Monday, March 19, 2012
This Is All So Exciting
This story was written for Mom's spring 1992 writing class. It's a simple conversation between two old friends who haven't seen each other in a long time.
The photo is of Mom in her office about 1994.
"Hi Jane!" said Mary. "Gosh I haven't seen you in a long time! Where have you been?"
"I've been working both at work and at home. You know the usual," replied Jane in a rather tired tone.
"I've been shopping all day; do you have time to sit for a minute and have coffee?" Mary asked.
"Sure, why not?" agreed Jane.
They both headed toward the delicatessen. Jane stood tall and slim in her heels, dressed in a pale blue suit with a paisley print blouse, jewelry to match, her hair beautifully styled as though she just stepped out of a salon. She looked every bit the business woman, a great advertisement for the clothing store she managed, "For the Business Woman."
Mary, on the other hand, had quit her full-time career in the bank to become a housewife and have children. She was shorter and quite a bit heavier than Jane. She wore washed-out blue jeans, a sweatshirt, and tennis shoes. Her hair was tied in a make-shift pony tail - the way you look when you don't want to run into anyone you know - but you always do.
"Jane, you look so nice. Are you still at the store?" Mary asked as she paid for her coffee at the counter, thinking about how awful she looks compared to Jane.
"Yes, Mary, I've been promoted to manager. It is a very big job with a lot of stress. Sometimes I put in 10 or 12-hour days. Are you working?"
"No, I do some volunteer work occasionally at the kids' school, but John doesn't want me to work. He feels it is up to him to 'bring home the bacon.' Sometimes I feel so alone, like something is missing. I want to meet people, feel useful. I want to know I can handle work and family. I envy you so much."
"That's funny, Mary, because I envy you for all the time you are able to spend with your family. It is too bad we can't switch places for a while. It was good for both of us to run into each other. Guess maybe I will slow down a bit and spend more time at home. Maybe if I hire an assistant it will take some pressure off of me. Guess it's called 'delegating.'"
"Jane, do you have a job for me? I was in sales before John and I were married." Mary inquired hopefully. "I do usually look better than this."
"Oh, Mary! Come by the store tomorrow and we can talk about it. This is so exciting! To have the two of us together again after all these years. I'd better get back. I'll see you tomorrow around 9 a.m. OK." Jane grabbed Mary's hand and pulled her over and hugged her.
Mary sat there for a minute thinking about the past few minutes; the excitement rose in her chest. She wondered what John would say. Oh well, no matter; she needed this, she needed to be with people. Oh my, she thought, I need to go to the beauty salon and get my hair done! What will I wear? This is all so exciting.
Connie, April 7, 1992