[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
alas, poor norm. i knew him not.
these days i’m a bit of a gadget girl. typically, i am not a gadget girl. but, these days i’m forced into gadgetry as part of my job.
so, these days i’m a bit of a gadget girl. i’m toting around a shiny treo 600.
some of you just said one of the following things:
while others simply said “ahwhah?”
it’s a phone. it’s email. it’s the web. it’s a camera. it’s about $600 retail. and so, for me, i’m thinking that for $600 i should be able to use it like that thing on star trek where you just say what you want and it makes it appear, like “hot fudge sundae” and a hot fudge sundae magically appears on your desk. now that i’d pay $600 for. but, since it doesn’t make hot fudge sundaes…or pad kee mao…or vodka, i wouldn’t cough up $600 for it.
anyway, i was carrying it with me last week while i was in miami in case i had to field any support calls. i was on a break during training i was conducting for two legal assistants when my phone rang.
the number on the screen was a baltimore area code, so i assumed it was one of our baltimore attorneys who is a particularly frequent caller.
“hey, jules, what’s going on?”
“uh…just working…how about you?”
i have no idea who this is.
“wellllll, it’s not the best day.”
i’m thinking this sort of sounds like one of my friends, but i’m not really sure. and he just told me he’s having a bad day. so, i’m thinking it would not be the best time to say “i am very sorry to hear that. and also, i have no idea who you are.”
so, of course, i keep talking. my plan – if you can really call it a plan – is to keep him talking until i definitely recognize his voice, or until he gives me some descriptive detail that clearly identifies him.
“oh no, i’m sorry to hear that. what’s going on?”
“well, i guess my luck finally ran out. the feds finally showed up. this morning. it doesn’t look good, jules. i’m pretty sure i’m going to need your help in finding a good home for the dogs, because i’m pretty sure i’m going to be going away for a while. can you believe it?”
and, really, i can’t. i mean, aside from the whole feds/prison thing, this is awesome.
my internal struggle of “do i stop him now and tell him i have no idea who he is or do i let him keep talking so i can find out what he’s going away for” lasts a moment too long, and the decision is made for me.
“oh, and they got frank, too. i guess it was all too good to last, huh? i’m going to try and see i can maybe build some sort of defense that i was just growing it for distribution for medicinal use. i mean, with the quantities i have here, it’s definitely distribution, but maybe i can work out the medicinal use angle. maybe i can get a good deal. but, anyway, as for the dogs, you know i keep their shots up and everything like that, and they’re both really great dogs, i just don’t have any idea how long i’ll be gone, and i’d hate to ask someone to watch them while i was gone, so i think it would just be better if we found a new home for them, you know? so, maybe if you could just put them up on the board, i can get you a couple of pictures, and hopefully someone will take them because they’re really good dogs, you know?”
and now my internal struggle is “do i stop him now and tell him i have no idea who he is or do i ask him what kind of dogs they are because, hey, i like dogs.”
“man, i still just can’t believe this. and frank, too. it’s…man…it’s just a bad day, jules. i mean, can you believe this?”
and now my internal struggle is “do i think this guy is for real, or do i think this is one of my notorious practical joker friends yanking my chain.”
“yes, i’m here. it’s just…well…”
and now i’m giggling. i have no idea why i’m giggling. and i’m sure that this guy – whoever he is – doesn’t really appreciate his friend giggling in the face of the news that he is facing a prison term not to mention giving away his dogs.
clearly, i am a lousy friend to…this guy.
“i’m sorry, i really am…but, i have to tell you: i have no idea who this is.”
“um, i’m sorry. i honestly think there’s some sort of mistake or confusion, or i’m just drawing a total blank but i’m afraid i really don’t know who this is.”
“is this 301.***.****?”
and i’m thinking, “man, that’s not even close to what this number is! distribution my ass, you must be smoking your profits if you think that’s the number you dialed.”
but, norm isn’t having the best day. and i don’t really know him well enough to tease him. even though i know him waaay better than he probably wishes i did.
“actually, no. this is 202.***.****.”
“is this julie r____ ?”
and now i’m thinking, “man, you are having a bad day! the feds show up, you’re going to prison, and now you have to give your dogs away. and then, to top it all off, you call your friend, julie r___ , inadvertently dial the wrong number and end up talking to someone who has the same name she does. dude…what are the chances?”
but, again…norm might not be seeing the humor in that cosmic twist of fate.
“i’m sorry, but this isn’t julie r____ .”
“oh man. i mean…shit. that’s weird. is this a joke or something?”
and i’m thinking, “you tell me, norm.”
“yeah. it’s crazy, i know. i’m sorry, norm. but, uh…you know…good luck with the feds and the dogs. and stuff.”
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