Monday, April 14, 2008

Lacking a Point

I have beginnings of posts in mind. But I like it when a story connects into something I’ve been thinking that somehow hints at the fact that I might be deep and cool. These are just random bits of conversation that have no real point. Because I keep wondering if I should be embarrassed about continuing to talk about my bathtime exploits. Which actually brings us to my first snippet.

*****

“Do you mind?” Friend asked and I shook my head and took the bottle of lotion. Throughout the winter, she sometimes asked if I’d apply some to her back and, familiar with the annoyance of that dry spot on my back that I can’t quite reach, I’d smooth some on her skin. She normally has a different bottle she keeps at my house and I was at her house for some reason and this container had a pump top. I set it on the table and after placing my hand underneath, I pushed down on the spout.

“Well!” I exclaimed when the lotion spurted out of the bottle in the slender stream and ended up on my shirt and all over the couch next to me. Friend, wrapped in a large towel, looked over and laughed and after I blinked at the mess and wiped at her slipcover before giggling with her.

“That’s just not polite,” I said primly of the lotion’s behavior. “At least a bit of warning is in order before events of that nature.”

“What is with you lately?” she asked while shaking her head. “It’s like your mind’s in the gutter or something.”

“I know!” I replied, shaking my own head too after I finished with her back and rubbed the rest of the lotion into my hands. “And I’m not sure - springtime? Too much stress? One too many sexy novels? It’s a problem.”

Friend rolled her eyes, nodded and went back to her room to dress while I waited in the living room. The Cat Who Loves Too Much ended up on my lap and while I smoothed his gray coat, he began to lick my arm.

“At least I don’t go around lapping at people’s skin!” I called to her. Then I frowned when I realized if that was my best defense, I should probably calm way down. I'll work on it.

*****

“Hi, Dad,” I answered my cell phone about a week ago.

“Someone called my phone,” he told me without saying hello and I just waited for him to elaborate. “They didn’t leave a message, but I saw the missed call.”

At this I smiled. Mom had called me on her way home from work one day, exasperated beyond bearing with the man she married some 39 years ago. “And,” she said after we’d talked for a while and I giggled and soothed in response to her ranting, “he calls people back who call his cell phone accidentally! I tell him to just leave it alone and that it was probably a wrong number, but he can’t let it go! And he’s mean!

“‘You called my cell phone,’ he’ll accuse them. And when they say they don’t remember doing it, he’ll insist that they did and ask what they wanted. They didn’t want anything! It was just a mistake! And then he comes to complain about how stupid people are for calling by accident when he’s the idiot who wasted time calling them back!”

By this time I was laughing too hard to speak and she finally joined me. So my lips curved widely while I waited for Dad to tell the rest of his story.

“So I called them back,” he said, a superior tone in his voice and I bit my lip hard to keep from laughing. “And someone from a bank down there answered.”

“Oh,” I said, gulping back giggles and realizing what had happened. “My bank wants me to transfer my home equity loan to them from the company I use now. When I first opened my account there, I didn’t have my current cell phone and was still using the number you have now. Remember that when I got my own account, you took my phone? I must have forgotten to update my number when I changed it. So they called you and my secretary at work and finally wrote me an email. I wrote back and said I was selling my house soon and a conversation wouldn’t be productive. So it’s all taken care of. Sorry about that.”

“But,” he said, sounding disappointed, “they called my phone.”

“Right,” I replied. “They still thought it was mine. I’m sorry.”

“I called them back.” He was obviously determined to tell me his story anyway, so I settled in to listen. “A guy answered and I told him somebody had called my phone and I wanted to know why. He said he didn’t know, but I kept asking. Then, when he couldn’t figure it out, I said they were in your city and asked if that was right. Because I recognized the area code.”

At this point you might wonder why he didn’t lead with that information or call me directly. To which I’d answer that my dad thinks a bit differently than many of us. And this way was obviously more fun for him.

“So I told him,” Dad continued when I continued to wait patiently, “that you were down there and worked at Current Institution doing research in Specific Field. And he said that was really impressive.”

“Thanks,” I said, shaking my head but continuing to smile.

“I got his name if you want to talk to him,” Dad offered.

“That’s fine, Daddy. But thank you.” (Though maybe I should have taken it…)

“But he didn’t know why they called. But I guess you figured it out. I just don’t like it when people call my cell phone.”

“You know,” I said gently, trying to help poor Mom, “most of the time the people who don’t leave messages don’t really need to talk. So you could just forget about it.”

“I always call them back,” he said, sounding confused. “We never use all our minutes so it doesn’t cost anything. So I called this guy back on my way home from work.”

Thinking there are so many better hobbies to have and wondering if I should encourage him to write a blog, I decided instead to thank him for letting me know. And to assure him the situation was under control. Then I told him I loved him - which I really do, though I act like Mom in that I walk away from him in complete frustration a lot. And he loves me back. But if I ever call his cell phone, he'll definitely be in touch to ask me why.

*****

“How strong?” Friend asked from the kitchen last night when I nodded to her earlier question and said that yes, I did want a drink.

“One ounce will work, I think,” I said of the tequila she was pouring into orange juice. “Pretty,” I cooed at her when I noted how the grenadine pooled at the bottom. “Density differences are awesome.”

I started to sip and raised my eyebrows over the rim of my glass when she said we’d drink a bit less this time. “So as to avoid a repeat of this morning,” she elaborated when I continued to look expectant for an easing of my confusion.

“I was hungover?” I gasped with wide eyes a moment later as realization slowly dawned. “Seriously? I had no idea!” I paused for a moment to look suspiciously at the pretty drink that was orange on top and red on the bottom, ice cube melting innocently inside. “I guess that would explain the awful headache,” I mused.

“And the inability to do anything but sit around all day,” Friend added and I nodded as I slowly came around to the idea that she was right.

“Well, maybe I don’t like tequila anymore,” I declared strongly, then shrugged and took another sip before glaring at my glass again. “I felt awful!”

Friend laughed and admitted that she told her good friend and former roommate that she felt badly enough today that only drinking more could cure her. “So we’ll ease back on the quantity tonight,” she decided and I nodded in firm agreement. Then I glanced at my glass suspiciously again. So pretty, yet so dangerous…

*****

Nary a glimpse of anything meaningful. But this is all I have for you today. (So disappointing...) (For me. Not necessarily for you.)

6 comments:

Citronella said...

Not at all disappointing for us, Katie. It was very entertaining. The last snippet reminded me of my first hangover (not a huge one, but one nevertheless) – it took me the whole day to work out that I probably had too much wine and not enough water the evening before, and that that was the explanation to my headache.

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie. How have you escaped the World of the Hangover until now? My worst one was with tequila, and it took me a full hour to even sit up in bed.

- Anna

CAE said...

Your Dad sounds hilarious. Mine treats email with much the same suspicion - you should see some of the weird messages I get! Oh, and my Mum has perfected the eye roll too.

post-doc said...

Citronella:
You're terribly sweet. And I blame the awful headache and lingering exhaustion for the fact that I was so slow to realize what was happening.

Anna, my dear, you should warn me that tequila is evil! :)

CAE:
He is very funny and has no awareness of the fact that his earnest and/or angry stories are utterly amusing. Which can be charming or exasperating, depending on my mood. I hope email never does anything too terrible to your dad.

Lasserday said...

your life sounds so fun. :)

rpg said...

So pretty, yet so dangerous…

I have friends like that

*archly*

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