Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the Old Year…

After leaving the Blacksmith’s shop, Sandy drove us to Suzanne’s. She and Mom have been friends sincebefore I was born.Suzy told me a great story about how my Mom, very pregnant with me, was cursed out by a student and responded by hauling him out of the room and LITERALLY kicking his butt with every step they took down the stairs. Hee! Why didn’t she tell me that story when I was teaching in the Bronx and fantasized about being able to do such a thing? Perhaps she feared beinga bad influence. Imitating her in our modern society might have gotten me not just fired, but sued.

Suzie took us to a local Jewish deli (Choppie’s, I think). She had smoked whitefish, Mom got a salad, and Dad and I ordered Ruebens. Then the waitress brought Dad a Rueben and me a corned beef sandwich. I pointed out to the waitress that mine was missing the goop. “Oh, yeah, you said corned beef, right?” “Well, I said a Reuben with corned beef, not a corned beef sandwich. This is missing the sauce, cheese and sauerkraut.” “Oh,” she replied, “I told them to hold the cheese, because I thought that was how it was done.” Erin’s internal monologue: What? Why would you asking the kitchen to hold something if the customer didn’t ask for anything to be held?

I waited and waited for my sandwich. Dad came to my rescue and gave me half of his sandwich. (Mine would arrive as everyone else was done eating). Though the service was sub-par, the Reuben and fries were mouth-wateringly delicious enough to make up for it. The meat was juicy, tender and finely-shaved. Yum, yum, yum.

Suzie also snagged us some bagels for breakfast, which she served us with cream cheese before we took off for the airport New Year’s Eve. We made it through security pretty easily, though Mom and Dad accidentally left a bag there. Luckily, when they doubled back it was still there. Our second flight out of Dallas was delayed.

When we got to Des Moines, we were hungry. We stopped in Grimes for take-out Chinese food. The pets were ecstatic to see us, despite being spoiled in our absence by teenage house sitters. After supper, I momentarily considered hitting the road for Des Moines, trying to find some New Year’s Eve festivities. I ran through it in my head: frantic primping, driving, a few hours of partying without being able to drink because I’m driving, then driving home on roads full of drunken partiers. When I saw on Facebook that my friend Kelly was staying in, I decided I would do the same. Here’s hoping that the adage “How you spend New Year’s Eve will dictate what you will do in the New Year” isn’t true.” Actually, I could use more sleep, so maybe it’s okay after all.

I'm ready for a new year. When I left NYC, Tom told me about a blogger at "BaRou is the New Brooklyn" making a similar transition. Well, she was brave enough to proclaim 2008 a "FAIL," so I guess I can, too. Well, it was a teaching win, and I think I'm learning a lot, but I'm tired of being poor, carless and friendless. Okay, friendless is an exaggeration. I've got my roomies. Todd and I get along particularly well, but he's graduating this spring. And I keep complaining, but I can't seem to change it. Loneliness sucks. My professor thinks I've found the heart of my first book of poetry, which is great, but I need to get braver about submitting poems to magazines. Rejection sucks, too. AAARGH!

Here's hoping that 2009 leads to new adventures, opportunities and friendships.

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