Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Today I went to one of the places I work to take in my textbook order. I hadn't been keeping track of the date, and thought there was still a week of February to go. It's too short a month! I feel as though I've had a week stolen from me. A week of vacation, which makes it worse.

The order form was due in by the end of the month, so taking it in was the only way to get it there on time. Besides that, I wanted to recheck one of the text choices I'd made, and didn't have a copy of the text at home.

As it turned out I was not able to check the copy at work either, because the foreign part-time teachers' room was locked and nobody was there who could open it for me. I don't have a key. It was dark up there until I found a light switch for the corridor. Why did they put the switch for the light right at the end of the corridor, so you have to navigate spooky darkness to find it?

After I had checked my decisions, based on gut feeling and trying to see through the walls using my psychic powers, I went over to the office, to sign in. That way I'll get my transportation paid for, and I never pass up the chance to get my transportation paid for.

Over in the office I chatted with the only office lady who was there today (also the most annoying, but by a narrow margin), who insisted on passing the time of day until there wasn't very much time of day left. I couldn't hurry her, though. You never, ever upset the office ladies. The last time somebody did that the office lady in question turned out to be a relative of the president of the university, and the teacher got fired. These two things weren't connected in any obvious way - the teacher was also a crappy teacher and there were plenty of reasons to fire her - but on the other hand there are a lot of crappy teachers out there who don't get fired.

So I listened to the office lady droning on about how beautiful my friend had become since she lost weight. She saw my friend for the first time in several years last November, and since then has talked about her every time I see her. I pointed out (again) that my friend was beautiful BEFORE she lost weight, and the office lady agreed, but added (again) that she had been METCHA surprised when she saw her again after ... how long was it ...? Four or five years? And she was so SLIM. And BEAUTIFUL. METCHA beautiful! How did she do it, asked the pudding-shaped office lady. Did she go on some special diet or something?

Normally I am happy to listen to her go on about my beautiful friend, but today I was in a hurry because I needed to get to the bookstore before it closed. The office lady is obsessed with my beautiful friend. She cannot stop talking about my beautiful friend. I think she is in love with my beautiful friend. I staved off intrusively personal questions about my beautiful friend and tried to escape without giving offence. I did not say, for example, "My beautiful friend's private life is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS," even though I wanted to. I just gave a lot of friendly, fuzzy answers, and tried to remember if I'd lied last time to get out of any of the tricky ones.

But perhaps she sensed my impatience, because she finally changed the subject as I was inching backwards out the door.

"Of course, YOU have always been skinny, ha ha ha," she said, as if to imply that losing weight wouldn't do ME any good, what a shame. I don't do nuance in Japanese very well but that was definitely a sympathetic laugh, and uncalled for. I do not need sympathy for being un-metcha-beautifiable. At least I am not a pudding with badly painted on eyebrows, like her.

Ah, writing that last bitchy sentence made me feel MUCH better. The office ladies always bring out the worst in me at that place. (Must remember to email Beautiful Friend to tell her to read this particular blog entry. I have a feeling she will enjoy it, because I had forgotten to tell her about the office lady's obsession with her, and HEY, YOU! IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU EMAILED ME, ANYWAY. WE ARE ALL WORRYING.)

After I was able to tear myself away from the office lady I sprinted down to the bookstore, hoping it wasn't closed yet.

The door was closed, but I could see the bookstore owner sitting inside so I opened the door. This was a lot harder than it looked. I thought I remembered it was an automatic door, but standing in front of it didn't work, and stepping back and approaching it again didn't work, and it was open a crack so I decided it was just a normal sliding door and slid it open. It was very stiff.

The bookstore owner looked up and greeted me cheerfully as I came in. He even remembered my name from last year. We made small talk, and he offered me a seat. I commented on how stiff the door was.

"The door isn't stiff," he laughed. "It's just that you're too skinny!"

I know he meant it as a compliment. It was just bad timing. I'm sure he meant that I am stylishly svelte.

I made my immensely complicated book order, which took at least half an hour because neither of us could understand the forms the university sent out. We guessed, using common sense. (But I must remember to call my boss to check, because common sense is not a strong point of bureaucracies.) After we'd finished I gave back the stamped, self-addressed envelope he'd sent me because I would not be needing it. That made him so very happy I came away worrying about his profit margin.

The automatic door opened for me on the way out. All the same, I went to a coffee shop on my way home and ate something fattening.


kenju said...

Ha! You handled that like I handled a recent disappointing trip to the health club. Except I ate a chicken sandwich!

Cheryl said...

Oh, to have your problem.
Don't knock it!


Robert said...

Ah, gotta love the paperwork. Ordering books is one thing I miss switching to the high school level. I hate not being able to teach certain works just because the school doesn't already own them. It's one of those circles; we don't own them and have no money to buy them, yet we can't require students to buy them, ad nauseum.

Faerunner said...

Thin is good. Very good. At least for beauty's sake. For practicality, it sucks. Jeans never fit!

I hear people complaining about diets and how they always gain weight, and all I can say is "I CAN'T gain weight." (which is mostly true, since I don't even exercise to put on muscle any more)

It's so funny to see them look shocked that I'm complaining, but things are much harder when you have no weight to throw into them. :P

Wiccachicky said...

I am so happy I am not the only one who forgets to place textbook orders...lol. :)

Pookie65 said...

I adore your description of the office lady. Perhaps the next time she goes on and on about your sexy friend you should lean in...wink at her...and then tell her that he can do "amazing things with his tongue"! That should give her something to think about.

Many thanks, my favorite scary aunt, for the kind words and sentiments you've left at my blog in recent past.