Scene: a dressing room. Insert intermittent laughter.
Me: “What size are these bras?”
Gail: “36 D’s and DD’s.”
Me: “You have enormous areolas.”
Gail: “That might make me self-conscious if I hadn’t had hundreds of men compliment them.”
Me: “Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.”
Gail: “‘Ooooh, look. It’s a full moon.'”
Me: “Did any of them actually say that?”
Gail: “No. But who do you think would?”
Me: “Cam. Definitely Cam.”
Gail: uncontrollable agreeing laughter
Me: “Do you ever lick your own nipples during sex?”
Gail: “No. I can’t reach them.”
Me: “Seriously? How?”
Only now do I realize that there were probably other people in the dressing room to hear that exchange. We tend to overshare.
I once sat quietly at the vet with tears endlessly rolling down my face. I lost three pets in a day years ago and blame myself (though the ex-husband with the matches might be a better target) and that day my Judybug was hurting and I couldn’t fix it. Gail rubbed her hand over my back as I tearfully joked about how we definitely looked like lovers. We decided we could pull off sisters, both being white and brunette, so we said it like 11 times when no one had asked. It was super convincing. We should be spies. Codenames: Flamingo and Whore.
When I was 5 years old, my grandpa died of lung cancer. I thought it would be a nice idea if we just propped his body up and pretended he was still alive. I think I suggested it, because someone told me it was illegal. I decided I’d hide him in the hamper, because that’s where I hid during hide-and-go-seek. Gail hears super-human skills for denial at a young age in this story. I hear the tale of a selfless child who would break the law and give up her favorite hiding place to keep her grandpa near.
I have three different customers who look astoundingly like Levar Burton, Vincent Van Gogh, and a chihuahua. I want to tell them so, terribly. I don’t. None of those are compliments. I kind of want to hum the Reading Rainbow theme song just to see if he joins in enthusiastically. I get told I look like Velma from Scooby Doo all the time. I’d be thrilled to hear someone randomly exclaim “JINKIES!”
A coworker once yanked my Kindle from in front of me (THE HORROR!!!!!) to look at the print, exclaiming “Wow, I wish I could read print that small!” I don’t. I had an explicit sex scene on the screen at that very moment. We’re talking key terms like “errection” and “tight sheath.” I once tried to show the same coworker a picture on my phone, only to have forgotten about the picture of Black lesbian sex I’d sent one of the guys as a joke. Let’s hope she couldn’t see a thumbnail picture that small either.
A woman recently declared that her son did not have a library card, though it was in her name and had the correct birthdate. I tried to suggest a situation in which someone may have used her name.
Me: “I really don’t know. It may have been an aunt or maybe dad’s girlfriend or something.”
Customer: defensively “Okay. I am dad’s girlfriend.”
She was clarifying that she was indeed with the father of her children. I understand that I work in a lower income, highly diverse area, but this was not a sterotype. I suggested two random situations we’ve had repeatedly. I did not say “I don’t know. Why don’t you axe yo’ baby daddy?”, though the look on her face said differently. I can try with all my might to be P.C., but people have really got to try and meet in the middle by not taking everything so damned personally.
When I was married, I would ask my ex-husband to clean, since he wouldn’t work. He wouldn’t do it no matter the methods I used (leaving him alone, nagging him, screaming at him, encouraging him) so I’d do it myself. Then, he’d grab the trashbags from my hands yelling that I never gave him the chance and was just manipulating him. I just wanted a clean fucking house. For the longest time, after the divorce, my house was spotless. Today it’s clean enough, but clothes are scattered everywhere. I think it’s a sign that I’m healing. Then again, I went to sleep cradling my gun in its sock like a stuffed animal a week ago. Maybe not. LOL my pain!
Coworker C was trying to be friendly last night as I read a paranormal romance book. I’ve shared this interest with a couple of the female employees, but that’s all. I’d just finished another and he asked:
Cowork C: “What’s the name of that one?”
Me: “I don’t even know.” I did fucking, too. It was Pleasures of a Dark Prince and I was not saying that.
Coworker C: gestures for me to turn it over. I do and there’s a receipt taped to the front so no one can see the cover art.
Me: “I just… uh… it’s part of of… um… it’s just some series… the uh… dark immortals… or immortals dark… or uh something… um Immortals After Dark. Yeah that’s it. It’s paranormal romance. Not something you’d be interested in.”
It was the verbal equivalent of tripping over a chair and I rocked it.