Monday, April 10, 2006

complaint from a spelling geek

I just saw a Frosted Mini-Wheats commercial set at a Spelling Bee. The girl at the microphone is asked to spell "aardvark."

She starts out, "A-R..."

Then a little frosted mini-wheat tells her to concentrate. She knows this one. It's the first word in the dictionary.

She takes a breath and begins again, "A-A-R-D-V-A-R-K."

Anyone who has ever even seen a Spelling Bee knows that once the letters leave your lips, there's no taking them back. No matter who comes over and encourages you.

No matter if you've already been to the National Spelling Bee but get too cocky the following year at the silly school-level Bee and, thus, begin to spell the embarrasingly easy word "scribble" by starting with a "c."

No matter. The letters are out.

I can just hear them: Come on, no one will notice we're changing the rules a bit. Or if they do, they won't care.

Frosted Mini-Wheats, I care.

And that kid who passed out, stood up, and spelled "alopecoid" correctly and took 2nd at the National Bee definitely cares.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

where everybody knows your name

I like being a regular.

I like that when I go into Chipotle in my building, they know they need to change their gloves before they make my food to avoid flour contamination.

I like that when I walk into two different Starbucks, they know my name and my order without my having to say anything. And I have a complicated order (Venti non-fat, no-foam, 140 degree vanilla latte. Yeah. Really.).

It's nice to be a regular. There's something comforting about it. Welcoming.

But sometimes I don't want to be. And sometimes the familiarity becomes a little too, well, familiar.

Sometimes I don't want to be a regular because I actually want to order something else, but they've already started making my usual. And I don't want to hurt their feelings by saying I want something else. (Yes, I do know that that's ridiculous. I am an overly sensitive person who is overly sensitive for others as well.)

But then there's the level of familiarity.

I go to the pharmacy by work with some frequency because I am a super unhealthy person. The pharmacist there knows me by name. He does me favors like give me a dose of whatever it is before it's filled if it's going to take a while. He even gives me a cup of water to take it.

I am a regular at the pharmacy.

He's a sweet guy - kind of grandfatherly - which is nice given how much he knows about me just from filling my prescriptions.

Last week when I went in to fill a prescription, I said, "I bet I'm your least healthy customer." And he said, "No, but you are my prettiest customer."

Okay, kind of sweet.

So I go back the next day - yes, the next day - and he asks how I am. It was about a million degrees outside, so I said, "I'm really hot," and he said, "Well, that's not always a bad thing, now, is it?" with, you know, that look on his face. He got my drugs then said, "I always like it when you come in."

And now I'm a little uncomfortable, so I sign the privacy thing and leave.

This past week, I got sick for the millionth time this year. One of my many doctors was kind enough to call in some anti-nausea medication for me. I went to fill it. He took one look at my greenish pale face and handed me over my pre-dose. He told me when to come back, then said, "I'll look forward to seeing you again."

I went to work. And a couple of hours later, I left again.

I wanted the rest of those anti-nausea pills. But a) I wanted to take as few steps as possible and the drugstore is past the parking lot, and b) I didn't feel like seeing the pharmacist again.

I called in a refill for something else the next day.

I didn't want to pick it up. My drugs were just sitting there in their little bin with the pharmacist waiting for me to come in. I finally went at the end of the day yesterday because I had no other choice. They're closed on the weekends and it's downtown.

As he's getting my prescriptions, I commented on how nice it was outside, and he said, "Yeah, I've been watching out the little portal window. It looks beautiful."
He hands me my prescriptions then says, again, "I always like it when you come in." I say, "Thanks. That's nice." I sign the privacy thing. I swipe my card; sign the electronic panel. As I'm about to leave, he says, "You always brighten my day when you come in."

I said, "Thanks. That's nice," again, and "Have a good weekend," and left.

I walked outside and told my friend who was waiting for me how the pharmacist creeped me out. But then I started thinking about it. He said some things that made me uncomfortable. But, really, how bad can it be to brighten someone's day? He stands behind that counter all day, every day, dealing with people, with insurance, with doctors, and yet I've never seen him without a smile on his face.

There are people in my life who brighten my days. It doesn't generally occur to me to tell them. I should.

I am a regular at Chipotle. I am a regular at Starbucks. And I am a regular at the pharmacy.

I like being a regular.

Most of the time.

Monday, April 03, 2006

an interesting little fact.

On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be:

01:02:03 04/05/06.

That won't ever happen again.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bizarre Sighting

This morning, on my way to church - church, mind you - I saw a youngish girl standing just slightly in the road. A few guys were scattered about in front of her, next to a parked car.

As I got closer, she spread her legs, lifted her black dress over her head, bent over, and grabbed her ankles.

She had absolutely nothing on underneath.