Sunday, June 26, 2011
I'm old as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!
But the times they are a-changing.
I'm tired of takin' it, and especially paying good money for takin' it. Over the last couple of years, I've walked out mid-haircut (before too much damage was done), asked for and gotten better restaurant service (yes, I want my water glass filled and butter with the bread; no, I don't want to sit next to the restroom or kitchen), and grilled my doctors when my questions aren't being answered in a straight-forward way.
Just last week I walked out ten minutes into a dental cleaning. I've never walked out mid-dental service, but I raised at least three objections to the dental hygienist as she continually sprayed water up my nose, gouged my gums, and ignored my concerns, and it didn't take me long to realize this cleaning could turn out badly. The whole experience was weird, as if the dental hygienist was making me pay for whatever bad things were going on in her life. As someone who's had lots and lots of cleanings over the years, it didn't take me long to realize this wasn't going to end well. I stopped the cleaning and walked out.
I don't know if good service and client care are sliding to a bottomless pit these days, or if I'm just turning into a crotchety old broad. But I find I have less and less patience with not getting what I pay for or not being treated in a respectful, professional manner by service providers.
Perhaps one of the benefits of getting older is a new-found spirit of demanding the services expected and paid for. And if that's the case, I'm ready to barrel into my golden years!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
How To Succeed In Business And Have Fun Doing It
Yes, I just saw Broadway's revival of the Frank Loesser musical "How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying." I'm here to say it was simply wonderful. I was looking for something light-hearted, sing-alongable, colorful, and that's exactly what I found at the Hirshfeld Theatre this afternoon. It's the 50th anniversary of the show, the third rendition (Robert Morse originated the role in 1961; and remember Matthew Broderick's Finch in the 1995 revival?), and stars Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette. And that's Anderson Cooper's voice reading excerpts from "the book."
Yes, Daniel Radcliffe can sing and dance and talk like an American. No mention of Voldemort in the entire production. And John Larroquette's comedic skills are perfect for J.B. Biggley. The whole production - songs, sets, cultural references, costumes - are a yummy throwback to the early 1960s. So the secretaries wear delicious little dresses, suits, hats, and gloves - very Mad Men, but much more colorful. The set is a corporate vari-colored honeycomb. And I think I was the only person in the audience that got the reference to Metrecal. The only current cultural reference I caught was Finch declaring his love for Rosemary by jumping up and down on the couch Tom Cruise-style.
And what an energetic show! Almost every number is full-out all-singing, all-dancing, all-working up a sweat. Man, am I tired! Here's a little sneak preview:
At the curtain call the cast did a little reprise of "Brotherhood of Man," with the audience singing along. Just another something I can add to my resume, with singing on Broadway with Liza Minelli (Spamalot) and my Broadway stage debut at Spring Awakening. So now I'm feeling all Broadway-comfy-cozy. Yum.
Oh, aren't you proud to be
In that fraternity?
The great big Brotherhood of Man!
Thursday evening, I participated in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge with Team 815 from the Episcopal Church Center. While I'd walked in similar events in Atlanta, I'd never joined my colleagues in NYC for this annual race. The event is so popular in New York that it has to be held on two consecutive days to accommodate the 30,000 registrants.
We struck out from our offices at 815 Second Avenue at 5:30 and headed toward the subway and on to the staging area in Central Park, inside 72nd Street entrance. Our group was assigned the Orange area, where a table and sign awaited our team. Our "security" volunteers took possession of our worldly goods and spread the table with water, fruit, and cookies. (Thank you for watching our stuff, Eric, Sharon, and Esther!)
I stayed well to the left to allow runners to pass. But anyone who knows me knows that I'm a fast walker, and I was often outpacing folks with non-white bibs. It was a lovely, breezy evening, and the 3.5-mile loop around the park was quite enjoyable. A couple of people commented on my shirt (it had the Episcopal Church logo) as they passed me, so I'm assuming they were good Episcopalians.
I crossed the finish line with a time of 59:44, not great, but respectable for an old broad.
All in all, a lovely evening stroll.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Six Decades of Adorable
We staked out a prime pool spot - far enough away from frolicking children, but close enough to the pool for a quick dip - and circled the lounge chairs. Time goes quickly when you're catching up on families, trips, health issues, and remember-whens. Add time in the whirlpool, sauna, and steam room, and you've got yourself a winning vacation experience.
One night we hit the Sleuth Mystery Dinner Show and had a ball. The show was funny, our table-mates were fun, and the wine kept flowing. None of us got the solution right, but we laughed ourselves silly and enjoyed the meal and camaraderie.
We've all completed six decades, except for two who cross that line next month, and we loved celebrating that achievement together. Something tells me that we'll be celebrating eight and nine decades together, God willing.
And we'll still be adorable!
Saturday, June 04, 2011
The Gathering of the Girls
Four of us have been together since we were in first grade at Barger Elementary School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We survived six years there and three at Brainerd Jr. High before heading across the river to Chattanooga "City" High, where we met girlfriend #5.
Years of slumber parties, Twist contests, transistor radios and 45's, pimples, bad hair days-weeks-years, Bobbie Brooks sweaters, Weejuns, pep rallies, and English compositions mean that not a one of us can bullshit the others. We all know too much. We knew each other when.
Do you know how freeing that is? And more comfortable than sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt.
One thing's for sure. We can't lie about our ages. We're all 1951 babies, so we have a lot of decades to celebrate this year. The members of this little quintet are stereotypically named (according to the Most Popular Girl Names of 1951): Linda (#1), Mary (#2), Susan (#6), and two - count 'em, two! - Sharons (#13). No mistaking which era we're from, no siree.
We will catch up with each other - grandchildren, childrens' milestones, one new marriage, vacations, mission trips, work, aches and ailments - and, of course, we'll talk about other folks (good Christian gossip, of course). We'll eat and drink well, sun ourselves, swim, laugh, and do a lot of remembering-when. And after five full days, we won't have scratched the surface of stuff to talk about. That's just what happens when friends get together.
I'll try to report live from Orlando, but I may be too busy talking. Or eating. Or drinking. But probably talking.
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