Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bad Day 356--The kindness of not so strangers

Every bone in my body hurts and also some things that are not bones. When you are little and see a pair of crutches, you think oh they seem like so much fun to swing on like you're in a circus! I know because I thought that when I didn't need to use them myself. The first time I ever needed crutches was when I was a student in Austria and broke my foot by walking on it. (See a trend here? Sigh.) I have pictures of me with a cast all over Vienna and Prague and I am not on crutches in a single one because my friends were always stealing them and playing with them. They discovered it was much faster to give me a piggy-back ride and then they could mess around with the crutches. So much fun when you don't actually need them. The children love my crutches and I always have to readjust them because they are playing with them, like this little girl.

The problem is that when you need them, you are actually in pain. Your hands and your shoulders and your neck hurt and your foot throbs and every step is agony and you pray that the escalator on the metro isn't broken because there is no possible way you could make it up the steps. Or down. Also, no one tells you that in the summer, the foam on the arm rest rubs the skin under your arms raw. I worked it out today by wearing a sweater, but no one wants to wear a sweater in 90 degrees in the rain. So I was absolutely dreading my commute home.

And then--the miracle. Someone who reads my blog and figured out that she lives near me e-mailed me at work and asked if she could give me a ride. She offered. Out of the blue. No strings attached. She knew I was in need, so she decided to offer help. You see, that is why I love working at the Department! Despite all the people who change "happy" to "glad" and the ones who yell at you about two spaces after a period and the ones who tell you that you are not allowed to eat the food at the 4th of July reception because you are the help and even though you have worked from 7 in the morning until 10 at night on a holiday and had to skip both lunch and dinner, that. food. is. not. for. you! Despite all those people, most of the people I work with are amazing. They are kind and generous and thoughtful and great cooks. They are resourceful and creative and fun and resilient. They are smart and witty and great story tellers. Someone once asked me how I could live so far from family and how I coped when I was overseas, and the secret is that the Foreign Service is a family and they are there when you need them. And today, when I was at a really low point wondering how I was going to survive the day, someone reminded me how great my colleagues can be. So thank you, "Caroline." You are a life saver. I hope some day I can return the favor.

Dennis Rodman is having a worse day than me--again.

dennis rodman nobel prize

He has decided that he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for all the hard work he's been doing to make the world a safer place. These are his own words. "But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong." I'm sorry, Mr. Rodman. That's like saying I deserve an Oscar for watching Les Miserables, because, you know, I love that musical and I know all the words. Or maybe I should get a gold medal for watching the Olympics and wearing the best T-shirt. Honestly! Tweeting to a dictator to "do you a solid" and release an American captive (who is still being held captive) does not make you Ghandi. So good luck with your campaign! I'll be sure to vote for you just as soon as I finish polishing my Grammy which I won for singing in the shower.

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