February 25, 2010

I Have A Spine...Sometimes I Just Choose Not To Use It

So, BlogHer '10. From the minute it was announced in Chicago that it was going to be in New York, I was pretty much set against going.

Why? Four words: New York. In August.

If you don't understand why that was my rationale you have either a) not been in New York in August or b) are one of those slightly insane people who actually enjoy stultifying heat and humidity. There is a reason they were able to get an entire hotel in NYC for an entire weekend in August, folks...all the sane people leave the city that time of year!

I've spent the last six months going back and forth, back and forth on whether or not to go. One day I was thinking, "Hell no!" Then it was more, "Well, maybe it might not be that bad." Then back to, "Oh, HELL no! What are you thinking?!" And so on. February ratcheted up the intensity as early-bird pricing comes to an end at the last of the month. All these people that I would like to see start confirming that they're going. And I get more...let's call it "encouragement" instead of "coercion"...to go, from multiple quarters.

Now, if I truly don't want to do something, there's very little that will convince me to do it. But I am aware that I'm easily influenced when it comes to things that I sorta/kinda actually want to do, and I think the influencers in this case pretty much know that. And they went to work. In concert. And with gusto.

The other day I decided that, if I'm going to go, I sure as heck am going to get the lower-priced ticket. So I bought a ticket, knowing that I can sell it later if I need to; this thing always sells out and there are always people looking for tickets at the last minute. That was the first step down the slippery slope.

I'll spare you the rest of the slipping and sliding. I've decided to go. I've got a ticket and a roommate and a slate of people I'm looking forward to hanging out with. All that remains is the plane ticket. I will make the same caveat as I did last year that there's a very good chance I won't leave the hotel the whole time because of the weather without a lot of whining. Because no one wants to hear that, right? But you have been forewarned!

February 21, 2010

Winter Bloom

The camellias in this part of California always signal that winter is coming to an end soon. I liked this perky one that recently opened near the house.

I could spend hours taking pictures of flowers. I don't even know if anyone else enjoys the pictures as much as I do, but hey, the first person you need to make happy is you, right?

February 12, 2010

Was A "Social Lie" Called For?

As many of you know, over the Christmas holiday I had a part-time job at a chocolate shop. It had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to one day work for this chocolate shop company. I not only got to live that dream, I got to live it in the very store that had inspired me as a child.

Recently, they called me back to work there again for the upcoming Valentine's Day rush. I said yes and, as I'm currently an employee there, I'd prefer not to mention the name of the company here just yet. You probably know and that's fine; let's just see if we can avoid mentioning it in the comments, m'kay? ;-)

I worked last night for a few hours and had a moment that left me questioning my response to a customer query. Now, customers ask me a LOT of questions during each and every shift (when I'm no longer working there, I plan to write about some of them) and because a high level of interaction is required, I turn into the perkiest, chattiest Cathy you ever did see. So not me in general, but it's kind of part of the role. I'm used to being questioned and responding in a friendly manner and tonight was no exception. The question this time was a first for me, though.

A nice man (who had been kind enough to let an older lady go first because he was indecisive about what to get), who I would say is around my age, was ordering his candy and I was getting it bagged for him. I think he asked a question or two about what kind of boxes were available and it was a pleasant interaction. Then he smiled and asked, "It must be really hard for your other half to get you something special for Valentine's Day when you work in a chocolate shop, huh?" I didn't really think about it too much, I just replied honestly, smiling, "Well, if I had another half then, yes, it might be difficult for him!"

At least two of the ladies in line visibly cringed and one said, "Ohhhh..." in an "Ooh, you stepped in it, mister," kind of way. I could tell that he didn't really know what to say for a moment, so I continued on in an attempt to mitigate his embarrassment, "But then, I love getting chocolate so it really wouldn't be all that hard!" I kept smiling and finished the transaction. He recovered and was smiling again when he left.

I was left to wonder if being honest (but pleasant) wasn't the right move in this case, however. Because while I didn't mean to put him on the spot, he was making a common assumption I encounter all the time: Coupled, until proven otherwise. I'm used to setting the record straight, so it came naturally and there was no ill will intended in my answer. Now I'm thinking, however, that it wasn't actually meant as a personal question -- it was really just like the ones I get all the time along the lines of "Oh, how can you stand to work here without eating chocolate all the time?!?" -- so perhaps I should have just played it off with a laughing, "Oh, it is!" or something similar.

Was the so-called "social lie" called for in this case? What do you think?