Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dramarama: Updated

The day after I started working at the coffee shop, I met a middle-aged couple. The man, Brian, seemed personable enough, but the woman, Donna, seemed catty (and is). They’d come in every Thursday. One day, I saw them kiss. They’d walk arm-in-arm, rub each other’s hands together and stare into each other’s eyes. Next thing I know, Donna is sitting at the same table with another man, reciting those very actions. Only this time, she’s very passionate about it and I’ve discovered she likes an audience. The new man, Jason, used to own the coffee shop. Donna soon announced their engagement. Then, one day, Brian was sitting there with his large mocha, no whip, and suddenly very upset and spending almost an hour telling a tearful Donna that Jason isn’t the right one for her.

“Donna, listen to me. Imagine that you’re a little kid again and you’re learning
to ride your bike for the first time, or you’re running a race. There’s a person
at the finish line. Who do you see? Do you really think Jason would be waiting
for you?”
Ah, and let me tell you there was one dying barista who was wrapping scones behind the counter and trying to keep a straight face that entire time. This was turning out to be a full season of Marina instead of the Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Jason came in (right on queue) and stared Brian out the front door.

Fastforward to a few days ago: I decided that I needed to get out. There’s another coffee shop where I like to sit, sip my Nantucket Nectar, and count how many people run the stop sign before a cop drives past. I decided that I couldn’t sit inside all day, every day, and avoid further dramas or confrontations. Even my parents told me: it’s stupid, and I should be able to leave home without feeling that way.

Almost instantly after I entered the coffee shop, who did I see but Donna and Brian? Donna waved, thus compelling me to go and talk to them.

“Brian, you remember her–the girl from the other coffee shop?” Donna asked.

“Oh yes!” Brian said. “It’s too bad that shop closed down.”

“Yeah, there’s been a lot of weird stuff going on,” I admitted. “Like, you heard that I got fired, right?” Oh, right. Donna was there when I was loudly explaining to my manager the unfairness of the matter. Just remembered.

“Mary, you were not fired,” Donna said in a very calm, manner-of-fact tone. “I saw the whole thing, and you were not fired.”

“Well, I sort of was,” I replied. “Lacey wouldn’t let me on the schedule. The only time she told me I could work was the time she knew I wouldn’t be able to.”

“Exactly,” Donna replied. “Don’t keep telling people that you were fired. You parted ways, and that’s all.”


“No, you just parted ways,” Donna added a nod in for emphasis.

Then, one of them asked me what my plans were for college, and I replied honestly that I did not know.

“I’ve decided that I’m going to let God decide,” I replied. “He certainly knows what’s best for me, far more than I know.”

“Yes, well sometimes you just need to decide,” Donna replied. “What is it that you’d really like to do?” Police work, duh. “Then do that. That’s it. Don’t let anyone else tell you what to do.” Yes, but I’m not cut out for that sort of work. I’m not in the least bit athletic. “Mary…Mary. Cops are not athletic. Have you seen some of the ones around here?” She laughed a little.

Her tone was certainly condescending. Not to mention the fact that she sort of made a pass at my religion (as if my trusting in God wasn’t enough for me), she also dissed the only group of people around here that treat me with respect. Then, she also wanted to know my work plan for the summer and I mentioned that, aside from the coffee shop, I’d like to babysit. Donna said she’d love to hire me to dogsit her 8-year-old Yorkshire Terrier and Brian remembered a previous engagement. (Ironic, yet no puns intended)

“I should be on my way soon,” he said. “My wife has a girls-night-out tonight, and I’m stuck with the kids.”

“Aw, how many kids do you have?” I asked.

“Three kids," Brian said, unhappily. "Eight, six, and five months."

Oi, not only am I a weird one who goes on police ride-alongs, but I also happen to like little kids, and have always wanted a handful of my own someday. To hear someone who has kids and talks about them in that manner…is slightly astounding. Lately, I’ve also wanted to babysit, not just for a means of income, but because I think babysitting is fun. It’s one of the things that I have in relation with policework. You know, disciplining people who later try to kill you (even if it is with bowls of corn and little people lunging at you from the armrests of couches). Well, maybe it’s an unfair comparison, but you get the idea.

One thing that’s been mentioned to me several times: Why don’t I just apply to the new coffee shop?

First off, there are three people that work there, and I’ve deemed all of them, um, unsuitable. The first was superly friendly to me the first time, and ignored me thereafter. The second laughs really loud and annoyingly, and bounces around, and talks about how even though she was drunk what makes her think she’d want people loitering and puking on her doorstep? Both girls give me odd looks. As in: what is she doing here? Again? And I’ve only been there a total of three times in the past two months.

I mean, I’m just there writing about bodies washing up on shores, and criminal masterminds who fancy to explode SUVs, and teenage girls who try to take over the world. All in all, I’m told I act very sweet, so I don’t know what their problems are.

Then there’s the guy who doesn’t know what double chocolate is. One day, I asked him if they had the chocolate chip cookies that they used to have.

“These?” he asked and pointed to some regular chocolate chip cookies.

“No, but those look good, too,” I replied. “These were double-chocolate. Ya know, like all chocolate? Not white dough, but brown? I’ve gotten them the past few times I was here, but I guess you guys ran out or something.”

“I think you mean these,” he said and pointed again to the same cookies.

I can’t work with people who cannot properly identify chocolate. You might as well fire me for calling the cops.
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