Sunday, February 14, 2010

Putter Pie! (Or Putterfly)

My PDA is in the backpack. I've got my debit card and my Metrocard within easy reach. Oh, wait, I forgot my phone; it's plugged in in the bedroom because it was running out of power. Back and forth I go, puttering around our apartment and distracting my husband who's trying to get some work done.

"Why don't you just get the baby dressed?" he says. "Come on, hurry up!"
"But I'm not ready to go yet!" I protest. "I have to finish getting dressed!"
A moment later, as I fill a bottle of formula (Philips Avent 4oz Bottle w/ Newborn Nipple): "I thought you were getting ready to go!"
"I am! This is part of getting ready."

And indeed it is, as are making sure I have enough diapers and wipes in the backpack and packing the powdered formula (Similac Advance EarlyShield Powder Formula - 23.2 oz.) and the portable changing pad. Rena and I are getting ready for another Thursday adventure together!

Finally, I'm dressed and ready to head right out the door. I just have to get Little Pie dressed in a gazillion layers so she doesn't freeze and put her in the baby carrier -- always the last preparations I do so she doesn't have so much time to get overheated.

Now my husband is distracting me with his jokes and playfulness while I attempt to dress the Little Bean who is, of course, miserably uncomfortable in her layers. Not to mention the difficulty of stuffing her and her layers into the carrier. There is a constant background noise of "Waah, waah, waah," but the moment I pick her up in the carrier and sling it over my shoulder like a purse...ahh, serenity at last!

My husband and I say "Bye, Pie!" to each other, and I carry Rena in her carrier to the front door, where I pick up the backpack and put it on. By this time she's sound asleep. I open the door and step out into the hallway. I take the elevator down to the first floor and exit the building, a huge smile planting itself on my face as I get psyched for our adventure! My stride is slow (I don't want to trip while carrying the baby) but purposeful. We reach the subway station. I wait eagerly for the 1 train, and when it comes, I rush inside and grab a seat so Rena can be comfortable and safe as we race toward Thursday's destination.

"This is 72nd Street," proclaims the conductor. "We're almost there, Rena," I tell her, although she's still asleep. We navigate the sea of people, first in the subway station and then outside. We walk just a couple of blocks and then, suddenly, our goal appears before us and the adventure begins....

To be continued....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just a Banana?

Today's the day: I've gotta make three sales or this job isn't worth it for me. Why bother? Because you never know what can happen if you just keep trying! I'll go check out those big apartment buildings down the street....

Figures, they don't pay their electric bills so I can't sell them Direct Energy. That bench here in the courtyard looks comfy; I think I'll take a break and figure out what to do next....

The tall, black woman jolts me out of my reverie. "Are you a Jehovah's Witness?" she asks. I guess I look like one from the way I'm dressed, all in black with a businesslike coat, skirt, and hat.
"No," I answer. "I'm Jewish."

We get into a very pleasant conversation, and I even take a look at some literature. See, I take to heart the words of Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) that say: "Who is wise? The one who learns from every person." I obviously don't agree with their Jesus thing, but perhaps there is something I can learn from this encounter. She tells me that at Jehovah's Witnesses' conventions, everyone greets each other like they're family. She says that Jehovah's Witnesses can always count on each other when they need someone to do a kindness for them, such as a place to stay. I exclaim, "Wow, we Jews could really learn from you guys!"

Now we're sitting in the kitchen at her apartment discussing her electric bills. Turns out she has three separate accounts! Maybe I'll close three today miraculously! We have to wait for her daughter to come home, though, but in the meantime we chat some more and she offers me a banana. Just a simple banana, from a bunch sitting on the counter, but I very much appreciate it, because I of course can't eat any prepared food from her kitchen and I've been walking around all afternoon. So she practices what she preaches. Yes, it is polite to offer food to a guest, but in all my time doing residential sales, I was only offered to come in once (I didn't because I'm not really supposed to) and most of the time it was just the opposite. In other words, I'm much more likely to get the door slammed on my face, never mind a banana.

So I am wise this time and learn that there is, in fact, a group of people who are kind to each other because they believe that that is what G-d wants most of all from people. I do not get to sign up her and her daughter in the end, but I do get a banana and some good food for thought....

Over a week later, as I am making banana bread ( ) for Shabbat because I don't have a job to be at on Friday anymore, I smile fondly at the memory, hoping that I can learn to be a truly kind person ( ) and that I can really help people with my next job.