Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why old people shouldn't drive

I saw them again this morning. The same two women who gave me great amusement last week. The same two women who I wanted to post about last week, but just didn't have the time.

Last week, I was heading out to drop my son off at daycare. I basically just need to cross from my neighborhood to the neighborhood across the street. I looked left and saw this ancient old car going about 5 miles an hour with its right turn signal on. I assumed it was turning onto my street. I looked right and saw that the coast was clear.

So I started to pull out while looking left and realized that the slow-moving car wasn't turning onto my street, but was going straight. I stopped. I'd moved maybe 6 inches out into the street, plenty of room for anyone to continue on in the lane. It apparently wasn't enough room for the driver of this car, who was even more ancient than the car. She slammed on her brakes in front of me. The passenger, who was old, just not as old as the driver, started making these animated gestures, pointing her finger at me, waving it as if I was a naughty child. The driver put her hands on each side of her head and started shaking it with her eyes closed, as if she'd seen the most gruesome sight ever witnessed in the history of man.

The whole time they're doing this, all I can focus on is the garish make-up they were both wearing. Bright red lipstick, and powdered faces, ala "Whatever happened to Baby Jane?" I couldn't see the passenger's eyes because she had these humongous black glasses on, but I'm sure they would have been drawn back based on the tight bun that she had pulled her hair into.

I mouthed "I'm sorry" shrugged my shoulders as if to say it was a mistake, and tried to wave them through. They weren't having any of it. They proceeded to finger-point, shake heads and mouth things that I'm sure should be coming out of old ladies' mouths. Seriously, they must have done this for at least 30 seconds, all the while sitting in the lane of traffic, blocking me in so I couldn't get out.

I looked longingly at the neighborhood across the street, thinking, "I just want to get over there, drop my son off, and go to work." Finally the women slowly moved on.

This morning, I thought the car looked familiar, but I realized from where when they made the right turn from the street we were on onto an even busier street. They had the green light, but pulled slowly out into traffic as if they didn't have the right of way. The driver kept looking to her left, first to make sure the traffic had stopped on the road she was turning onto (even though the light had been green for a while), and second to look at the oncoming traffic from the road she was still on to make sure they weren't going to hit her. She turned proceeded to go the 5 miles an hour that she is famous for. The passenger had decided to go a bit wild today and wear her hair down. Both still had the garish make-up.

I had to stop at the dry cleaner this morning before work, but I noticed that they were turning onto the freeway ramp that I typically turn onto. They would have been right in front of me. I can't imagine what my day would have turned out like if I hadn't had to make my detour.

They do make for interesting commentary though. I'll look for them again.

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Update: To get a glimpse of what it was like for those poor old ladies, take a look at my husband's blog. He takes their perspective quite humorously.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I'm lovin' it

An actual conversation I overheard at McDonald's during lunch today:

Mickey Dees Employee: Can I help you?
Customer: Yes, I'll have the California Cobb Salad with grilled chicken. (don't ask me why she's ordering a salad at McDonald's. Order some fries, woman!)
MDE: Is that for here or to go?
C: For here.
MDE: That will be $4.95. Is that to go?
C: No, it's for here.
MDE: It's for here?
C: Yes, it's for here. (handing the MDE her money).What kind of dressing do you have?
MDE: (looking into the cash drawer to get her change) We have Ranch and Caesar ...
C: (after waiting for several second) Anything else?
MDE: Well, we have the dressing that comes with the salad.
C: What kind of dressing is that?
MDE: The California Cobb Dressing.
C: Oh. Okay.
MDE:(After returning to the counter with her salad and water cup.) What kind of dressing do you want with your salad?
C: What?
MDE: What kind of dressing? We have Ranch and Caesar, Vinaigrette ...
C: I thought you said it came with the California Cobb dressing.
MDE: That's what you want? The California Cobb?
C: You're confusing me. Just give me whatever dressing goes with the salad.

That's all I heard before I left to fill up my cup. I'm so glad that wasn't me. The only issues I've had lately with McDonalds is asking for Chipotle BBQ sauce vs. regular BBQ. I usually end up with five cups of regular BBQ sauce instead of the one I want. Maybe I'm pronouncing it wrong, like in the Jack-in-the-Box commercials.

Monday, December 26, 2005

A true family Christmas

Christmas eve is typically spent with my husband's family. All 50 or so of them. It's a night that begins with a church service, then a trip to his aunt and uncle's house to eat tamales, watch the kids open their presents, and then participate in a white elephant gift exchange that lasts through midnight. It's always a late night filled with the screams of kids running around, tearing paper, and musical chairs as people try to find a place to sit and eat their tamales before the next round of people come through.

Don't get me wrong. It's nice to see his family, some of whom we don't get to see all year. The night is usually filled with laughter and lively conversation. But for the most part, we see a lot of his family throughout the year, and since we always get together for Thanksgiving, it's just more of the same on Christmas eve.

This year, we spent a nice quiet evening at home. Little Dak was sick, and I didn't think it would be appropriate to subject him to the masses in his condition. I told my husband he could take Boogie so she could see her cousins, be he chose to have us all spend the evening together.

And it was such an awesome time. We ordered food in, and then made sugar cookies for Santa. Boogie put the sprinkles on top. I don't know if Santa likes sugar with bit of cookie underneath, but they were gone from the hearth in the morning. Santa even left footprints from the fireplace to the tree (in the form of white flour that looked like snow ... nevermind that we don't have snow in Southern California).

We let Boogie stay up late as she watched another episode of "Jack Frost." We could tell she was losing interest in "It's A Wonderful Life," so we let her open two books, which we read before bed. We opened her blinds so that she could watch for Santa during the night.

After talking with my sister-in-law yesterday, who was dealing with a tired 1 1/2-year-old after the long night on Christmas eve, she sounded envious of our quiet celebration. It was a nice quiet evening with just our little family. I say it's time to start a new tradition.

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Update: Poor Dak is still sick. He missed most of our Christmas eve festivities, because he was asleep. He was a trouper on Christmas morning, waiting patiently as I tried to quickly untie the twisty ties that hold the toys in their boxes so tight, before he fell asleep again, fighting off his cold. Hopefully he'll start playing with his toys soon, rather than coughing until his eyes turn red an watery, trying to hold his pacifier in his mouth as he has a coughing jag, moving his head dramatically from side to side as I try to wipe the mucus that is constantly running out of his nose. I miss my little boy, who tries to get into everything and constantly has a smile that reaches to his sparkling eyes. Now his eyes are dull and sad, and all he wants to do is sleep. Although, it is nice to have him cuddle with me and fall asleep on my shoulder again. He hasn't done that since he was small.