I think I’m supposed to write about this today. The reason I think so is because lately, I have asked myself and others the question, “What made you think of that?” I go through tons of pictures looking for the ones I need for the blog. I always know which one I need, but finding it is another thing. This speaks more to my lack of organizational skills than anything else. I usually run across another photo or two that starts a chain of thought.
I saw this photo of an exercise class at the YMCA in Richardson, TX. I recalled taking the class years ago. The YMCA I belonged to wasn’t too far from the office where I worked, so some of my co-workers decided to join me for an aerobics class. The two in this photograph could each fill a very entertaining book, but for the purpose of this example, I am going to tell you a little about Jeri. (She’s the one in the red T-shirt. I’m in purple, and Kathleen, also a co-worker, is the red-haired lady to the far right.)
I should give a little history here.
When Kip was transferred to Texas, I was able to transfer to my company’s Dallas office, which helped a little as I contemplated the move. I doubted very seriously that I would like Texas. I loved Denver. A day or two after I started working in Dallas, two of my co-workers, Jeri and Barb, invited me to go to lunch with them. This started a routine that continued for many years.
Barb and Jeri always went to the mall, which was right across the street from the office. I assumed we would walk over there, but I was wrong. We got into Jeri’s very nice car and drove. We usually parked in the Dillard’s parking lot, because if we parked elsewhere, we didn’t remember we did, and we went to the Dillard’s parking lot first anyway. Then we had to backtrack. Finding the car at Dillard’s even proved to be a problem. Every time we walked out the door, Jeri would say, “Does anybody remember coming?”
The routine was to drive to the mall, and shop for 30 minutes before meeting somewhere in the food court, where we spent another 30 minutes eating. We didn’t count the drive over and back as part of our lunch hour. Jeri didn’t count her commute from home as part of her office hours either. Unlike the rest of us, her work-time started when she left her house. Nobody cared that she usually arrived at least 45 minutes late.
As Jeri approached her 50th birthday, certain things started to concern her. I remember walking by a lady sitting in the food court. We all observed that she had a very noticeable outline drawn around her lips. The fill-in color was not even close to the color of her carefully traced outline. When we sat down, Jeri had this horrified look on her face. She very dramatically said, “I will never wear lip-liner again!” I told Jeri it probably looked worse because of the fluorescent lighting in the mall, but she dismissed that explanation pretty quickly. A couple of days later, I walked into her cubicle and she had her compact mirror out. She said, “I am so disappointed in my lips. They haven’t aged well.” I made no comment.
On her 50th birthday, Jeri came to work wearing a sparkling, pink dress and some sort of headband with a pink feather attached. She looked like a cabaret singer from the 20’s. There was always a theme for her birthday parties, and they were always lots of fun. Each summer she and her husband Bill hosted Olympic games in their back yard. I hate to brag, but through the years, I took home several trophies and blue ribbons.
Each year our office participated in a chili cook- off. There were two parts to the competition. One was the chili and the other was the entertainment. Jeri had some influence over the chili recipe we used, but she and our manager B.J. always choreographed the entertainment.
The year that stands out most in my mind was the year of the Marilyns. We all wore blond Marilyn Monroe wigs. An hour or so before we were to take the stage, we heard a high shrill voice calling, “Marilyns! Marilyns!.. we must rehearse!” When Jeri got excited, she always sounded like Julia Childs. We sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President,” just like Marilyn Monroe sang it to President Kennedy. Jeri became a little irritated when we were laughing so hard we couldn’t finish, but my memory tells me we won that year. We always took home a trophy for either the chili or the entertainment, or both.
The Queen follows a chain of thought…or maybe it follows her.
“Oh yes, this reminds me of the time Charles got angry with his sister Ann for taking his biscuit. It happened years ago, yet he has never forgiven her Judge or is it Magistrate? I spend a lot of time in Murdo these days. It’s Judge in the States. Have you ever been to the States my lord? Anyway, to this day, Charles hides his biscuit behind his teacup. It really messed with Ann’s mind when he pressed charges. Then he… What Judge? Oh yes, I’m here to pardon Ann. I can do that can’t I Your Magistrate Judge? “