11 May 2006

UV Protection

I am tempted to write something here about the way work has been today, but I am going to show some restraint and not say anything that would be nasty or unprofessional. I will tell you that the story contains the words, “You can just go Domino’s.”

So, I went to visit Birdy on my lunch today, because I have Book Club tonight and I may not see her until she is already asleep with her butt up in the air in her crib. When I got to the daycare, they had just shampooed the carpet, and again, I had weird paranoid thoughts about Birdy’s nervous system slowly shutting down due to the fumes. Also, if you walked into the infant center and one of the caregivers was stringing small plastic beads onto fishing line in the middle of the infant room floor, would you be concerned? (If you are not a parent, I will overreact for you and let you know that if she dropped ONE unnoticed bead, a tiny person would definitely put it in their mouth and choke.)

We’ve established that Book Club is not really Book Club anymore, since we all know each other much better now and don’t feel accountable for reading. It will now be called Social Club in this blog.

I used to have a t-shirt in college, faded navy blue, with light blue writing on it that said “The Club” in cursive (not athletic cursive) with a simple line drawing of a martini glass. The back said “The Westside Social Club.” It was too big and probably too loved by me—there is probably someone, somewhere saying “Remember at IU, that girl that had that bad supershort haircut and wore that damn Westside Social Club shirt all the time? I blacked out at her house.”—but it was the most awesome damn shirt. I double-dare Urban Outfitters to make one as cool. It eventually died of Major Armpit Hole that Could Not Be Fixed, which is a common disease among the aged t-shirt population. It would probably fit me, now that my body is ten years older and ten pounds heavier. I swear, I don’t remember eating in college unless you count beer as a sandwich. And some do.

To get to Birdy’s daycare I pass three crossing guards, each with their own philosophy of guarding the crossing of others.

First, the overdramatic black woman that stops traffic too long for each crossing (you’re guarding as he CROSSES, not as he disappears down the block) and over-exaggerates her pointing and mouthing “YOU. GO.” It’s like that video clip we’ve all seen in some lighthearted commercial where the policeman is boogeying down while he directs traffic, throwing a point out here! There! You go! Thank you! Cha cha cha!, except not like that and with NO fun or lightheartedness. She purses her lips so tightly after she points and says “YOU” that it looks like she’s saying “YOUP”, so it ends up being like playing charades with an intense, coked-up mime. I never see her in time and I come into the intersection a little too hot, and I always get the shrill whistling and the pointing. Sorry, lady. Youp shouldn’t take it personally.

Next is the meek white lady who stands next to her truck, never gets into the intersection at all, and waves people through with her stopsign. The school she’s working with is under construction, and the high concentration of kids is at Overdramatic’s stop, so she’s got it pretty easy.

Finally, we cross over into the territory of the old dude. His stop is pretty far away from the school, and people don’t take him seriously. In fact, he’s pretty much ignored, and it totally chaps him. He’s gotten to the point that he has become a Rotten Old Man With Something Stuck Up His Ass about the whole thing, but it’s kind of sweet and sad, like an aging, toothless lion with a traffic cone stuck in his paw. Two small stories about Old Dude:

1. Today, he was just standing on the corner, watching the cars fly by, with his arms outstretched, whistle in one hand, stop sign paddle in the other, yelling “BASTARDS!” at the cars. He has given up.

2. A few days ago I nearly flat-out ran him over as he tried to cross the street, because he was in no way watching where he was going. I found it delicious.

On my way back from daycare, where I did not stay long because I couldn’t get down and play on the moist carpet with Birdy (and playing on standing-up-mama is no fun for anyone), I stopped by a the cute little shop to replace the sunglasses I lost yesterday at the library. The ones I lost must have been pretty dirty, pretty scratched, or both, because these new ones provide a remarkably crystal-clear view of shaded everything. And they’re those giant, Paris Hilton ski goggle-sized glasses (though not obnoxious, I don’t think), and it is like having a clean, tinted windshield for my face. I love them.

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