Last Friday, I went to lunch with my dear friend Mr. X. We had a delightful meal of Thai food and then went shopping, after which I joked that I was slacking off, and added, “How much would it suck to get fired on my first week at a new job?”
Answer: it would suck so, so much. Like, a lot.
Not to worry, I didn’t get fired, but I did end up having to do a rewrite since I misunderstood what the project was for. Happily, it all ended up okay – the client is using both versions of what I wrote, albeit for different things, and he’s told me to invoice him for both. I had said I would not charge him for the rewrite, since it was my error, but he said I saved him from writing something he would have had to write in a few months’ anyway, so I might as well get paid for it. So, to sum up: feeling very good about this freelance thing, and pleasantly surprised that ethics in business still exist. Who knew?
Anyway, I was shopping for birthday gifts at this store, Wacko, a.k.a. Soap Plant, a.k.a. La Luz de Jesus. I would post a photo of it, but Blogger is up to some shenanigans right now and perversely won’t let me post pictures. Whatever! Moving on…
If you are ever in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, you should drop in and browse at Wacko, because not only do they have a fabulous toy and art collection, but they also have a great selection of books, soaps, and candle-like things. I was able to find all kinds of funky, relatively inexpensive and even age-appropriate items as gifts.
The gifts were for one of Viva’s classmates, who had his 3rd birthday party on Saturday. He and Viva are pals and I’ve been going around joking that he is my future son-in-law. Ha ha ha, until we get to his house up in the Hollywood Hills and I find out who his parents are. It goes without saying that I am not going to violate their privacy, but Viva’s future father-in-law is a big movie producer. Like, of movies you have actually heard of, including one that has been adapted into a television series.
The party was huge, and Viva had a blast. We stayed for three hours and yet and still, they had not cut the cakes (yes, plural) or busted open the piñatas (yes, again, plural). Viva was fading fast, so we had to cut and run. On the way home, I took a wrong turn coming down from their house and got a little lost. I wasn’t too worried, because I knew if I kept driving downhill I would eventually come out somewhere that I recognized. The streets way up in the Hollywood Hills are very narrow and twisty and turny, and if there is opposing traffic, it is quite easy to very narrowly miss hitting each other, due to the hairpin turns. So I was driving very slowly down the street, and I said, “Shoot, I took a wrong turn. I think we’re a little lost.”
“Don’t worry, Mommy,” Viva said. “We’re just gonna say, ‘Member when we went to [boypal]’s party, and we got lost? ‘Member that?’ And we’ll laugh!”
“Yeah, we’ll laugh, baby. But you know, I don’t think we’re really too lost,” I said. I looked in the rearview mirror. Viva was wearing her party hat, which was a blue Nascar helmet. She looked exhausted, rumpled, and utterly thrilled by her party experience.
“I need to take my helmet off,” she said.
Viva’s favorite thing to say these days is, “ ‘Member when…?” What I love about this is that sometimes she will ask me if I remember something that happened when I wasn’t there. Example: “ ‘Member when we were riding on the front of the bike, and [school friend] was riding on the back? ‘Member?”
And I’ll say, “No, sweetie, I don’t remember, because I wasn’t there. But I’m glad you and [school friend] have so much fun together.”
And she will actually look a little puzzled, like she was sure I was there with her at school all day. It is as though, even though she realizes that we are two separate people, I am still somehow in her brain all the time, seeing what she sees.
I am hopeful that this misperception will last a long time and keep her from doing all the dumb shit one does in prepubescence, puberty, teenagedom, and young adulthood, but I think the odds, they are not in my favor.
* Our blog title today is courtesy of the menu at the Thai restaurant that Mr. X and I frequent. Whoever wrote the menu is either an evil genius or does not have a thorough command of the English language. I like to believe that it is the former.