Thursday, April 23, 2009

She Knows Me

I like to treat myself to little things, three times a year. It was about time for one, so I decided on a quiet pair of earrings - glass with flowers encased inside it. Very pretty.

As I'm drooling over them, the sales lady comes up to me, she wants to take other things out of the display cases for me. "No, try this" she says, "that is not for you, this is. Trust me, I know. I know you - that is you."

She did have a point. The pair of earrings she suggested were beautiful, and twinkled nicely in front of my dark hair. They also matched a necklace that was very me. I must buy the necklace too, it is so me.

"What are you?" she asks, "Japanese? Korean?"


"You don't look Chinese." She's seen a lot of different girls in her store, trust her, I don't look Chinese.

This is the first time I've ever heard this before.

She is persuasive, she has expertise, she knows what looks good on people - she is now ringing in my necklace, the earrings, and a little carved stone box I have no use for.

"Really, you must be a mix of something else."

"Well, my parents are from Brunei...but I'm sure that all of my grandparents came from China."

"Brunei?!" her face exploded into a smug ah-ha smile. "You see? Brunei is a Muslim country. Trust me, you're not pure Chinese, I know."

She was the most incredible saleswoman! I almost bought that too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hazelton Motel Experience - Part II

I was outside and shivering...where will I go? I was being nudged further away from the room by this invisible force. My friend is staying two doors down from me, so I knocked insistently on her door. Immediately she opens the door, but I could tell I had woken her up. I sputtered out, "I got pushed off my bed! And she kept pushing me out the door!" (How did I know it was a female?)

My friend, always one to help me troubleshoot with technical problems, pragmatically suggests, "Well lets see, have you tried...going back to your room?"

"Gee whiz", I say as I try to dig my toe into the carpet, "OK."

I'm dreading it, but I make my way back, and curl up tightly into a ball under the covers of my bed. And then...I wake up tightly rolled in the same position.

Did this really happen?!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hazelton Motel Experience - Part I

Motels and hotels always make me nervous. This time in Hazelton...the walls were thin, and I would hear running water so loud and clear, I could swear it was flowing from the tap in my bathroom. But when I got up to check, the taps were always off.

One night, I finally fell asleep in a comfortable fetal position but woke up because something was nudging me from behind. It became more insistent, and even began pushing me out of bed. I looked behind me and saw nobody there...but this nobody began to push me out the door!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Attitude Edition

My personal goal, when I was in Hazelton was to go without TV for eight days. It's easy to forgo watching it when I'm at home, I can watch clips from youtube instead...but not so, when one is staying in a small motel room that has nothing in it but a bed, an alarm clock and a television set.

So I changed my rule...television only in the mornings.

Which is not the best idea because most morning shows are the ones that could really rot the mind.

One morning, I decided to watch Extreme Makeover...Home Edition. In the show, a construction crew goes to South Carolina, to help four kids and their grandmother, living in a dilapidated trailer. The TV crew interviews each child, and sends the family off to Disneyland while they demolish the trailer and put themselves to work, building what looked like a mansion in that small lot.

When the kids come back, each one now has a themed bedroom. The ten year old boy gets a Spiderman room, with rope netting on the wall that he could climb up, and a closet full of Spiderman toys. The host of the show reveals a surprise: the family gets a free trip up to New York to attend the premiere screening of the Spiderman movie! The Grandmother and the kids scream, they cry, they are overcome with gratitude.


I always feel so manipulated by shows like these. Also, I'm skeptical about whether or not the Grandma could afford to pay the electricity bill for all the chandeliers and the big screen televisions they put up.

In the next scene, they visit the eight year old's room. Earlier in the show, when the designer asks him what he likes, he says "reading". Boy, he must regret saying that after seeing the cool Spiderman room, I think to myself. The host leads him to his 'library room': a junior sized bed and walls filled up to the ceiling with books. His eyes light up, he runs over to caress a heavy 500 pager, and yells "cool! books!!!". I don't know why, but this unravels me - tears stream down my face and I can't control it. Books are my weakness. And kids who genuinely appreciate them are even more precious.