Thursday, July 26, 2007

Confessions of a Rarely Dangerous Mind

Bubble Van

I saw a blue Toyota Previa today. For a brief moment, I thought my parents were driving by. They haven’t had the Previa in years. It’s so weird. I feel as though that specific make of vehicle belongs to our family.

Burrito Boyz

Yesterday, I was waiting for a friend on a street corner for about three minutes. She was coming to the city to take me to see some experimental short films (that included Fred Astaire montages, so I was happy). As I waited, I heard a guy from behind me saying, “Hey.” For some reason, I assume that every “hey” in Toronto is intended for me. I turn around, only to be reminded that the majority of “heys” are spoken into cell phones and not directed at the people around them. I see the guy talking into his phone, so I turn my back and keep waiting. But then I do a double take. There was something too familiar in his “hey.” Something too familiar in his posture. It was Ben Mulroney. Ben Mulroney was thisclose to saying “hey” to me. He kept walking and talking, straight into Burrito Boyz. At this point I get quite excited, as I’ve heard great things about the restaurant but was never sure where it was. Ben’s hair may be on par with a Ken doll’s plastic painted-on ‘do, but he showed me where to get burritos, and for this I will be eternally grateful. Or at least temporarily amused.

The Name Game

At work today, I walked up to a coworker and indulged in a slice of humble pie like no other. I looked her straight in the eye and made my humiliating confession: I didn’t know how to pronounce her name. We’ve worked together for over six months. We eat salads together. She gave me her hair stylist’s number. I even trained her. But every time I needed to speak to her, I made sure I caught her eye with a brief wave, and then proceeded to chat without calling her by name. As time went on, my embarrassment grew, and I felt less and less comfortable talking to her. Didn’t she notice that I never addressed her? That I only used her name in emails, where pronunciation wasn’t an issue? So today I bit that proverbial bullet and asked her. And she told me. And all is well in the world of office conversations.


michael lewis said...

I ended up at Burrito Boyz twice when I was in Toronto in April. But I never saw Ben Mulroney there!

And, how did you actually approach the name thing? Was your co-worker pleasant? Offended? Distraught? Or the more preferred: "oh don't worry, it happens all the time"?

nadine said...

The name thing: I think there was a bit of taking offense at first, but it soon launched into a friendly banter of all the ways I could pronounce her name. I think she thought it was funny that someone felt the need to publicly address such an issue. And now I call her by name, which is really the preferable way to address someone.