What I Learned This Week: #222

Monday, December 6 – Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Week in High Tops: The new shoes I treated myself to on Cyber Monday arrived this week. They are great shoes. But the first time I pulled, and tugged, and grunted, and tugged some more, to get the high tops on, I realized, I’m too old for them. Not the look. They look great. But getting them onto my feet is a chore. I mean, I aged out of stilettoes years ago, but I did not see the demise of high top sneakers.

Once I finally got my feet in, and recovered from the self-induced feeling of vertigo from bending over so long and then rising up too quickly in victory, I knew. This is my last pair of high tops. Oh, and I made a mental note never to fly with them on. I’d never get back out of security.

The Week in Employee of the Year: I worked this Saturday morning at TJ Maxx. Despite the legend of Black Friday, for TJ Maxx, the Saturdays leading up to the Christmas are the real sales booms. Because the volume of sales is so high, the amount of merchandise in the store to meet that demand is, essentially, loaded to the gills. As you would expect, we set up tables and anything else that will hold merchandise, just to get it onto the sales floor. The overflow just goes in cardboard boxes under the display tables.

This Saturday, as I was putting out men’s pajamas, I noticed a woman “shopping” the boxes under the tables. We encourage this, by the way, as long as shoppers push the boxes back. This women, though, was looking in the boxes, taking what she wanted, and then, well, she was stocking our displays. She had a nice box set of Reebok base layers in her hand when I asked her if she wanted a part time job. She laughed, held up the boxes and said, “This stuff is great. There’s none out here. Where do you want them?” Defeated, I pointed her to an empty spot I’d just made. She was having a great time. And, you know, the customer is always right.

The Week in Santacon: Santacon proper, is a great fundraiser benefitting cancer research. People pay a fee to dress up as Santa and go to a big party at the casino. Great stuff. Welp, when the casino part of the day is over, a bunch of amateurs, some who paid for the real event, and some looking for a fun bar crawl, are unleashed downtown. Residents of downtown start warning each other days in advance. It is the one day, most of us prefer to be inside. It’s like a weather event. I can see the signs of bad weather and I make sure I have my supplies for the evening so I can hunker down.

I was out Saturday afternoon for lunch and glass of wine, and on my walk home about 5, the Santa participants were whirling around on every street and every social space, unavoidable. I had to get home before I saw some random girl crying, or some random boy puking on Main St. at, like, 8 pm. I made it. Whew!

The Week in Santacon Refuge: It is a game of residents to try to go to a bar that will not attract the worst of the Santacon participants. I did pretty well choosing to have my afternoon wine at 1215 Wine and Coffee, an old pre-pandemic stop of mine that I haven’t gotten back into my regular rotation. Not a Santa in sight, though I’m sure after I left they came through for lattes. I was long gone, but glad to have a peaceful afternoon.

The Week in Sponge Candy: Last week at work, we interviewed a young woman for an open position. I like doing hiring interviews because I like to go off topic a little and see how the candidate responds. For this interview, I noticed that she was from Buffalo, NY and I asked if she still had people up there. She talked a little about Buffalo but that she likes Cincinnati much better. But that’s not what I was getting at. I asked if she had access to sponge candy. The other three people in the room, my coworkers, shot me some weird looks while me and the candidate waxed poetic about sponge candy. They had never heard of it, but I’d had it years ago when another co-worker at another job brought some into the office after one of his trips home to Buffalo.

This week a box of sponge candy hit my desk, not from the candidate (that would have been awkward), but from one my coworkers who sat in on the interview. She wanted to try it. We all tried it and the reviews were good. Although the candy is officially described as a crunchy toffee coated in chocolate, we described it as malted milk balls on steroids. I don’t know if the Buffalo candidate is going to get the job, but she has already done good work in my book.

Sponge Candy!

The Week in Puzzles: For the first time ever, I put a jigsaw puzzle back in the box without finishing it. After finishing the water and building part of the picture, I was ready to tackle the sky. I don’t mind large swaths of sky in puzzles. I do mind when pieces are cut the same, and even the “cheat” of the printed zones on the back of the pieces doesn’t help figure out what pieces actually fit. I was annoyed, repeatedly pulling pieces out. But, I was going to soldier on. Yes I was.

Then, midweek, I got notification of a package on hold for me. I hadn’t ordered anything so I didn’t know what it could be. Turns out, some friends had attempted a 500 piece Taco Puzzle and they couldn’t put it together. They thought I might like to give it a try.

So, the first puzzle is gone, and now I have a more colorful, but difficult in its own way puzzle. I can’t figure out the frame, for example. Anyway, I’ll give it a go, but my next puzzle is going to be easy!

The Week in Pearl Clutching: This week in my building’s parking garage, I noticed a note hanging from a motorcycle, a bike, properly parked in a parking space. I walked up to read the note, in which, a resident who is sure he or she is “speaking for everyone” does not appreciate that the bike has taken such a primo spot. In one of the highlights of my week, I pulled a pen out of my purse, and wrote “not me.” When I saw the sign a few days later, a few more neighbor had chimed in. When I saw the bike a few days after that (in the same spot), the sign was gone. Mayhaps things didn’t turn out like the Resident intended?????


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