Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In those steps to a stress-free life, the one that suggests learning to laugh at yourself, I say don't be selfish - let others laugh at you too

For most of us, life is a courtship of things we want or fear. For me, life is a courtship of things that will embarrass me.

Take this morning, for example.

I decided to get my coffee and paper and take Cheyenne to the park for a while because it was actually fairly cool in comparison to the boiling hell that the afternoon would become.

Then I thought about breakfast tacos, and drove to the restaurant around the corner, El Rey. My friend pointed out to me earlier today that I should cease going to El Rey because I always do something to embarrass myself when I’m there. (I’d like to say right here that I love her for supporting me by putting at least some of the blame on the location.) She was referring to the last time I was in the drive-thru there, when I stumbled upon one of my friends in line on a scooter ahead of the car before me. She was with someone she wasn’t supposed to be with at a time she was supposed to be at work in the first place, and I decided the best thing to do would be just own up to my presence there. I called out to her, but she of course ignored me because she was mortified to be caught. But I pressed on because I was mortified as well and just wanted to get it all out in the open that I was, you know, in the know. So I called her name a bit louder, but only when I honked my car horn did she finally turn around to acknowledge me. Sadly, the moment I realized she was a complete stranger was when she looked at me with eyes that not only shouted that I was a public nuisance but also that I needed to stop calling after her with a name that was not her own and stop honking my horn because if I didn't do both those things right now, she would be more than happy to get off that scooter and kick my ass.

At which point I scooted as far down in my seat as I could because I didn't have a rock in my car that I could climb under.

So, yeah, that’s what happened the last time I was at El Rey.

This morning I put in my order, drove up to the window and handed over my money. And then settled down for the wait because there is always a long wait at El Rey and if you want to be exact, it's really in the space of that wait that I get into trouble. Eyeing the pink ribbon that I bought yesterday to go on my friend’s birthday gift later this month (yes, Shannon, that’s you), I picked it up and looked at Cheyenne who had no clue what was coming next.

Wrapping the ribbon around her head, and tying it into a big loopy bow, I kissed her nose and told her how very pretty she was and oh my goodness you are just bootaful in your new bow, pretty pretty girrrrrlll, mmmmmmmmm yes you are, oh yes you are. And on and on with other pathetically gooey stuff that only drips from my mouth when we are alone because it’s full blown baby talk and I believe I’ve already stated here that I cannot stand baby talk. And yet this is my confession that my membership card to the hypocrisy club is a platinum one because although I can’t stand it, it is how I secretly speak to my dog.

Until this morning, that is.

I turned to check where my order was and what I saw was the cashier holding my change out her window, looking into my open window and cracking up. My smile quickly fell from my face and I felt the redness appear in my cheeks. With my left hand I took the change while simultaneously reaching over and pulling the ribbon off Cheyenne’s head with my right. The cashier shut her window and walked back to the kitchen shaking her head. I could tell by the movement in her shoulders that she was still laughing.

Let me say this about her laughter, it was not what you would call with me.

Pretty girl

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