January 16 was full of interesting encounters. Around noon, Laura and I were at Barnes and Noble eating lunch when an Hispanic woman sat down with us. She said that seeing me eating a banana made her feel comfortable about coming up and talking to us. She had bought a photo of Marilyn Monroe for her friend, who apparently was kicked out of her apartment and was going a little out of her mind. I think this woman was a little gone in the head as well, but she was a good conversationalist. I had to go to class, though, so we couldn’t talk long.
I boarded the green line later that day and stood right near a small Asian couple (I don’t know the country, although I know it wasn’t Korea or Japan). The woman had a mask over her mouth. I was holding my backpack with my hand to keep it out of the way, and she pointed at it and slapped her knees, as if she was offering to hold it for me. I said, “No, that’s fine,” and noticed that the man was staring intently at me. Fortunately, I was getting off at the next stop, and I chuckled to myself as I disembarked.
That afternoon at work I received an email from Megan Sonderegger that our new friend David needed his apartment cleaned out. He lives in public housing and cannot clean because of severe health problems, such as chronic back pain. His apartment was getting inspected the next day and in order to pass inspection it needed some serious cleaning. So Laura, Megan and I rushed over there last night and blitz-cleaned his apartment for two hours. We soon discovered that we needed several items at the store, so I ran a couple blocks down, in the freezing cold, to the Store 24. I was by far the only blonde female in there. And by that I mean either blonde or female. As I stood in line with the Formula 409 and cat litter, I could feel all eyes on me. One guy walked in and went behind the counter, glanced at me, and then told the cashier “You’ll take care of her, right?” “Yeaahh,” said the cashier reassuringly. As I was buying my things, the cashier eyed me and said in a foreign accent, “Where are you from?” I said I was from here, not wanting to go into detail.
“No, I mean, what nationality are you?” he asked again. All I could think was, you’re the one with the accent, I should be asking you where you’re from! Just kidding. As a true citizen of Colbert Nation, I replied, “I’m an American. I’m from America.” I was not about to tell him that I was from the South or that I was of German descent. I don’t know why, but it just felt awkward at the time. I laughed into the cold air on the way back.
So that was my long, crazy day, otherwise filled with lots of school and work. Meanwhile, my brothers were at the White House chilling with the president and the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. Needless to say, I am exceedingly jealous. Here is a picture that Andrew took, which could be fodder for the Daily Show, or the Onion, or something:
W the choir director, about to lead the Cardinals in a rendition of…We Are the Champions? I can’t come up with any non-cheesy jokes. If anyone has a better suggestion then please tell.