So, I didn’t tell you about our New Year’s eve. We spent it with some dear friends in St. Paul. During the course of the evening we began talking about hubby’s conviction that we are running out of oil, at which point people began adding their own apocalyptic whisperings. Apparently, in the future;
  1. We will have no bananas. Pout. If you think that this isn’t important, you don’t understand how dependent I am on that delicious yellow fruit. I can’t think of a day that I DON’T eat a banana. What am I supposed to replace them with???? Rhutabagas?!! (Mmmmm…. rhutagaba smoothie…..) It’s all right here and in the New York Times no less. I’m crushed.
  2. Chocolate will become scarce and precious…like rubies or pictures of Shiloh Jolie Pitt.
  3. China is going to take over the world.

Of all of the three, that last one is probably the most likely to come true. My friend doesn’t think things are going to go well once it happens, and I’m here today to tell you all that she is probably right. You know how I know? Those damn twistie ties that come on toys and decorations–all of which seem to be imported from China, near as I can see. If you wanted to be friends, those evil little pieces of metal and plastic would all be twisted the same direction. But NOOOOOOOOO. I have just freed six tiny pine trees from their plastic bags and the twist ties went like this:

left, two twists
right one twist
left five twists
right two twists
One was even wrapped FOR NO REASON around the metal “trunk” of the tree. Those twist ties drip with latent hostility. Though to be fair, I would probably do the same thing if I spent 8+ hours a day securing Barbie Doll legs to cardboard. Admit it. You would too.
Go ahead, try. There are 37 twist ties in there.

Maybe we shouldn’t be worried. I mean, they may own everything else but it’s not like they have cornered the market on hostility, latent or otherwise. According to data gathered during my recent commutes, 100% of current Twin Cities bus drivers hate their jobs 100% of the time…. maybe more. Man. Serious grump action going on there. And I LOVE the bus. Maybe if they knew that they wouldn’t sigh and roll their eyes before sllllloooooooowwwwwllllyyyyy opening the folding doors to let me enter. Last night, I stood outside a paused bus and the driver slouched in her seat, talking on the phone, looked at me and LEFT the bus, closing the door behind her, rather than let me wait for her to finish her call from the warmth of the interior. Because I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, I’m going to assume that;
  1. She was negotiating the refinancing of her home and not having the kind of stupid, worthless conversations most people have on their phones on the bus. (“What are you doing?” “Nothing. What are YOU doing?” “I’m on the bus.” “Where are you?” “Fairview and Marshall. Where are YOU?”….)
  2. I must have looked like a ne’er-do-well who couldn’t be trusted to sit on the bus quietly by myself. The cold seeping through my bones must have imbued a certain desperate quality to my demeanor and she was merely protecting state property.
  3. Horsefeathers.*

Here I have to admit something. I am, myself, guilty of a certain passive aggressive snarkiness. I try not to indulge myself too often, but every once in a while, and here I’m going to suggest every 28 days or so, I just can’t help myself. Usually what happens is this; A new customer will come into our shop. The will look around, stare into the case at the 11 or 12 kinds of cookies and bars and ask, “Is this all you have?”

Look, I get it. Really I do. We live in the land of Walmart and Costco. We’re used to being able to walk into just about any store, including a gas station, and buy carrots, milk, 9volt batteries, a birthday cake, then rent a movie and do our banking. I GET IT. For folks to see a small case of cookies, nothing else, is at the very least, odd. But when I am inescapably, undeniably crabby I will smile so sweetly that butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth and say something like, “I’m sorry. Did you NEED more than 8 dozen?” And then, in my brain I add, “You knucklehead.”

Oh, I shouldn’t have told you that. The cookie shop is a HAPPY place. I LOVE my customers, many of whom we know by name (for the record, I’m not talking about any of you, I would NEVER call you knuckleheads. Okay, maybe you, Austin.) and several of whom have become new and cherished friends. I don’t know why I get so testy, but it is interesting to note that all three of my examples take place at work. Yes!!! It is WORK that is the problem and not hormonal cookie bakers all hopped up on sugar and fourteen cups of coffee.
See? Happy baker loves you!

Clearly we could solve all this hostility if only we stop going to work. Think about it. Aren’t you happier when you have the day off? Kinder and more content? We could take that time to do the things we really enjoy, things that add to the value of our days…

I’m going to build a greenhouse for my banana trees.

*Hubby would like me to make sure that you know; bus drivers are SUPPOSED to let you on the bus, even during their lay-overs. He knows this because he drove city bus for eight years and was good and kind and only ever left one person behind. But that dude totally, totally deserved it.
The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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