Just Say No

Will I never learn?

It’s happened again. Someone I’ve never met who is now working for my ex-boss has an Important Document that needs to be translated, it’s grippingly interesting, really, there’s just this one thing… it’s a tome with an undisclosed number of pages (I am in possession of “chapter 2” which is already 28 pages long) and needs to be done by next Friday.

“What about M.?” I ask. (M. is the staff person who usually handles this kind of thing.)
“He’s on vacation.”
How convenient for him.
“Is there anyone else you can call to help?”

I’ll spare you the details (you have my son Brendan to thank for that. I wrote down all the details, including the part where it went from a one-week to a one-day deadline, but when I asked him what he thought he said, “Mom, I don’t think you should put that on your blog.” I still have a lot to learn about blogging.) Suffice it to say I just spent the better part of the day doing a job that I should never have accepted, and extricating myself from continuing it well into next week.

Why don’t I listen to my inner gatekeeper when she screams “NO! You have other much more fun stuff to do!!” ? Other people can say “Look, this is your mess, not mine. No thanks.” All I manage to say is, “Isn’t there anyone else you can call?” I have an exciting article to write about the Deep Horizon oil spill. And in the story I’m writing, I’m just at the part where the woman is about to tell her husband that she’ll have to have an eye operation. All this took the backseat so I could play linguistic roto-rooter? What, am I crazy?

I should do a better job of channeling Nancy Reagan.

Speaking of drugs, just last night during dinner we were listening to Hotel California.

“Whatever happened to the Eagles?” I ask.
Brendan tells me the band still exists, but isn’t any good any more.
“They probably did too many drugs,” I say.
“That’s what Hotel California’s about, I think,” says Brendan.
“All rock bands do too many drugs,” says Luc, definitively. I wonder how he knew that. “That’s why I’m not going to join a rock band.”

Phew. Check that one off the list.

I had a pleasant surprise while grocery shopping the other day. This potato. How long had it been sitting there and no one else snapped it up? I felt warm and fuzzy all the way to the checkout. I don’t buy potatoes very often, but I was planning to make carrot soup that day. The last time I made carrot soup, it looked vaguely puke-like. I was thinking that adding a potato or two would help with the smoothness factor. (I forgot to add the potato, of course, when I made the soup. But it turned out fine this time.)

I love life’s little surprises. Carrot soup that is smooth and tastes delicious. Potatoes that say “I love you.”

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