Thursday, January 24, 2002

Visitors From The Past

The day thusfar: Up at 7:30. Readied kids for school. Doug took Geoff, I have to pick up. Went back to bed. Slept until noon. Dishes. email. Find babysitter for tomorrow night (successful, thank you!) off to Wal-Mart to get my niece's birthday gift (she just turned 1) and some other sundry items. Get Geoff, visit lenscrafters to get his glasses adjusted (they were all bent out of shape). home.

That's right I slept until noon. After everyone was out of the house, I started dishes and said "screw it..." and got back in bed. The phone didn't ring once, no kids were here fighting and waking me up demanding bowls of cereal. The dog slept with me, and it was gray and rainy and dark and gloomy. It felt good to sleep.

Doug's birthday wasn't thrilling. I got him a card and a cake. Had the kids sign the card (geoff can't spell his name right, he puts a series of random letters down and says "That's my name!That's Geoff!") I put 35 small candles on the cake just for a larf. Damn. That's a lot of candles.

By the way, the 35th candle is for a measure of good luck. I always put one more than the age of the person just to say let's count forward. Jessie wanted to use the candle 3 and 4 from each of their birthday cakes (I have saved all the candles, the big number kinds, from their birthday cakes. Each of them have their own number 1 in a little box, and then I've used the 2, 3, 4 and 5 twice, the 6, 7, 8 and 9 all sit waiting to be used again by Geoff...). She was disappointed that I didn't want to use them but I told her they were special to me, and that it was damn funny to use 35 candles.

35 birthday candles throw off a lot of light.

I made scallops and shrimp and a wild rice casserole for dinner. It was okay. I want to make broiled scallops like they do at a restaurant. I want them to be all crusty with the ritz crackers baked in those little ceramic ramakins... the kinds that burn you when you try and get the scallops out. The scallops last night didn't come out quite that good but they were alright.

I bought Doug's gift today... a fry daddy. So we can do buffalo wings right! Yeee haw! It's something I know he's always wanted, something he's debated over and always passed up on. He says his temptation towards fried foods will be his undoing. That'll come in handy for this weekend when the Steelers and Pats play. I'm so grooving on it. I just like wicked good deep fried buffalo wings. They don't come out right on the stove or broiled in the oven. meh.

I got a call today from a friend of mine from the company I used to work for in Marblehead. She told me that one of our old co-workers, Dan, is coming for a visit THIS weekend! I am so happy.

Dan was a software programmer there, and he, Dara and Kenna sat in this dark little room and did their programming thing all day long. I always loved talking to Dan... he was tall, greying prematurely but sporting it well, thin, smiley, smart, nerdy and intelligent all at once. He was a great person to have around.

We would drive to the ice cream stand on occassion to have ice cream breaks -- just leave work and go. That always seemed so dangerous to me, I was sure we were going to be fired. I had always worked places where if they didn't know where you were every moment they were looking for you to fire you. But we'd get ice cream and we'd talk.

Dan started doing this little thing called a "humanity moment." We'd all four get together, Kenna, Dan, Dara and myself, and say one nice thing that had happened that day, or one nice thing about someone in the office. One thing we were thankful for. It was usually when we were so busy and stressed, that this was a way to step back from things and get a grip, relax. It was always so much fun.

Everywhere I've worked since I've tried to instill the "humanity moment" concept. At this last company, we surely didn't do it enough. I'd get together with a few girls and we'd do ice cream and humanity. No bitching. And it always felt good... but I should have done it more.

Dan left the company to move to Chicago with his true love. When he left, he hugged me goodbye and I cried like a freak. It was the hardest goodbye I've ever had to give.

After a while the humanity moments dried up... Kenna stopped speaking to me (still have NO idea what I did or said to piss her off... she moved away and I got her email and sent her a message recently and she didn't reply, so... uh. okay.) and Dara moved to another company. I had Geoff. I moved on to the college job.

When I was in the hospital trying not to have Geoff, Dan would call me from Chicago to check up on me.

My friends who were two towns away at work wouldn't even come visit.

It mattered a lot to me, and meant a great deal, that he made that effort from 1/3 the country away. It kept me sane, that someone outside the building aside from my husband cared.

It was a humanity moment. In all the jobs I've had, a few people trail along with me through the years who made a difference to me at the time I was 'in the trenches' with them in the workplace, and Dan is one of the big stars in my sky.

So he'll be here Saturday afternoon and evening. I have to talk to Doug and see if he is game to go hang out with people he doesn't even know.

I have to go make dinner now... the kids are getting hungry!

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