A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO
...WHERE WAS I GOING AGAIN?
I am a little sleep deprived today, as my youngest boy kept waking up last night for one reason or another. When I woke him up for school, he had a bad cold. So he stayed home today. For part of the morning, I left him with his father, as I had work to do. After I picked up the other two, I dropped all three of them off to my estranged narcissist (wait, I mean husband), as he had agreed to watch them for a few hours so that I could do a few things. Tomorrow, however, he is not helping with the sick child at all, so I had to rearrange my schedule. OK, I can do this.
So I am driving to the place I have an appointment, when I realize I need gas in my car. So I stop at a little gas station on the way that advertises on their sign that they give a discount of three cents per gallon if you pay cash. Well, the inner bargain hunter in me can't pass up a good deal. The guy in there is nice, and I like to give him my business.
So today, I stop there. I go in and pay the guy for the gas. He starts a conversation with me, as usual (very friendly guy, I guess you could say, VERY friendly guy...), and he happens to guess my age. Well, I feel pretty old when he guesses I am four or five years older than my actual age. I had given him my business card to discuss the possibility of my doing some work for him (I am a bookkeeper), and we are discussing this when the store starts getting busy.
Well, I guess I drank a lot of iced tea, so I have to use the restroom. So I wait for what seems to be an eternity while he waits on all of the customers in the line so that I can get the key to the bathroom. He tells me that he is going to let me use his "personal bathroom," and not the one he lets his customers use. This "personal bathroom" is located outside. He gives me the keys, which also happen to be his "personal keys." I go outside to use the restroom. I open the door, and the first thing I notice is a very big mirror. So the first thing running through my mind is whether or not this guy is taping me while I use his personal bathroom...
My mind is turning backward to a time when I read an email about how to tell if the mirror is actually a mirror, or is a two way glass, behind which a camera could be hidden. So I am putting my fingernail against the glass to see if there is a gap, when I can't remember if it is that there IS a gap or that there ISN'T a gap....
Suddenly, I realize that I just have to go, and I don't care if there is a camera. If he wants to see me that bad, let him. What does it really mean in the grand scheme of things anyway? So I do my business, with his keys and my keys in one hand, and in haste to hurry up and give as little action as possible to any hidden cameras. In one nervous swing of my hand, I accidentally drop his keys in the toilet. I immediately reach in and get them back. I race for the sink, washing off the keys and my hands and my arm and trying not to lose my lunch in the process. Gee, I guess he got an eyeful if there DOES happen to be a hidden camera, huh?
So I go back into the store and hand him his wet keys with my wet hands and arms, since there were no paper towels in his "personal bathroom." I mean, this guy owns a convenience store, but he keeps all of his paper towels inside the store....what gives?
Then we get on the subject of my heritage, as we are of similar Arabic descent. Except, I ONLY speak English. Even my Arabic mother ONLY speaks English. My grandparents spoke mostly English, too. I only learned one thing in Arabic, EVER, and I can only spell it (A LA MIKE) like it sounds. It means "God be with you." I am just not good at foreign languages. I even lived in Puerto Rico briefly and had about four years of Spanish in high school and college, but I can't carry on a conversation in Spanish (I realized this a few years ago while lost in the streets of Miami with my husband, trying to find my way back to my car from a college football game at the Orange Bowl).
So this guy behind the counter is telling me I am not a true Arab, because I don't speak Arabic. And he doesn't want to give me the receipt for my gas until I tell him five words in Arabic. And I have to be somewhere in like, ten minutes.
So, I'm saying things like, "Baklava," and "Tabouleh," and "Mousaka," and "Kibbeh," all wonderful Arabic dishes I ate as a child....
Receipt in hand, I escaped. I even made it to my appointment on time. Wow, what a day this has been!