Sunday, March 09, 2008


I took my reliable RAV-4 into a shop to get its oil changed (I went synthetic this time around; more expensive, but apparently better for the environment, and lasts longer). I was there two hours and 45 minutes, which is lame, but the place is cheap and I trust them.

I ended up spending over $100 because I also needed new wipers and an air filter. Last week, I was int he same place and spent over $100 for a new tire after driving over a nail. With that, paying for my father's ticket to Europe, and paying a $500 hospital bill from before my insurance kicked in, I'm not as flush as I'd like to be. Also --- did I mention this already? --- Prestigius is prorating my salary, and spreading it out over eight months, so I'm getting less per check than I thought I'd be. Next year my salary will be as advertised, but now it's no more than I was getting at the old pre-K. Of course, we might be in a Great Depression by next September, so I'm abjectly grateful for everything I can get.

At the auto place's rather cramped waiting area, there was this businesswoman who sat at the row of chairs with one leg stretched out to cover the chair next to her, talking loudly on a cell phone. Instantly, I took a dislike to her; I'm always turned off by women who think that committing acts of rudeness is how men can be "assertive." If a guy put his foot on a vacant chair in a crowded room like that, it would be considered aggressive and ill-bred, not confident and admirably alpha.

As she droned on and on (and I sat next to the sole of her shoe, trying to read), I smirked and rolled my eyes at her stories of clients and billable hours. I thought to myself that here was a stereotypical empty-headed business drone, dropping buzzwords and acting as though the whole world were her office.

When her interminable conversation turned toward politics, she said that she was interested in having a woman president because it would be "inspiring for the girls." Because that's a good reason to support a contender for one of the most powerful positions int he world; little Ashlee and Morgan might be impressed and see once and for all that girls can do anything boys can.

But after a while, I snapped out of that judgmental attitude. I don't know what it was exactly --- her normal, unsculpted body, her less than Versace clothes, or the fact that she ended her 45-minute conversation with "bye, Mom" --- but I stopped giving a shit what her problem was. I even felt a little bit sorry for her, to tell you the truth, although both the soulless drone and the pitiful wannabe were equally likely unreal eidolons of my own construction.

Anyway, I thought to myself, "There's someone who's trying to live, that's all. Somebody with ideals and expectations and hopes and a self-image they're trying to live up to."

And I stopped caring that her foot was there.

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