Dance Party In The AM

I may have mentioned, Gentle Reader, that I am not a morning person.  

 My feelings are that the early hours of the day are a plot against humanity, in an attempt to turn us all into either docile cattle, ripe for the slaughter, or alternatively, into perky, happy cheerleader types–the kind of human that at zero five-thirty is so happy and friendly that, before your first coffee of the day you’d joyfully run them over with a giant Tonka truck.

Pre-job, my body clock runs closer to a burned-out 1950s Vegas lounge singer.  For me, early to bed is 2 AM. Early to rise is before 11.

So, according to Benjie Franklin, I’ll never be healthy, wealthy, or wise.

Sounds about right.

In that ridiculously early vein, imagine my abject terror when I discovered my start time, three agonizing days a week is 9:00–in the morning (!?!).  And we have a staff meeting every Saturday morning at the spine-chilling hour of 8:30.

*In lieu of flowers I ask that a fund be set up in my name supplying me hourly with the biggest, espresso-iest Starbucks they make.

You’ll then find me in the restroom; you don’t buy Starbucks, you rent it.

I’m not sure about my sleeping habits as a baby, but even in elementary school I was not a morning person, and never got better.  Is there honestly a better feeling than those stolen moments all snuggly and warm, wrapped in blankets and pushing pause on your day for a smidge?

I’d hide from the world for so long, eventually Mom would send in my dad, who had a patented tactic that was 100% successful, every time.

In one parentally peeved, military-trained move, he’d yank my bedspread, blanket, and top sheet off my formally cozy bed, and speak sternly to me.  It takes no time to wake up when one is laying, blanket-less, on a rapidly cooling mattress.

When I’ve had to rise early, it always involved complicated math, “If I don’t eat breakfast, I can sleep another eleven point sixteen minutes…if I wear slip-on shoes, I’ve got forty-five seconds.”

Math is not snuggly.

In college, I was still living at home.  One morning, there was no maternal/paternal team to get my petulant butt out of bed.  Dad was at work, and Mom had left for an all-day shopping trip with her best friend.

They had strongly cautioned me that there would be no wake-up service—I would be on my own.

So, I went to bed, secure in the knowledge that as an adult, I was fully capable of getting myself to my first class on time.  Class started at 9:30.

I walked in at 10:43.

As you can imagine, Gentle Reader, adjusting my schedule to my new job has been something of a trial.

Last week, on my way in to work early (!?!), a passing encounter colored the entire day.

At a light, I was dancing-ish along to the radio playing “You dropped a bomb on me” by the Gap Band when Diana Ross came on and began informing listeners, “I’m coming out”.  Giddy with lack of sleep, I continued dancing, and began to sing along.

There was a white pickup truck stopped next to me.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw it move up a few feet.  I glanced over.

There was the driver, dancing and singing, “I’m coming out”! 

Until the light changed, we had a dance party better than American Bandstand and Soul Train combined.  It was a serendipitous feeling of pure delight that brightened my entire day.

Me: in a station wagon, dancing, badly.  You: in a white pickup, dancing and making me smile for hours.

Thank you.

Thanks for your time.

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Well, That’s Stupid

Some big news concerning the Matthews Family Band.

I have what the tech-savvy youth call a side gig.  While writing is my primary passion and vocation, not all writers make Stephen King, Danielle Steel money.  My financial remuneration for scribbling is more along the lines of grocery list writers and bathroom stall philosophers.

A girl gotta make some bank somehow, Gentle Reader.

So, I assessed my skill set.  And, what I may (no may about it) do better than writing, is talking.  I’m also naturally friendly and someone who can talk to anyone.  Except for Tammy Faye Baker; she and Jim had a kids’ show that I loved when I was little.  I met her years ago and humiliated myself by sobbing. 

And Henry Winkler, the classically trained actor best known for his role as the uber-cool Fonz on Happy Days.  When I met him, I lost the power of coherent speech.  Did you know one can actually make that cartoon, “hummina-hummina” sound when overwhelmed?

Anyway, those talents mean I’m a pretty good salesperson. 

I got a job with a car dealership here in town.  After a week of video classes, and two days of getting to drive every fully loaded model (insanely fun), I actually start attempting to sell cars tomorrow.

Telling you, Gentle Reader, where I’m working would be hugely unethical, so I won’t.  But, I answer each and every note sent to my contact email—just saying.

A famous car dealer from California; Cal Worthington and his dog Spot.

I’ve had a few surprises concerning this new venture.

Contrary to the cliché, I’ve not met any sleazy, slippery dudes out to sell you a lemon, and steal your wives and daughters.  They’ve all been genuinely nice to me.  And not a sharkskin suit among them.

Brand-new cars come off the truck with just enough gas to get them to a parking spot.  Which makes sense, you don’t want a bunch of full gas tanks collected onto a big truck for a long trip on the highway.  Your friendly neighborhood salesperson gasses them up at a local gas station. In the past few days, I’ve filled up seven or eight shiny new vehicles.

And not every salesperson has an office, or a desk out in the showroom.

There is a whole room full of cubicles for the newbies and such.  I’ve taken to calling it the bullpen.  In the bullpen, there are also a couple of people who schedule service appointments.

The other day I was at my desk when I heard one of the schedulers talking about locksmiths and tow trucks.  When he hung up, he said to me, “I may have offended him.”

It seems the poor guy had locked his wallet in the glove compartment and then lost his car keys.  My co-worker informed him that locking his wallet in the glove box was a bad idea. 

“Do you think that might have made him angry?”

I replied, “I’m sure as soon as he realized he couldn’t get to his wallet, he knew putting it there was a dumb idea.  So, yeah, I think you offended him.”

I know that’s true, because Petey thinks it’s hilarious to tell me that I shouldn’t have done whatever action it was that was so dumb it re-sunk the Titanic.

It’s infuriating.

Also infuriating.

So, when someone around you has done something feeble-minded that has resulted in anything from a minor inconvenience to a full-on disaster, don’t tell them that.  I promise you, they already know.

Instead, nurture, comfort, and commiserate.  It may not be as funny, but it will be met with gratitude and affection.  And nobody will be tempted to punch you in the nose.

Thanks for your time.

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