Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Catwoman's Theory of Relativity

Day #2 of unemployment. Pretty uneventful. Blogged as you all know, then did some work to make myself a little money. The great thing about freelancing is that you're paid about three times your normal wage. So you only need to do about 3 hours of work to get paid what you would in a day at your regular job. Your assumption of course would be that I worked three hours today. Which would be false. So stop assuming.

Anyway, I did manage to waste my afternoon at the Social Security office to obtain a new card, since I will need one should a new employer ever decide that I'm worthy of taking in. Notice how undistraught I am at the idea that maybe no one ever will. I'm like one of those tough streetcats who's just too mean to ever belong to a family. And I'm probably one of the ones missing tufts of hair and an eyeball, which would probably be why no family would want me, but that's besides the point. This is an analogy gone very, very wrong and I apologize for it.

So back to the Social Security office. And yes, I apologize for dragging you there too. The point is, that I got to that horribly sad place and was given the lucky number 90 by the very meek security guard at the front door who asked me if I had a gun, knife or pepper spray in my purse and then believed me when I answered no. Hopefully none of the terrorists figure out that the way to get past the security desk at Social Security is with a short skirt. Despite my menstrual bloating, that threw any suspicions off of me.

Well, it turns out that number 90 ain't so lucky. At least it isn't when five minutes after you arrive (and realize that the book you meant to bring is sitting on your kitchen counter), some disheartened woman behind the glass pane yells "Number 63." That's when you realize that your life is about to take a senior citizen speed ride through hell.

And it's amazing. It was just two hours, but really, it felt like I spent three years sitting in that uncomfortable chair, a very large woman's ass roll squeezed over my armrest and laying on my lap. And so I tried to make the most of that time. I people watched. Mainly the large woman beside me, who ended up was an art teacher who graded assignments while she waited. Each child's art work, many of which looked like they had poured heart and soul into, was graded on a two second basis. Second #1 -- glance at drawing. Second #2 -- write down mark, either 100 or 95, except for one inexplicable 80 given to a second grader who, from my perspective, had done no worse than the rest.

Here's a scary thought about our children (or future children's) education. On the wall were two framed pictures: President George Dubya and then the mugging face of Mr. Dick Cheney. I swear, if you saw that picture you'd think he was mugging too. Anyway, the art teacher whose stomach roll was now sitting somewhere near my crotch was there with her "husband," a very small man, who looked to be at least ten years younger than her and hardly spoke English. "Who that," he says to her at one moment, pointing to Cheney. She frowns "I don't know, but he sure looks familiar, doesn't he?" She then proceeds to fill out his Social Security card application and asks him "when's your birthday?" Ah yes, true love indeed.

But anyway, sitting there forever pondering the mysteries of life made me realize that relativity is really one of the most fascinating concepts. It's like this past Saturday when I did this party by Fort Worth. I had been with this crowd before and they were literally the most white trash people I had ever seen. Huge hair, bright red lips, all of them in their early 20s with many, many children and I'm sure, many, many fathers. The epitome of white trash at its finest. On Saturday, the hostess told me that they were waiting for her sister-in-law. Everyone begins to giggle. Not understanding the inside joke, I inquired as to whether this girls was always late and that's why everyone was laughing. "Oh no," the hostess exclaimed. "They're laughing because T. is the trashiest person ever. I mean, I need to apologize right now for her behavior." I nodded in agreement as a few of the girls took deep swigs from liter bottles of some weird blue alcoholic drink.

And that's when I realized that there's always someone prettier, richer, trashier, skinnier, fatter or dumber than you. Of course it is possible to be at the best at something. But at the end of the day, as much as I have a stomach roll when I sit down, mine never visits my chair neighbors. And while I may be unemployed and on my way to possible poordom, there's always someone out there who can't feed their family.

The theory of relativity... It's no wonder Einstein was so fascinated by it.



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