Sunday, January 29, 2006
Through the noise of what sounded like a busy social event that I would rue having missed, or a very tedious social gathering of loud pub friends, a clipped and oddly high-pitched voice spoke to me:
"I ham callingk from Cahpeetlwon and wud lik to inform u..."
I hung up.
I hate hanging up on people, it's rude and shows a laziness I typically associate with the kinds of people that have made this country into the mess it is today.
Normally when my credit card company calls they have something important to say, so I try to at least listen long enough to find out if they're pitching some crappy service or actually trying to help me out. It's usually the former but it pays to be nice all the same. However, it was 7 in the morning, and they were calling a cell phone that has limited minutes which would be poorly spent trying to translate the unintelligible gibberish that was being spewed out in a poor attempt at English Those of you who know me know that mornings and I have come to a tense cease-fire accord, and it's little things like this that push the entire relationship back into a Cold War state that would make the Cuban Missile Crisis look like harsh words being exchanged by irate soccer moms from their gas-guzzling SUVs on a hot weekend afternoon.
Call me old-fashioned but I'm a firm believer that anyone working in a field that requires large amounts of verbal communication should at least be proficient in the language they are to be using. You don't need to fluent. Heck, few Americans are, but it would be nice if you were at least able to speak without an accent thicker than three week old Christmas gravy on a cold winter morning. I myself would never consider working in a communications-heavy job in France for instance. I know a little French, but unless the job consisted of me insulting their mothers, commenting on the size of their tits, or asking them "who cut the cheese?" I would be woefully inept at such an endeavor and therefore try to avoid such situations all together. Besides, I really don't think it's ever polite to make fart jokes with a total stranger no matter how awkward the silence is.
I understand that it's a great money saver to outsource many of our jobs to foreign countries. But trust me, phone operations is not one of them. Besides, the south needs those jobs badly in order to afford the monthly payments on their over sized lives. How are our own noble rednecks going to keep treading those fickle financial waters, just barely keeping their heads above water, if they are being replaced by gender-indeterminate, unintelligible foreigners?
Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are gender-indeterminate, unintelligible, or foreign. Often those qualities switch from week to week, but I try not to mention it as they're good folks and I love 'em.
Does thinking people should learn a language before they start using it on native speakers of said language make me a little bit racist. Probably. Do I care all that much about it? Not really.
So please, you strange, garbled, foreign person who called me (at 7 f**king AM), hang up the phone, go take a few night classes and come back later. I promise not to hang up on you until I find out that you're pitching volcano insurance like I do with all of those sweet southern folk who waste my daytime minutes.
I only miss him when he's around.
Before I left Houston I was dating a guy that I loved for two extremely valid reasons:
1) He always knew when I was BS'ing him.
2) He never, ever, let me get away with it.
3) He had the kind of butt that was so perfect I find myself comparing every other butt I see to his. It's the kind of posterior that makes you seriously question the merits of atheism.
OK, so three things. But to be fair I only threw the last one in to make you jealous.
Unfortunately, we spent most of our time fighting over just about everything under the sun; or having mind-blowing grab-the-headboard make-up sex. Or having more of said sex. And then some more fighting. The last time we spoke it was the kind of fight that had us both erasing each other's numbers from our phones. The kind of trite made-for-TV verbal smack-down that people generally only resort to during sweeps week on the WB. Obviously at the time it seemed completely rational.
Now that a decent chunk of time has passed and sanity has settled back in, I miss the guy like babies miss oxygen when you forget to hide all the plastic bags after a shopping spree. The result of this is like waking up one morning after an incredibly lucid dream to discover that no, you can't actually fly. This leaves me with that dissatisfied feeling settling into my bones that I generally only get when I've been picked last for the softball team. Or having the really hot guy I've been flirting with all night hook up with my best friend. Mostly the first one really. I blame a childhood love of books and an infantile loathing of my peers for my poor athletic skills.
Lately I find myself snuggled up in a human burrito of covers and shivers trying to fall asleep while my head is a theater that only seems to have gotten the highlights reel from my time with the [omitted] (I'm omitting his name because if I'm one day famous and decide to reprint my online whining as a text accompaniment to gay soft porn I don't want to get sued). It's all recriminations and calling in late for work because I had sex with my boyfriend. I hated his friends, he whined too much, his roommates were pissy queens, he freaked out about everything and the only thing we had in common was a love of health food and his butt. I lied to him about something extremely important and kept him at a distance because I was leaving for Portland and didn't want to get my heart broken again (I'm sure he's got better complaints about me but not talking to him makes getting his side of things kinda tough). After all of the crap I still love the guy though, and not just because of the insanely good sex. Though that really did help.
The point of this being that if [omitted] ever reads this he should know that even if it had to turn out exactly the same way I'd do it all over again. Only with more ninjas.
Santa Barbarians and Prodigal Suns
To all of my friends not currently living in the Gulf Coast area, be very happy that the worst you have to worry about is the occasional earthquake and the legions of consumer-damned Aberzobies. It beats the stuffing out of ocean swells that eat entire towns and winds that'll rip trees right out of the ground to give your living room an unexpected garden makeover.
Wish us luck down here, we're gonna need it.
Ever since hurricane Katrina went and whiped out that little stretch of land we used to all like getting drunk and crazy in there've been tons of destitute gay folks running around with nowhere to go!
This season's newest hot fashion accessory is a Katrina Refugee all your own! They go great with Prada or Gucci, can drink like a fish, and will occasionally cook you breakfast out of sheer gratitude.
Get yours now before all the good ones get snatched up!
But seriously, if anyone is in any of the areas recieving refugees do anything you can for these folks. I have to say that Houston has by and large been made better by these people who are wonderfully polite, very hard working, and occasionally quite cute.
Moving Day Is Upon Us!
The timing on this couldn't be better as the recent influx of refugees from the remains of New Orleans is quickly turning Houston into a powder keg that I'm more than happy not to be around for when it goes off.
For those who don't know, Hurricane Katrina has effectively wiped out what was once New Orleans. The few buildings that survived the initial onslaught are now under water and will have to be torn down when the city is eventually drained. Anyone who has visited New Orleans in the past should realize that that city is gone for good. Nothing of what it used to be has survived.
So yeah, for all of my friends in California and Portland I'll be road tripping my way up to Portland around mid-October.
Love you all and see you soon.
ps Avoid the Texas coast and Louisianna for the next year as it's about to become a socially unstable biohazard.
Georgia told me what ignorance is like.
Colorado showed me how to fight.
Michigan reminded me how beautiful the world is when we leave it alone.
Sweden let me know there's a whole world out there that has nothing to do with American values.
Oregon helped me to just be myself.
Texas taught me what true friendship really means.