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Monday, January 24, 2005

Sometimes the Cosmos Gives You a Pen

Or, Why the hell did I move here?

Let me explain. I moved to Boston in July of 2000 and had very romantic ideas about Winter. I wanted snow. I wanted snowmen. I wanted cold, clear days and sparkling icicles on trees.

I thought those things would be nice if they happened through about January 2nd, and then I was pretty confident that it would be Spring. I also had crazy notions about spring in New England, but I can't handle thinking about Stupid Spring yet.

Winter certainly has undeniably lovely aspects. The icicles, the cold clear days, those things all happen each year. But the seamy underbelly of winter...that's what I'm talking about. You know what I mean: yellow snow. Gross! Dirty snow. Ick. Stupid icy sidewalks. Like I need any help falling down. But even darker and dirtier is what I am about to admit to you here - I am now part of the Shoveled Out Parking Space Mafia. I spent a couple of hours digging out a parking spot that I'm not even able to park in today (stupid parking ban. stupid UNDERSTANDABLE parking ban, but still) and it made me pretty uncharitable toward my fellow man. Every car that drove by was a potential parking space thief. I had already decided that should someone take my hard earned spot, I would leave a nasty note on their car, asking them if they had shoveled out the spot and therefore felt entitled to park there. I thought about bringing out some strange piece of furniture to mark my spot. Yes, I thought about doing this even though I knew that I couldn't park there because of the parking ban. My suspicious nature and my own sense of entitlement apparently know no bounds.

After trudging to work today, my sunny California soul desperately unprepared for the mountains of snow, and the ice and the, well, cold, I realized that I was in fact being much less polite than I strive to be in my daily life. So, later this morning, while shlepping out to an off-site office, I held the door open for a girl who was doing the Find Your Keys, Find Your Badge, Don't Drop Your Mittens Shuffle, in an effort to regain some of my customary politeness (I always did get an E for Excellent in Citizenship, thanks). A few seconds later I found a pen on the floor. Now, that might not be too exciting for most of you, but for me, well, it's a Pen! I love Pens! I am a Pen Wh*re! If you have a nice pen, visit with me, and then suddenly you can't find your pen, well, I'm not confessing, but it wouldn't be beyond reason to think that somehow I coerced your nice pen into going home with me. Pen Wh*re, I tell ya'.

Do you know what I thought when I saw the pen on the floor?

I thought: You hold the door open for someone, and the cosmos gives you a pen.

Then I giggled.

It turned out to be a crappy pen that makes my handwriting look wonky, and I hate it when my handwriting looks wonky.

So, maybe I haven't totally readjusted my karma yet, after all.


  • At 11:54 PM, Blogger Lauren said…

    Great post! I incurred the wrath of a parking spot mafia member when I first moved to CT. I learned my lesson after a very graphic "f-ing c*nt" note on my car.

  • At 7:00 AM, Blogger maryse said…

    ahh, this is why i never had a car while living in the city...

    anyway, maybe now after your post people in the rest of the country will understand why northeasterners are a bit snarkier than the rest of the country.

  • At 8:12 AM, Blogger Knittens said…

    I totally understand what you mean about the snow. I've been there done that with Boston winters. I LOVED the first big storm, sitting and watching it fall. Sometimes I even enjoyed the second. But you are right, by the time January comes around and people start stealing your shoveled spots - its time for spring.

    Thats one reason why I'm actually enjoying it here in MD. Last week it was 70. Now its 10 and snowy - next week its supposed to be 50. Just a little bit of snow, a little bit of cold....

    I love your cosmos idea. I think about that stuff all the time. Even if it was a crappy pen, it was enough to make you giggle!!!

  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger Lauren said…

    Hey Doll! :) Great post. I am a self-identified Pen Wh*re as well, but I have to agree, if it makes your handwriting look "wonky", it needs to go out :P

    Take care!

  • At 8:29 AM, Blogger um said…

    come to lancaster, pa, where Shoveled Out Parking Space Mafia abounds. here, if you don't have a driveway, then you shovel out your spot, and before leaving, you leave a crappy chair in your spot. it's actually against our little town laws, but people do it by the droves. it's hysterical to drive down the street and see all these chairs. i mean, if someone with a big ole suv wants a parking spot, you think some little plastic weave lawn chair is gonna stop him?

    i heard about all the snow you got up there. sorry about that. i hope it melts fast and you get a whiff of california in the air really soon! if all else fails, commiserate with the mamas and the papas and do some california dreamin'. misery loves company and all that.

    i enjoyed reading this! take care woogums.

  • At 8:55 AM, Blogger melanie said…

    And I thought driving in the city just on a regular day was terrible. This seals it. No one should be able to drive in Boston. We should make it an entirely pedestrian city.

  • At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh yes, the season is magical isn't it? And south boston has got to the be worst for parking. The south end isn't much better but at least people don't leave the lawn chairs out and you can park without fear of having your tires slashed. When I lived in roslindale I'd pull the 'ole recycling bin out everytime I left my space. There was no way I was letting my lazy neighbor take my space! I caved and paid someone to shovel my car out for me this time around. Not the most practical use my small disposable income but I'm sure my back will thank me later. Good luck with no one stealing your space!


  • At 4:48 PM, Blogger ErLeCa said…

    Ha! It's so nice to find out I'm not the only pen wh*re out there! It's an obsession really, an office supply obsession that mainly centers around pens and new notebooks... Or maybe it's just that I'm obsessed with the way my handwriting looks and pens are therefore tied into that... who knows!

    BTW, I feel for you with the shoveling! Grrrrr...

  • At 6:45 PM, Blogger Orris said…

    YAY! Another writing implement hussy! I'm not alone.
    Tell us, my dear, do you too drool when you stroll through the aisles of Business Depot? Have you ever tried cutting your own quills? What are your thoughts on sparkles in your ink?
    For myself, I cannot live without my calligraphy pens, and my peppermint scented green ballpoints. The first are for good writing, and the second for marking. it's amazing how much the smell of peppermint adds to a poorly written essay when you're marking it.

  • At 7:50 PM, Blogger Jen said…

    OK keep in mind that I live in a small Pacific Northwest college town...

    what's a "parking ban?" I mean, obviously you're not allowed to...park...but really, what IS it? What does it MEAN?


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