Dear Jade, November 10, 2003
Hello! How’re you? It got cold here faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle” and much faster than you can say almost any sentence in the Heath Anthology of American Literature. Well, here are some interesting things that have been happening:
Who is Don Rabska and why is he wishing me a happy birthday?
I got my first official birthday card in the mail on October 29th. The return address was from Van Nuys California, but the outside’s not nearly as interesting as what’s written in it. It reads: Dear Maaike, Hoping you had the very best Birthday ever! Warmest Wishes, Don Rabska. P.S. I think Michelle is terrific, too!
Well, I’ve no idea what this means. So, I called the only Michelle I know and left a message on her machine: Hi, this is Maaike. I’ve two questions for you, 1: Who is Don Rabska and 2: why is he wishing me a happy birthday?
I’m still waiting to hear back from her.
UPDATE: Michelle is denying knowledge of Don Rabska. Have sent a second email informing her that if she’s playing a joke I’ll kick her in the shins.
And it gets more mysterious:
November 1st I got another birthday letter from another person I promise I don’t know. This time his name is Don Chien (or Chiou–can’t read his handwriting). Is there a conspiracy of Don’s? Is it like Don Diego Vega and he’s a wealthy landowner in California before it officially became a state? Well, this Don is in Australia and I think I’d remember if I’d been carrying on a conversation with a guy in Australia. He wrote a letter as if he and I had been friends for ages. I just don’t get it.
I am going to keep blaming Michelle until she can convince me otherwise.
It was indeed Michelle that had people sending be b-day cards from around the world. November 3rd I got three more cards. The one from Denmark was a sign that it had to be Michelle–either her or Viggo Mortensen, and I don’t know him as well as I’d like (he could introduce me to Billy!). But the kicker was the little old lady in England who said, “My friend Michelle Davidson told me to send you a birthday greeting.” Then today, I got a card from Michelle’s Mom and Dad. HA! Proof at last that my suspicions were right!
It was a lot of fun to get the cards it was an adventure for my birthday. (She said there are a few more to come...that I’m not at the end yet!)
How it all stacked up:
Cards from people I don’t know: 15
Cards from my bank: 1
Cards from people I do know: 6
Calls from people for b-day: 5
Cheesecakes from Audra’s fiancé: 1
Dreams about Billy giving me a present: 1
Dreams of receiving Billy AS a present: 0 (but still hoping)
People Died, ‘n stuff.
I was walking up the evil hill to campus wearing my headphones and listening happily to Travis’s album “12 Memories”. There was a sorority chick walking up the hill talking on her cell phone. When I hit the point between songs I could hear her talking. She said, “...that wind storm last night, people died n’ stuff.”
I don’t think it’s politically correct to follow up the phrase “people died” with the phrase “‘n stuff”. You can bring “cookies ‘n stuff”. You can “check your emails ‘n stuff”. But I really don’t think you should present any kind of calamity with the ending “‘n stuff”.
I Am in Love: part 1 (October 29, 2003)
There’s a song by Crowded House called “I am in love” which inspires me to tell you a story: There’s this wee man that I’ve seen in the Administration building. The firsts day I saw him I though to myself, “Wow! He kinda looks like Billy Boyd.” Needless to say, I was intrigued. The next time I saw him he was standing in the hallway. I said to myself, “He looks good in those jeans.” That next time I saw him was in Sherril’s office. (Sherril is my boss at the language lab.) I was in there getting the test boxes. I smiled coquettishly at him and walked away.
Tonight I saw him at the movie “Chaos” playing on campus. I said to Christina, “See that man behind us in the red sweater?” She said she did. I said, “I love him.” And that’s the truth. I love that wee man. My goal is to find out his name. Tomorrow I’m going to talk to Sherril to see what she knows about him. So, I’ll sing, “I am in love!” with confidence and at least know the name of the man I’m in love with.
I Am in Love: part 2 (October 30, 2003)
Well, I did it. I asked Sherril about him. I went in to get the boxes for the Greek tests and I said, “Hey, Sherril, there’re grad students teaching Spanish, right?” and she said that there were. I started to go on, but a guy walked into the office right then, Sherril told me to go ahead, but I said that I’d take the boxes to the lab first. When I got back the guy was still there and Sherril said, “This will only take a minute, Maaike.” So I signed the time sheet and waited for the guy to leave. Then I said, “Is there a little guy, who has light hair?”
Sherril said, “Yes, Pablo Garcia.” Ah, he has a name. The wee man in the red sweater has a name at last: Pablo Garcia. She went on to explain that he’s on an exchange from Spain. She told me where his office was and made it clear that he was single. There was a cute smile on her face and really goofy grin on mine. Ah, Pablo Garcia.
I Am In Love: part 3 (November 3, 2003)
Guess what I found out. Pablo Garcia is Daniel Turner’s Spanish teacher. Daniel is going to invite Pablo to go rock climbing with him. I asked Daniel to invite him to a party I’m going to have. I know it’s a bit awkward, but how else am I supposed to get to know him? We’ll see how it goes.
When I went into Sherril’s office to get the test boxes, Pablo was in there. He’s so cute. Then later on I saw him in the hallway and I said, “Hi” and smiled. I don’t know what he said back because I was grinning furiously and I could feel my heart melting then trickling into my socks. It’s so unfair. I HATE it when I feel this silly over a guy. Especially one that I don’t know how I’m going to get to know. It’s so cruel. If only I had more confidence in my looks then maybe I could do something about it! But the truth remains: I am in love.
I am in Love: part 4 (November 4, 2003)
I saw Pablo today OUTSIDE of the Admin building. He seemed to recognize me as the girl who keeps smiling and saying “Hi”. I said “Hello” and he said “Hi” back so quietly. So quietly...I don’t know if he’s shy, if he’s unsure about his English abilities, or if his brain is just thinking: WHO THE HELL IS THIS GIRL!!
There’s nothing I want more than to have a conversation with him. I don’t know what to say to start one up. I even looked into taking Spanish next semester, but he’s not teaching 101! I don’t know what to do...and I don’t know how to explain the somersaults my heart does whenever I see him! It’s just too cruel! I’m so tired of being “the big girl” I want to be wee so I could at least feel that I’d have a chance! ACK!
I Am In Love: part 5 (November 5, 2003)
I didn’t see Pablo today...and I even dressed up! Make up and all! I’m going to have to stop believing that there’s someone out there who wants me. If I give up hope I’ll feel better. I’m sure I will. Next year is my official “Give up Hope” birthday.
I Am In Love: part 5 (November 7, 2003)
Today I witnessed a double take that gave me a warm-fuzzy feeling inside for at least an hour. I was heading out the Admin building and I saw him. He wasn’t looking my way, but he was there and it made me happy. He looked up then he looked back down at his path BUT he immediately looked up again. He smiled and said “Hi!” and he said it more loudly then he ever has before. YIPPEE! He recognized me and said “Hi” first!
When I got home I called my Mom to tell her. She was giggling at me. Then I called Christina to tell her. Well, I accidentally called the boy’s house because it’s the 882- number that comes first in my brain and due to the excitement of the moment I didn’t get her number right...THEN I talked to Christina. Yes, it’s a very small thing to be so excited about, but this is ME...the queen of Getting-Excited-Over-Little-Things.
He made me so happy. I just wish there were some way for me to have a conversation with him. Maybe I should enlist the aid of Sherril at work. I just don’t know...other than that I’ll keep smiling.
Celebrating my birthday the Yolanda-Bobina-Fredericka-Hoop Style:
Christina (a.k.a.: Yolanda, Yo-Yo, Christina-Bobina, Hoopy, Hoop, etc...) threw me a surprise party for my birthday! She had decorated with streamers and balloon animals (amazing, I can’t even tie me shoes let alone make a giraffe out of a balloon!) And she had cake with candles and all kinds of food.
She had a game called “The Maaike Game” where people had to answer questions about me (i.e. what is the name of Maaike’s teddy bear and from what mental disorder does it suffer?) The winner got a prize. Mandy won...she had 6 correct answers. Leah and Stephen each had 5 BUT the best part was that all the pieces together made a picture of BILLY BOYD! Katie Whittier taped it together for me and now it is in my journal. That Yolanda sure can throw a party!!
Strange Messages on the Machine
My friend Richard called me to see if we could study together. His message said, “I thought I had your number memorized, but I didn’t. Then I found the right number and called you. Then I got your machine. Then I left you a message. Then...I don’t remember what I did next.” He explained to me later that he’d brought it up to the present moment, so there was no way to know at all what he had done next because it didn’t happen yet. As it turned out the thing he did next was “cook an omelet”.
I’d been trying to get a hold of Sean but he was never home. Then the time came that I told him I’d be leaving so I walked down to his house and rang his bell. He yelled, “Come in” so I did. He was on the phone so I waited patiently. He then said into the phone, “Hi, I’m trying to get a hold of you but YOU’RE IN MY HOUSE!” On my machine you can hear me giggling in the background.
Ryan Butherus has no inner monologue:
As I was sitting in creative writing next to my friend Ryan Butherus on Thursday, this girl, Wil (she and her husband live in #402, just below me!) walked in. I said, “Wil, is your birthday coming up?” She said, “Actually, it was on Sunday.” I said, “I knew you were a Scorpio!” Anyway this led her to ask me when my birthday was and then she asked how old I was. I told her that I’d be 34. To which Ryan responded, quite loudly in fact, “HOLY CRAP!” I started laughing. Then he said, “Oh yeah, I remember, you told me! I just forgot. I keep thinking you’re my age.” Yes, that’s what I’m pretending to do...I’m just not good enough at math to pretend!
Kylie Jessup: My favorite MEAN friend
I saw my friend Kylie in Winco today. We were standing in the cereal aisle blocking the access to the Cheerio’s. She remembered it was my birthday and, as per usual, had to tease me. She said something along the lines of “You should enjoy your birthday and celebrate your Oldness.” right then a gentleman with a cart drove by. I told Kylie, “You’re lucky the man with the cart came by otherwise I’d beat you.” He laughed and wished me a Happy Birthday. Ah, Kylie. The source of so much truth and ridicule...and never-ending laughter! What would I do without my mean friend?
As you can see...things here are just as they’ve always been. The peace and joy of simple country living, I’m sure you miss it. I know I do.
PS. Here’s my mention of my obsession with Brian Passey–who is out of town and hasn’t had the opportunity to acknowledge my birthday, but who’d better do so once he’s back in town.