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I Must REALLY Love Shoes…?

Today I dedicated an entire page on this blog to my dog. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people who is entirely too pleased with my tail-wagging sidekick. I also have an entire Facebook album dedicated to said beast, but at least have the consideration to make it only available to myself. Not everyone cares about the absurd level of my animal’s cuteness…knowing that makes me a better person than many frequenters of the book of faces.

walking dog, snaggletooth, schubert on a leash

Looking back, I can’t blame the man for wanting to know everything about this adorable snaggletooth.

Creating this page made me think back to an interesting conversation I had in my building a couple of weeks ago. It was early on a Sunday morning and I found myself in a familiarly awkward Sabbath Day situation. While I was heading out for my morning dog walk wearing gym shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops, the other riders were headed to whatever local cathedral dressed in their Sunday finest. This situation is always the cause of some discomfort simply because I’m usually expecting them to give me a disapproving face of some kind and 86% of the time that is what happens.

As I was doing my best to avoid eye contact and thinking about how amazing I’d be at starting a religion, I noticed that Schubert was getting some always appreciated attention from the gentleman in this group. Smiling at the man apparently sent an open invitation for him to ask a series of questions about my monster…

Church Man: “What kind of dog is this!?”

Me: “Oh, I adopted him from a shelter, so am not really sure.”

Church Man: “He looks like a Chihuahua on stilts!”

Me: [awkward, half-smile] “Yeah, I tell people he’s a ‘Chi-Whippet’ because he’s got the build of a mini greyhound.”

Church Man: “He sure does! What’s his name?”

Me: “Schubert”

Church Man: [big chuckle] “Wow, girl…you must REALLY love shoes!”

Me: [involuntary face of disgust] “Yeahhhh….have a nice day.”

shoe shelf, room, shelving, shoes, messy room

I actually do greatly enjoy shoes. This poor-quality photo shows shelving dedicated entirely to my shoes.

Now, should I have corrected the man’s assumption that I named my pet after an infatuation with footwear? Perhaps. But because it was early and I don’t like to come across as pretentious to my neighbors, I decided to leave his incorrect logic alone. Immediately I slightly regretted not telling him that my 2 great loves are shoes and one-half of Sesame Street‘s gay couple so, after much thought, I found “Shoe-Bert” was best name combo that would properly honor both. Such an explanation would have made me smile for minutes, but would also place me in the undeniable asshole category (I try to walk the line of questionable asshole and sarcastically witty).

This lead me to over analyze the idea of what it would be like to assume everything/everyone’s personal label’s origin was the result of an interest held by their parent (or owner). In some cases this assumption would be 100% correct, especially when looking at pet names. But what if it was assumed that my name, Elizabeth, was given because my mother thoroughly enjoyed her subscription to Elle magazine? Here’s a short list of some possible explanations parents might have if they used such logic:

  • Tommy- fan of a trendy, poorly made, do-good shoe brand
  • Jennifer- gin and tonic is their drink of choice
  • Andrew- conjunctions make their world go round
  • Diane- either a gambling or suicide hotline was hopefully suggested to them
  • Johnson- toilets were not seen as an object, but rather as their passion

Go ahead, try a few on your own! I promise this activity can be a fantastic Wednesday afternoon Time Vampire.

Maybe the world would be a more simple place if everyone thought like this? It would definitely make everything and everyone an easier target to judge. And that would make life easier for both cynics and church-goers. Think about it.

Post Summary: Think before you speak and if you lack basic logic, just pet the dog and keep thoughts to yourself.

Starbucks is Mocking me.

I’m very upset. This morning my neighborhood Starbucks barista asked me a question they had never asked before. After ordering my grande iced coffee unsweetened, he looked me square in the eye and said “What’s your name?” What. The. Hell.!? For months now I have ordered my coffees with ambiguity and loved every bit of it.

Here sits my coffee, mocking me in my own home.

I guess I should explain myself. Many have forgotten that Starbucks used to be the place to get over priced coffee and be served by some of the most angry people in the service industry. It was refreshing. Then something happened.

I blame the recession, because around 2009 all of a sudden Starbucks employees started being smiley and friendly and understanding of your overly complicated requests. Then, the “name campaign” began. This customer relations change meant you had to give your barista your personal ID just to get your beverage. It was supposed to make customers feel like they were “more than just an order.” It made me feel violated because I enjoy being served over priced, big business coffee anonymously for many reasons. For example- when I’m ordering coffee I am usually in need of caffeine so I’m slightly grumpy and in no mood to answer more than what is required to get a drink in hand.

Anyways, after moving to New York I had the most amazing thing happen. The Starbucks down the street from my apartment never asked my name and never had an overly enthusiastic employee smiling at me. I no longer had to worry about faking a smile back or feeling as though my life was somehow not as satisfying as the barista’s or that they were somehow mocking my glazed over morning look. I was back to being happy and just another order.

This morning that all changed. It didn’t help that I’ve had a really bad week, so was not only in a horrible mood, but also was sporting the “I haven’t showered or changed out of my gym shorts in days” look. I’m hoping it was just a fluke, because I’m not sure I can adjust back to happy-go-lucky coffee retrieval.

One of my favorite ways to describe the difference between NYC and the rest of the world was to use the Starbucks example: “In New York, nobody, not even Starbucks, really cares who you are so you can be whoever you want to be.” Has this example become outdated just six months into living here? I’m now more worried than usual about the future of the world.

Post Summary: I’m in a bitchy mood and don’t like being asked my name by a stranger on days when I don’t feel my attitude or appearance reflect who I really am. 

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