I would really like to talk about the GOPs lovely little War on Women, which is legitimately happening right now, all over the country but this is my birthday week, and everything has been so wonderful in my life lately, that I will spare my wrath for those assholes until next week. Plus, I will have plenty of time available to me to do so. (I am taking my normal Birthday Staycation, which I do every year.)
|These are the Rothko rooms at the Tate Gallery in London. Absolutely stunning and life-changing, walking through there.|
Instead, I figure I will tell a story about Renee, about our "courtship", if you will. Renee and I would sort of get to know each other on breaks. She'd hang out with her friend, Karen, eating sandwiches, and smoking. I have always been "aloof" on my breaks, still am. I do not really want to talk to anybody. I would rather play on the computer or read books or newspapers. So, when Karen and Renee would be outside I would be essentially eavesdropping on their conversations, or actually reading the SFChron or that Ealing book I was obsessed with at the time. (RIP Googie Withers.) And during those conversations was when I really started to fancy her. I liked her because she had a lot of attitude, she was no goody-goody or diplomat. Yet, despite that, you could also tell that she really cared about the under-dog, too; someone "who has a lot on their mind" was her polite euphemism for folks of that sort.
I decided to pursue her and I basically told the entire Specialty team what my intentions were. In fact, I believe that the entire Bakery/Prepared Foods/Meat/Specialty half of the store probably knew of my pursuit.
Those were crazy days at the Walnut Creek store, the store had not even celebrated its first birthday yet. There were a lot of parties, a lot of drink, and a lot of drugs, too. Renee and I bumped in to each other at these "gatherings" all the time, but she really could not be bothered with me, and had other boys on her mind.
One other thing: I had had this health problem on and off for years and no doctor could figure it out. It would make these terrible rashes on my face and other parts of my body. So, not only was I not v attractive, I was also horribly, brutally self-conscious about it and would be even more aloof when I looked really bad. I would literally hide on my breaks, over by the office buildings, and not really speak to anyone but customers. (Finally, a doctor at the City Hospital in Oakland diagnosed my issue correctly -- I "suffer" from seborrhoeic dermatitis -- and prescribed cortisone cream and told me the only shampoos I could use and I have been fine ever since.)
My "cure" came right before the Food Hole Holiday Party, so, all cleared up, I was bursting with confidence and told everyone on the Specialty Team (and my buddy, Rachael, in produce) that my goal was to kiss Renee at the Holiday Party.
Well, that did not happen. Renee and I never seemed to have any opportunity to talk (or, she might have been avoiding me, period) at the party until we met at the bar, both of us ordering drinks. She probably ordered a Manhattan and I probably ordered a beer and bourbon. She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Hey, you're that guy who's always mean. What's your deal?"
That was our first real conversation, I suppose.
I might have told her then about my health issue or maybe I didn't, I do not remember. (Sexy, hunh? And smooth. How did she not fall in love with me that night?)
But any kind of foot in the door is a foot in the door, right?
We eventually started spending breaks together, talking a bit, smoking, etc, ... And, all the while I was very up-front, practically blunt. I told her (all the time) that I liked her, that I wanted to be her boyfriend, that I was tired of one-night stands, that I was loyal, that I was dependable, that I was about the fucking smartest guy she would ever meet, that she should like me too, and on and on and on, ...
I had a v interesting strategy, wouldn't you say?
|That is my old Berkeley jacket. Notice that I insisted they stitch M. Modano for my name.|
My next big shot was at a New Year's Party, but that was a bust, as well. Though, back at work, I had some success with a little Rock 'n Soul singing/dancing performance I put on for her in the back downstairs hallway. I was looking for beer to throw, she was going to the Bakery freezer, and they were playing Johnny Taylor's sizzling hot live version of Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone. I did the whole "rap" part for her, complete with the scream at the end.
"You know what I like about Jody?/You know what I like about Jody?/You know what I like about Jody?/You know what I like about Jody?/Has enough sense/To express himself/Tell her how cute she look/Tell her how pretty she walk/Tell her how cute she talk/Tell her how ... OOAWWWWWWWGH!"
She was a little impressed even if she didn't admit it. I was so convinced, so confident that I would win her over in the end that I had no reservations at all about recommending a wine for her for a romantic dinner at her house with another boy. (I recommended Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine, probably the 1998 or 1999 vintage.) I knew I would get my chance and that I'd stick the landing when I got it.
But, it is getting close to time for me to go and count wine bottles. I do not sell Dom de Valmoissine anymore.
So, this will be Part One. Part Two will be published soon, and it will tell the tale of My Big Chance, the jacket pictured above, crazy Bernard, Valentine's Day 2002, Dan's, La Scala, and anything else I can remember.
I love you all, but I especially love my Sweetie.
HAPPY INVENTORY, EVERYONE!