Thursday, January 31, 2008


Last night, I was checking out at Trader Joe's, and I saw that Johnny Depp was bagging in the aisle all the way to the left. So that's why all the women are trying to get to that aisle!, I realized. I asked Mr. Depp why he was working at Trader Joe's. He said, "I can come and go, and no one tells me what to do. There's no expectation. It's fun." I said, "But don't you have to work a regular shift?" The manager was suddenly next to Johnny (but he'd been there the whole time, too, in the way of dreams). The manager said, as he wrote on his clipboard, "This is Johnny Depp. He can come and go whenever he wants to."

Johnny Depp and the manager were both wearing blue shirts.

I was going to ask another question, but my alarm sounded. Damn the alarm.

Becoming Italian

Last week, my friend/astrologer asked me what my gift to myself would be for my birthday, like a birthday resolution. I wasn't sure what she meant, so I asked her what hers was (she's an early Aquarius; I'm a late one). She said she was going to allow herself to be free of assumptions. "When I'm talking to people, I'm not going to assume I know where they're coming from, and I'm going to let myself ask questions. Like that mug"--she said, indicating my hand--"I didn't assume it was yours."

"It is," I replied. "I like it because it has sheep on it."

"It's a great mug," she agreed.

So I thought about it some more. My New Year's Resolution ("more time, more money, lighten up") didn't seem quite right for a birthday idea. After some contemplation, some watching PBS, and hearing tales from G. about "The Italians" in his department (there are lots, and they love their espresso) I've decided to be more Italian.

What does that mean for me? It means seeking pleasure in the little details of life. It means being more open and expressive. It means being warm and welcoming--I can be a chilly New Englander sometimes, not meaning to, but it's ingrained in all us Yanks. It means drinking a little more wine, and a little more espresso, and not worrying about it. It means having friends over for dinner more often. It means cooking up a storm, kicking up my heels, spending some money on looking sharp (which I've been doing well with already), and enjoying. It means defining myself first as myself and not as a worker or doer.

And it means not hiding. Ever since I began working, I've been cramming myself into a little cubicle-shaped mold and trying to be inconspicuous. If you are conspicuous, you get more work dumped on you. If you are conspicuous, you might be seen as being showy, having to little to do, and being a bad worker bee. I've decided to be conspicuous again. I've shrunken myself enough.