Thursday, October 07, 2004

next speaker, please

It's Day 1 of spring break my senior year of high school and I'm on drop-mom-off-at-work duty so I can use her car all day. What better way to ease the pain and inconvenience of having to get up so early on my vacation than to stop at McDonald's and treat myself to breakfast?

As this thought occurs to me, I begin mentally patting myself on the back for being such a genius. Ah, hindsight.

So I pull up to the first big menu board at the McDonald's drive thru and roll down my window. I can smell my greasy vittles a-cookin' as I hear the Less Than Enthusiastic Drive Thru Attendant say, "Next speaker, please." So I lean out the window and proceed to order.

Me: "Hi. I'd like hashbrowns and a small orange juice."

LTEDTA: Silence.

Me: "Hello??"

LTEDTA: "Next speaker, please."

Me: "Oh, hi. I'd like hashbrowns and a small orange juice."

LTEDTA: Silence.

Me: "Hello? Are you there? Can you hear me? I said I want hashbrowns and a small orange juice."

LTEDTA: "Next speaker, please."

Me: (Louder) "Hi. Thanks. I said I would like HASH...BROWNS...and a SMALL...ORANGE...JUICE."

LTEDTA: Silence.

I snap my head back in the car in frustration. Argh...the nerve. I just want my bloody breakfast, you morons! Well forget it, there's no one in line in front of me and there's a bagel shop across the parking lot so I decide to take my business elsewhere. Serves 'em right.

I pull out of the drive thru agressively and try to shake off my irritation. After winding through the strip mall parking lot with no luck for a few minutes, I find my car once again facing the entrance to the McDonald's drive thru and decide it's meant to be. I will get my hashbrowns and orange juice, damn it. I will!

So I pull up to the first menu board again and roll my window back down.

Me: "Hello?"

LTEDTA: "Next speaker, please."

Me: "Yes, hi. That's me. I'd like hashbrowns and a small orange juice, please."

LTEDTA: "Next speaker, please."

Me: "For crying out loud. I AM the next speaker!! Can't you hear me? I want HASHBROWNS and a SMALL ORANGE JUICE."

LTEDTA: Silence.

Hmmm, suddenly I notice that the creepy man waiting in line behind me is exiting his large van and walking toward my car. For a split second I hope that instead of rape or kidnap me, he intends to take care of business and set this drive-thru idiot straight.

Creepy Man: "Um, excuse me, miss. I think they want you to pull up to the next speaker."

And so he did.

Me: "Oh...um...uh huh." (Bashful smile) "Yeah. Uh, thanks."

Turns out maintaining your pride leaves a way better taste in your mouth than hashbrowns and orange juice.

Posted by Poka Bean at 4:49 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

raised by wolves

I have mentioned before that my boyfriend isn't into nicknames or terms of endearment. He falls into (he'd prefer reigns) the alpha-male category and would sooner choose to guzzle a 40-ouncer of Ipecac or chew off his own feet than be called something so emasculating as "sweetie" or "honey". He's strong and athletic, a rugged outdoorsman who'd be perfectly content to take off into the woods by himself for a week and eat nothing but peanut butter and crickets and small woodland creatures that he kills with his bare hands.

Okay, that last bit was perhaps a slight exaggeration, but work with me here.

I think maybe my roommate said it best when she proclaimed, "I just can't picture him coming from a mother. I think he must have been raised by wolves." Now, don't misunderstand me. He's not some heartless beast or savage. He's completely house broken and he functions very well in civilized society. He's sweet, intelligent, thoughtful, and handsome and most importantly, actually did come from a human mother, a very loving and nurturing one no less. It's just that he's a true man's man and he doesn't like anything messing with that, particularly something so unnecessary as sweet talk.

So unfortunately, this poses a wee problem for a natural-born nicknamer such as myself. After watching him wince on numerous occassions when I've called him something so offensive as "sweetheart" or "darling", I have asked in great frustration, "So, what CAN I call you?" And every time the answer has been the same: "Just call me by my name. Call me Jon."

So that's what I've been doing. Or trying to do, at least. I've slipped a few times with a "babe" or a "love" here and there but he has graciously let those go. In fact, out of nowhere he recently thanked me for working so hard on specific areas of our relationship, a thoughtful statement that I treasured and translated to mean, among other things, "Thank you for respecting the fact that I don't like to be called gooey pet names and for making an effort not to use them."

And I've got to tell you, I'm kind of beginning to like it. I'm not sure I'm willing to admit this to him yet but I'm learning there's something very powerful about calling the person you love by name and something even stronger about hearing them call you by yours.

More selfishly, I have to confess that the satisfaction of being able to do something small to lift him up has significantly quelled my (minor) disappointment at not being called by terms of endearment myself. And even though I don't get the traditional affectionate nicknames, I should mention in Jon's defense that he has established a few of his own to replace the old standards. I get the aforementioned Evil Jungle Princess, the periodic Foul Temptress of the Night (a name that is completely obscure and not at all the product of a juicy story like it might sound), and my personal favorite, Abblesauce.

So I'm thinking since these fly I may soon be able to get Raised by Wolves on his approved list. That would help confirm for the nicknamer in me that I'm not altogether at a loss.

Posted by Poka Bean at 2:39 PM 1 comments