Thursday, September 19, 2019

Ms. Fix It

Another Thursday of scattered thoughts--let me gather them:

--My spouse and I have been going out to dinner each Wednesday.  He's got about 90 minutes to fill between his last class and choir practice, which happens at our church which is literally across the street from campus.  So far, it's been fun--we choose a different place and give it a try.  It's not our home neighborhood, so we've been going to a variety of places.

--Last night was less fun.  We had less time, so we went to a diner.  It's not good for me to be able to see the kitchen folks in action.  I watched my steaming food sit under the warming lamp and watched the food cool in real time as my spouse's meal wasn't ready.  The turkey was cold, the gravy had a skin, and the broccoli had brown patches.  Really?  Really???

--At first I sent it back, but then I looked at the time, and realized I needed to be done so I could get home for my online Mepkin journaling meeting.  So I cancelled the order.  The manager came over.  He was upset that he wouldn't have a chance to make it all right.  My spouse was not thrilled, either with the quality of my food or my cancelling the order.  The waitress was sullen when we came in, and my actions didn't cheer her up.  I felt like I made everyone unhappy, and I was the one who got no dinner.

--Last night, after the diner and the computer glitchiness, I finally joined my online journaling group.  During one of our silent journaling sessions, I wrote, "My life would be so different if I didn't feel this need to fix everything."  I had been reflecting on how I felt bad that I made the manager feel bad and my spouse feel bad and the waitress wasn't any cheerier because of me, and I couldn't fix it, and how should I have responded?  Eaten the bad broccoli?  Eaten the cold food?  Taken it home to warm it up?  Even as we left there was fried chicken cooling under the lamp.  Clearly my experience hadn't led to improvement for other diners.  Am I too picky?

--And here I am, once more, wishing I could have fixed the situation that really shouldn't have existed at all.  It's basic restaurant practice, is it not?  To have the meals at the same table ready within 20 seconds of each other?  My food was under the "warming" lamp for at least 7 minutes.  Let me wrench my focus elsewhere.

--On the work front, we continue to get ready for our accreditation visit and for the Corporate audits before the accreditation visit. As I used white out to prepare a recycled tab for its new label, I had a vision of a PBS show:  Painting with White Out.  I could be the next Bob Ross!  I demonstrated the idea in my most soothing, Bob Ross painting voice: "A dab here. A swirl here. See, there are no mistakes, just something else, waiting to emerge." I think it has potential! My colleagues think I might be a bit "touched," as the elders used to say.

--From white out to other kinds of cover ups . . .

--Another story in the news of an government official in blackface in his youth.  I have never worn blackface--in 5th grade, I put my mother's green eye shadow on my face for my Halloween witch costume, and spent the next week itching.  In college, there's a picture of me with green hair.  I have a vision of a time when I'm in office and those pictures come back to haunt me:  "She was mocking Wiccans!  She was appropriating the language of punks, who are now a protected class!"

--My writing time grows short.  But I have a vision of a poem that will look at the larger ways that so many of us have been clueless about the legacy of slavery.  Maybe I'll play with this line:  We have all worn blackface.

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