In the car with Fi (almost 4) and Sid (newly 2). Sid starts hollering for a song. “Baby number! Baby number!” she shouts from her crusty carseat.
“What is she saying?” I ask Fiona. My mind runs through the list of shitty songs I am forced to play for them, as well the array of Broadway show tunes I make them sit through (some of these tunes are more successful than others: “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” = big hit, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” = not so much). I come up with nothing.
Fi pipes up: “She wants ‘Call Me Maybe’.”
Oh she does, does she?
I do not have that song. So I pacify her with a medley of “Elmo’s World,” “How Much is That Doggy in the Window,” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Schein (Andrews Sisters version)”. I can’t let them completely roll over me.
I am feeling a lot less strong at the post office. For work mailings, I usually drive a bit further to the Georgetown branch, to avoid the farce that is my local post office, but I was short on time. So here I was:
I have lived in quite a few cities, and some of them were even European and middle eastern… and I can still with full conviction that this is by far the shittiest post office I have ever encountered. There is nothing quite like waiting on that line of twenty plus irate Seattleites (they smile tightly and secretly clench their fists in their fleece pockets) while the clerks (all two of them, never any more) feel the need to explain every bloody postage option available to each person, 90% of whom speak a smattering of English and really just want to go home.
Some clerks will only do package pickup (muttering something about their contracts), others will help with mailings, but public displays of dissatisfaction are verboten up here, so you need the patience of 100 saints not to hop the counter, throttle them, and do their jobs for them.
Yesterday was no different, and having two little ones in tow didn’t help. I got a slip informing me that a package came for M, but there was $1.05 postage due on it. Nobody had a clue where this package was and neither clerk seemed that interested in me (next time I am going in disguise as an old Somali woman; this should do the trick). So after forty minutes I decided to leave.
As I turned to go, the hapless clerk called out: “if we find your package we’ll let you know.”
Whatever. I picked up the little ones, who had, between them left an Appalachian trail of cookie crumbs and amassed an unusually large number of free postal forms (if anyone needs a delivery confirmation form, I have about 300), and headed to the door.
I just looked at the guy, shrugged and said, “thanks.”
But perhaps I should have let Sidney talk.
“Call me, maybe.”