I see a lot of people. I work in customer service, and moonlight in reception. It’s a people-palooza.
But this person – this person sparked my imagination.
We’ll call her Joan.
Oh my gosh, what am I doing? The door is locked – the door is always locked.
Did she see me yanking on the handle like an idiot? I hope not.
Damn, she’s opening the door. She saw.
I play with the keys in my hand and give the receptionist what I hope is a grateful grin.
“Thanks – I bet you have to do that a lot. Must be kind of fun watching people fumble.”
She gives me a noncommittal shrug. Is she French?
“It’s cruel,” she says. Definitely not French. “People shouldn’t have to think that hard before they even get into work. By the way, I like what you did to your hair.”
My hair? She noticed my new haircut? I’ve only been here three days. How does she notice my hair? I bet she’s trying to make me feel better about forgetting the door is locked.
Holy cow, she’s still talking. I must have really looked like a moron. Oh wait, I was staring at her for noticing my hair. Is my mouth open?
“Carry a lot of bags with you – I always open the door for bag carriers.”
She motions with her handy-dandy door-opener. I don’t even know who it is that’s coming through the door – I haven’t had my tour yet – but he’s got a ton of bags.
Like grocery bags. Like, he must be feeding his entire department from those bags.
I eye the receptionist and she nods at me.
Like magic, the doors open. Bag-holder-guy waltzes in.
I stare. “Bags?”
She nods back solemnly. “Bags.”
Huh. This might be worth pursuing. Go on. Talk to her. Be able to tell your mother you’ve actually made a friend.
“So, how about that “Dancing with the Stars” finale, huh?”
I’m not sure, but I think she’s developed a twitch. “Was it good?” she asks.
Was it good? Was it good?! It was the most spectacular show ever. That team nailed every single one of their routines all season! Was it good??!!
“Don’t you watch?”
“I don’t watch TV – although, I think I’ve seen an episode or two a few years ago.”
“Well, do you like music?”
“Do you like dancing?”
“I always wanted to learn ballroom – I’m just not a fan of the confessional, reality TV show side of it.”
“It’s not nearly as bad as “American Idol” – and you can, I don’t know, read a book or do your laundry when they’re telling-all if you want to. You really should watch.”
Her resolve is crumbling. I can tell. She’s an agreeable sort – either that or she just wants to get me out of her face. Ha! Not going to happen. This will teach her to be nice to newbies.
“I mean it. You should watch. I tell you what – if I can remember to swipe my key fob for the rest of the summer, you have to watch a season.”
“You can watch it online.”
Ha. That got her.
”All right. But you can’t take advantage of the bag thing – that’s cheating.”
Look at that – it’s not even 8:30 and I’ve made a new friend and got a convert to DWTS. Not bad for the new girl.
D: None of that actually happened, did it?
A: Not exactly.
D: There’s no Joan, is there?
A: Not really – Joan is an amalgamation of a few people I see from my perch in reception. This was all for the WordPress prompts for yesterday and today – write from a stranger’s point of view, and write a ‘pro’ piece about a bit of popular culture you don’t actually like.
D: You don’t like “Dancing with the Stars?”
A: Not really – The dancing’s okay—
D: Okay? Okay?! A, the dancing is phenomenal – taking stars that might have 2 left feet and turning them into dancing machines is a joy to watch.
A: If you say so – I prefer scripted drama to the reality TV/human variety, however.
D: I don’t think I know who you are anymore, A.
D: Joan was right. You need to watch. And not just when the new season comes on. You need to watch right now.
A: But I – But Joan —
A: Oh boy. Put the salad tongs down, D. We’ve talked about this.
D: Will you watch?
A: You know those aren’t really threatening, don’t you?
D: Will you watch?
A: (Eye roll) Oh for heaven’s sake, yes. I’ll watch. But I’m making no promises that I’ll like it – or continue to watch.
D: That’s okay, then.
A: (Sigh) The things I put up with in order to have an agreeable muse and blog topics. . .
D: Admit it. You’d be bored without me.
A: I’d have salad tongs without you.
D: . . .
A: Whatever I say, it’s just going to go straight to your head, so can we just bid the good people adieu?
D: Ha! You admitted it!
A: Stop looking smug. Thank you all for stopping by, and have a wonderful holiday weekend, everyone!