Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Great Whatever (blog story) 12

     The next two weeks of work were exactly like the first day had promised they’d be. Awful. You were an outsider. No one ever talked to you. They might tell you to do things, but no one asked about your personal life or shared theirs. You were accorded all the familiarity a tax auditor or loan officer might expect. Actually, people are usually nice to loan officers.
     During this time you had made and delivered coffee. You picked up lunches and dry cleaning. You emptied trash cans even though they have someone to do that. You got to make copies, which was fun. Every time you got to leave the building you stayed out longer and longer. Once when you had to go to the printers you dropped off what was needed and stopped to catch a matinee before heading back to the office. Your presence was not missed. You tried to help with some actual work, but people would not even attempt to hide their frustration when you asked questions. You wonder how a person can possibly be chastised for not knowing what they haven’t been told.
     The job was a dead end and you wanted out as fast as you could, but your father obviously pulled a lot of strings to get you in. There was no illusion that they were going to keep you on after six months. The only thing to do was to suck it up and ride it out. At least you could say you tried.
     If there was no progress being made at work, at home things were moving at a fast and furious pace. 
     Now that you were employed, the engagement to Heather was definitely on. She had everything planned out to the smallest detail. You believe that it is true that even the most jaded girl spends her whole life secretly planning for her wedding. Heather certainly did. You know this because you caught her looking through a wedding dream list she had tucked away in a notebook from high school.
     You mentioned, “I don’t think we can get Boyz 2 Men to play at our reception,” causing her to elbow you in the ribs. “Maybe we can get one of the cheaper, lesser known Boyz . Tell you what, I’ll sing. I’m practically free and easy to book.” You started to sing “I’ll Make Love to You”, but she shoved her whole hand in your mouth to make you stop.
     Heather had done so much. She had the floral arrangements and color patterns worked out. She even managed to potty train Milo and teach him to sit. All you needed to do was buy a ring. You hadn’t even looked.
     During a visit with your parents your mother had given you her engagement ring. As far as you could remember she had never taken it off her hand and you felt guilty accepting it. She looked so pleased you could not say no. It wasn’t the biggest or the prettiest ring, but your parents have been married for thirty years so it must carry some luck.
     As far as you could tell, everyone in both families knew about the engagement except for Heather’s dad. Before you could give her the ring you needed his blessing. It was a conversation you were not looking forward to. He was intimidating and he never seemed to really like you. You and Heather were going to stay with her parents that weekend. Before putting it in your pocket you rubbed the ring like it was a rabbit’s foot. You hoped all the magic hadn’t been used up.

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