Heart-breaking

My family came out to Dallas tonight to go to my cousin Austin’s football game, and they were having dinner at Luby’s a few miles from my house, so I met them. I got through the line first, so I went and sat down at a table near the back corner. Not two seconds after I sat down, a voice from behind me asked, “Excuse me.” I turned around and saw a man in maybe his 50s or 60s eating at the table behind me. “Yes, sir?” I asked. He laughed that I called him sir, and said, “Are you eating alone?” I told him my family was coming, and as I said that, some of them were heading toward me. He stammered, oh, I was just thinking, you know, conversation, nevermind. As they were sitting down, he said, “You have a lovely family.” If I HAD been eating alone, I wouldn’t have given another thought to sitting down with him and chatting a bit over dinner. But they were there, and the timing was awkward, and I wasn’t comfortable asking him to join us, because I thought my parents would find it odd. So I just smiled and said thank you and turned to my family and ate.

I couldn’t concentrate on them until he left – I was just heartbroken that this lonely man had reached out to me, and that I had, in effect, ignored him. Maybe it’s because I’ve been alone at work a lot since taking the new job, or that I’ve been eating a lot of meals alone at home over lunch because I work so close to my house, or that I haven’t been seeing my friends as much as usual lately, but my heart just broke for him. I looked around, and I noticed many others sitting alone, eating their dinner. What is it about Luby’s that attracts older, single eaters? I feel like I should start a Luby’s outreach program, just drop by one night a week and eat with people who have no one to eat with. I compensated by over-tipping the waitress. I watched him as he was leaving. I tried to catch his eye as he got up to say goodbye and wish him a good evening, but he didn’t look at me. He walked to the bathroom area, and on his way, he stopped to talk to a large group of elderly eaters at a long table, and then he paid and left. He obviously was willing to reach out to others, which is a sign of someone who will be okay, and I know he’s fine, just lonely. I know that I cannot consort with every lonely person out there, because I could get taken advantage of – I saw Patch Adams:) I’m not kidding myself that I’m responsible for this man’s happiness, or that he was embarassed, or that I offended him in any way, but the fact that I did not reach back when he reached out just makes my stomach hurt. I won’t be making that mistake again.

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Arrrrrrrggh!

Last weekend, I participated in the 25th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas. This was my fifth year on Beth’s team, but my third year as a Breast Cancer Pirate! Beth makes us team shirts – she designed the logo, and this year, she decided to make year-less shirts so we could just re-use them. Each person will now get a new star sewn on for each year on the team. Here are the new patches (because what self-respecting Pirate doesn’t have patches??)  and our pirate names!

That last one is Leah. We asked her why her pirate name was “Esss,” and she said, quite reasonably, because it comes after “Arrrrr.” She’s a writer:)

We swashbuckled our way to the finish line 15 minutes faster this year, partly due to our new goal – don’t be last. It was really crowded this year, I think because we got to the starting line earlier. It only took us about 10 minutes to get there this year instead of the half hour it took last time. LOTS of pink. We found our favorite team, Team Taiwan – they sing Taiwanese songs and have a big flag like we do.

Lindsey and I were early this year, due to the parking pass my mom got us! It was awesome – we just drove right up to Northpark and left the car in a garage, and we beat EVERYONE, even Cap’n Bethy. Score one for Black Heart Jane and LindsBeard.

Jamie happened to be in town, so she marauded with us.

Awww…Pirate love.

Go Pirates! See you next year!

I am employed!

I was offered a full-time position at the small company I’ve been freelancing with today, and I accepted! (What a great birthday present!) That’s all for now – just wanted to share:) More soon on the Komen Race for the Cure and the New Kids on the Block concert. That’s right. I said New Kids on the Block.

Parents

This post is mostly about procrastinating, but I just had to write this down. I’ve had a bit of a hard time lately with losing my job, and there was a bit of fear going on in me over not having an income. How would I pay my rent if I didn’t find something fast enough? How do I pay my credit card minimums without anything in my bank account? I have found work, at least temporarily, and it’s going very well. I still haven’t seen any money from it, but it will come in eventually. And I’ve been transcribing for a transcription service every weekend and some week nights, and although it’s ridiculously frustrating and tedious, it’s something I can do as much of as I have time, and that’s great to know.

But better than those financial comforts have been my parents. A few days ago, I got a giant cooler in the mail from Omaha Steaks. My parents ordered me enough steaks, burgers and chicken to last me months. It had a printed card with it that said how proud they were of me in my reaction to the job trauma, signed Mom and Dad. I’m not a huge meat eater, but that’s so not the point! Just knowing someone in the world cares enough about me to stock my freezer during a scary time was so strengthening.

I went to the State Fair with my family yesterday, something we have done every October of my life, and one of my friends came with us. We were sitting down in the food building, eating fried things, and we were talking to my father about my job issues. He has a great business mind, and he has owned his own business before, and was suggesting some entrepreneurial ideas for me to check out. My friend told him how smart she thought he was, and that I had bragged on him to her a little about some of the great things he had done in the past, and that she was impressed. And he simply looked over at me and said, “Well, the best thing I ever did was have her.” I can’t explain, in this age of divorce, distance, disease, death and dead-beat dads, how much that comment meant to me. To know that I can lean on such stable people in very unstable times – how many people can say that? I am not perfect, my father is not perfect, and we are probably not the closest daddy-daughter set in the world, but hearing that made me feel special. And what else can a child ask from her parents?

Good Times with FirstCom

I spent a couple of hours yesterday looking through the FirstCom music library for a video project I’m working on. I never really did find what I’m looking for, but I did come across some truly brilliant song descriptions. I’ve listed them for your enjoyment here. Wouldn’t it be a fun job to write these all day?

“Antonio Banderas has his recording contract revoked. He’d like his demo back. Melancholy and oh, so moody.”

“A cantankerous little SOB with a gleeful snarl.”

“New Wave is back, and it’s upset you haven’t called.”

“This just in! Pizzicato strings now hip!”

And my personal favorite:

“A human interest piece will always trump a think piece. Especially if it has puppies.”

Marauding for the Cure ’08 – Join us!

Each October, we join thousands of others in the Dallas Race for the Cure. Many years ago, Beth started participating in memory of her mother, Sharon Keeler, and over the next few years, her friends and co-workers joined her, one by one. The team slowly formed an identity, and now we are, most definitively, the Breast Cancer Pirates. We don’t run – we walk, as we often have kids and dogs with us. We dress in black and pink, carry a giant pirate flag with our emblem, wear eye patches, brandish swords and hand out pirate booty plastic necklaces to children.

We Maraud for the Cure.

Register for $30 until Oct. 12 at www.komen-dallas.org/race or $40 on race day. I highly recommend registering online, as there are a LOT of people at the race and it’ll just be easier – and cheaper – online. Join our team at http://www.komen-dallas.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=1030&team_id=23570. If you’re agoraphobic or just lazy, feel free to Sleep In for the Cure – donate at the link above.

Come be a part of this with us! We walk in honor and memory of our mothers, our grandmothers, our sisters, our aunts and our friends. Help us raise money for the largest source of non-profit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. Or, as Cap’n Beth would say, It’s time to get yer lily-livered arses up off the poop deck o’life and do somethin’ fer yer fellow bilge-rats!