporting problems, I should find solutions. So I sat there, spreading my cream cheese with my finger and wondered if there was a way to make everyone happy.

Biodegradable utensils did not make me happy because I found them to be as useless as spell check when the language is set to German. However, billions of plastic knifes taking up space in a landfill makes Al Gore sad. So, what if they weren’t sitting in a landfill? What if we bought super sturdy, extra durable plastic knifes that we could use again and again. Maybe ones made from the same sort of plastic that my water bottle is made out of.

Then I remembered, according to recent reports my Nalgene bottle is trying to kill me. So maybe instead of a durable plastic, we could find some other sturdy, reusable, washable material, like stainless steal. Eureka! We could mass produce knifes from. . . and then I laughed (out loud of course).

So that night I got home and slipped a butter knife from my utensil drawer into my pocketbook. I just hope our office’s zero tolerance weapon policy doesn’t stand in the way of using it on my bagel.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

With Age Comes Crowsfeet

I’m getting old.

This morning I had to pluck (another) gray hair from my head. Yes, yes, I know I pull one out and seven sprout up in its place, but I have found that the ones that grow back are smoother and more apt to lay flat against my head, blending in with my other, not gray hair. The ones I have to pull out are the crazy, scraggly, rebel grays that defy mousse and shine serum and gel and straightening irons to kink up and out at all sorts of crazy angles. I personally think these rebel hairs get their strength (and shape) from the journey they must go through to grow two inches over night, but that is just me. And it doesn’t really matter, as they all meet the same, dastardly end.

Also this week, coming back from lunch with a bag from a local retailer, my boss asked if I weren’t too old to shop at said store. I was moderately peeved and said as much. It wasn’t like I was carrying a “Forever 21” bag or a “Delia’s” bag or even an “Abercrombie and Fitch” bag (though I do own a pair of their jeans and I have to say they really are lovely). Still as I laid into my boss about how such a comment could have me owning his house one day I wondered if part of my anger wasn’t masking that when I was there shopping I had worried about the very same thing.

Then the final straw hit the camel’s back when I shared the elevator of my building the next morning with a colleague and five or six summer interns. As the summer interns stepped off at their floor, the colleague, who I have only spoken to once before over cocktails at some reception, turned to me and said, “Are they getting younger or are we getting older?” My eyes spun behind my closed eyelids. I reached out to the elevator wall for support. It was a comment I specifically recall my mother or my father or one of their friends making on any number of occasions. Not to mention until that moment I would never have placed myself in this guy’s peer group. He was in a suit, carrying a briefcase. He had slicked back hair, a wedding ring and I would bet a calendar packed with meetings and lunches and kids’ soccer games. Worse, with only a moment’s hesitation, I responded back “they’re getting younger” because I knew it was what I was supposed to say.

I was just glad that the elevator doors opened to my floor before I passed out or threw up all over his shoes. Of course, had I passed out or thrown up, he probably would have assumed I was pregnant and not out late partying like a 22 year old the night before.
So maybe this age thing does have its advantages.