First, thanks to everyone who played along last week--some of your inmate name suggestions were the picture of hilarity. I'll be announcing the winners soon. Until then, here are three blogs for the price of one:
Blog #1: A conversation.
My mom, sighing: “I can’t wait to retire. I’m just so tired of working with people.”
My sister and me: *Nodding our heads in agreement.*
Mom: “I mean, what I’d like to do after I retire is just work with plants all day. In a nursery, or a greenhouse. Just pot up the seedlings and work with plants.”
My sister: “But mom, just because you work in a nursery doesn’t mean you won’t be working with people. Remember when I worked at that greenhouse in (that wealthy suburb)? And I had to deal with all those richy-rich snobs?”
Mom, losing heart, getting insistent: “But all I’d be doing is the planting part!”
My sister, shaking her head and making a Tough Love face: “Nope. You’d still probably have to work with people.”
My mom, frowning and dispirited: “Thanks, Maddie. Way to crush my dreams.”
Blog #2: The most exciting dream ever, a play in one act.
Monday morning I woke up from the most exciting dream ever. I dreamed I was vacuuming my office at work, for a very long time.
Blog #3: Where are they now?
Sometimes I look back on the people I’ve worked substandard part-time jobs with and wonder what they’re up to now. Sometimes I don’t even have to look back, I just have to look to the left a little, or right in front of me, because hey! There they are again! The people I earned minimum wage with in high school!
My first gig: Hostessing at Bonanza.
One of the Bonanza coworkers I most idolized was a redheaded Molly Ringwald clone. She didn’t say much to me (in fact, I don’t think she ever deigned to speak to me), but that didn’t stop me from developing a detailed fantasy friendship with her. A few years after I quit, I went to an adult bookstore with some friends. And guess who was working behind the counter, with a slab-like pit bull chained to her chair? Yep! Molly Ringwald from Bonanza! So she ended up working at an adult bookstore. (Speaking of which, do they even sell books there?) In case you’re wondering, I was there to purchase a classy confirmation gift for a dear friend.
Another of my former Bonanza coworkers ended up attending the same college as me. I’d run into him at parties, and we’d always salute one another with an enthusiastic, “Bonanza!” Only over time, it became apparent that the social circles in which we traveled had one too many intersections. So our hale and hearty cheers eventually deteriorated into lackluster nods, and years later, we’d run into each other at a bar, drunk, and think, Wow, that person really looks familiar… “Hey, didn’t you used to work at Bonanza?!”
My second gig: Selling lead-infused toys at KB
I had a whole slew of fun coworkers at KB Toys. How could I not? We earned a paycheck playing video games and shooting one another with water guns. It’s easy to have fun in that environment, even when your boss rushes up to you and pinches your upper arm hard enough to leave a bruise when he thinks you’ve been chatting with your friends for too long and need to instead push the Bumbleballs on customers because they have a terrific profit margin.
One particular coworker I will always remember, mostly because I still run into him at parties hosted by a mutual friend. Back then, he was dating a girl who (in his words) looked like Wonder Woman. She cheated on him, which he related to me one night while we straightened the game aisle. I offered some mature advice: “Well, why don’t you just cheat on her right back?”
“Oh that’s real mature,” he answered.
Years later he got married and went to Hedonism with his wife, entertaining us at parties with spicy tales from their wild adventures. Then they bought a house and had a baby and now when we get together at parties, they talk about mortgage rates and property values like the rest of us.
This Friday I'm at The Debs again, writing about my Worst Vacation Ever. Stop by and share the joy.