The internet is back on, after an admittedly stark weekend without it. I tried not to mind too much, fancying myself beyond such petty interests. But I missed my daily sweep of Itunes Movie Trailers, various blogs, HuffPost, and yes, Facebook.
Successfully relieving my woe, several events filled the wi-fi void:
1. I discovered the power of bribery when interacting with small children. Don’t get me wrong; this was an accidental discovery, and one I certainly don’t plan to often utilize (it doesn’t exactly encourage a solid moral foundation). But it was nice at the time.
We had been at the botanical gardens for a few hours. It was in the high 80s, and the paths were long, so I think the kids were a little sluggish (I was too). They perked right up, however, when they saw the fish pond. Ponyboy (names have been changed, obviously) enlisted my help searching for frogs in the weeds. Once I spotted one, he would crouch at the edge of the water and reach for the half-submerged amphibian. He wasn’t deterred by the frogs’ constant ability to hop away just before his fingers could clasp their slimy bodies. Cherry, on the other hand, amused herself by hiding among the exotic flowers, sniffing them exultantly and plucking their velvety petals when I wasn’t looking.
We might have stayed for another two hours, but I noticed that the kids’ faces were growing a bit pink. I could feel my own nose beginning to crisp, and I shuddered at the prospect of bringing sunburnt toddlers back to their parents. There was no sunscreen in the diaper bag, and none in the car either. Ponyboy, I could tell, as I asked him to climb up into his seat so we could head back to home and shade, was on the verge of a breakdown. There were still frogs to catch, after all. That’s when Cherry, who was peeking into the center console, noticed a pack of bright orange Tic Tacs.
“Can I have one?” Ponyboy asked, looking longingly at the garish candy.
I thought for a minute.
“If both of you get into your seats and let me buckle you in, you can each have a candy.”
Without a second’s pause, they both scrambled up, slipping their arms into their straps.
I put a Tic Tac into each outstretched hand, and that was that.
2. A friend of mine, knowing all too well my fascination with F. Scott Fitzgerald and with anything relating to that era of romanticised writing (i.e. one hand around a sweating glass of scotch, one hand clacking away at typewriter keys), brought over his own circa 1930 typewriter for me to use for the summer.
It’s a beautiful machine, too heavy to sit on my flimsy rubbermaid container “nightstand.” I have it on the floor, where I sit with crooked knees and punch the keys, stopping to listen for the ‘ding’ at the end of each line. I’ve written two letters on the dear thing so far, taking care to do so before 11 pm. No complaints from the roommates as of yet, but they have to be able to hear it; I’ve never lived in such an echoey house.
3. I worked my first solo ticket selling shift at the Morris Theatre. It’s a fairly straightforward job: count the money and tickets before and after each shift, make change when necessary, dispense tickets to waiting guests, generally look pleasant. I was only worried about making change (my mental math is laughably sub-par, especially when I’m under pressure), but even that went fine.
At one point a young father came in holding his three-year-old daughter by the hand.
“Do you take card?” He asked me.
“No, I’m sorry, we don’t. Just cash and checks.”
He looked anxiously at the clock behind my head (it was ten minutes until the show started), and then went back out.
I hated the idea of him having to explain to his little girl why they couldn’t see Madagascar 3 after all.
Just as the trailers were rolling, however, they came back in with recently-ATM-ed cash, and all was right in the world.