Monday, June 21, 2010

Unfinished Business

In my posting yesterday I forgot to mention a few people that I had promised to give "face time" to in my blog. Often when I/we travel or eat out we tend to have a conversation with whomever is taking care of us. I am a tad more reluctant than Don is to strike up a conversation because truly - I'm rather shy though no one believes me on this. He will just begin asking such probing questions and manages to elicit fascinating facts about people who might to some just be invisible.

I am always reminded of my early years in Southwest Florida when I was going to real estate school and working part time cleaning condos in Naples. Anyone who knows me well knows that I actually love housework. Weird, I get it but there it is! Especially when that housework is in someone else's gorgeous home. So I didn't feel put upon that I had to clean these fabulous high rises on the gulf coast to get by. That is, until I realized that I was invisible to these people.

Then I resented the dismissive way in which I and my co-workers were treated, thinking to myself, who do you think you are? You're no better than I am! I have a college degree and may one day be the person who will unload this monstrosity for you and make that big commission! Little did I realize how soul deadening the world of cut throat real estate marketing could be - but that's another story.

The lesson was that I will now "see" people - think Avatar. I will not be waited on at the grocery without trying to read the name tag, call the person by name, and yes, ask a few questions. So it was that we had the pleasure of being waited on Friday night in NYC by Caitlin Hackett. Sweet, self confident, delightful, brave, poised she  self effacingly mentioned that if we googled her name - is that really a verb now? - we would get tons of hits. She said she was "kind of famous." She was not exaggerating. Follow this link to her website and take a look at the graphic work that she does.

The art work is phenomenal - she specializes in monsters - but it's the bio that really excited me. If our young people are thinking this deeply about the world and our relationship to it maybe there is hope even as the oil spill bears down on us.

I also promised the owners of our bed and breakfast in Egremont that I would pop over to TripAdvisor, which I use all the time and which has never steered my wrong, to talk about their lovely inn:

Once again, by chatting up the young man who showed us to our room and got us situated, we discovered Michael, a college student majoring in film - sound editing in particular - who was just such a delight and seemed perfectly happy to be home from school for the summer, helping out the family in their venture.

There can't possibly be a lovelier way to vacation than in a B and B. If we can, that is always our preference. But, as a person who values her privacy quite jealously, I can't imagine a more difficult business to operate! One's life is never one's own. Thirty years and even Claudia, the innkeeper, seemed appalled that she'd been there so long. We were glad she was - the hot chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon didn't hurt.

OK, I promise to get back to books tomorrow (if we don't go to Annapolis for the day). Penelope Lively's Family Album coming up. Just trying to finish it before the stingy 2 week checkout from the library's download e-book catalog.

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