Monday, April 25, 2011

Kindly Supervision

I have come to the conclusion that I am the type of person who needs supervision. I am regularly supervised and because I am old enough to know that occasionally I have very bad ideas and also know that I am sloppy, I don’t usually mind. A lot of the time I’m not huffy at all when people give me advice. This is with the exception of my husband who happens to be past advising me and mostly issues edicts so he isn’t included in the “kindly supervision” category. Although, I am not as likely to consider his ideas suggestions like I mostly do with other people.

Sometimes I follow advice people give me, sometimes I mean to and sometimes I just ignore it even if I say I’m going to follow it. Since our fire I am more attentive to what people tell me than I usually am. I think this is about the supervision thing and also because people want to supervise me in a way that I haven’t been supervised before. This is probably a combination of the fact that a fire is such a dramatic thing that friends want to see how you’re coping. There also might be a possibility that you’re not acting quite right and even though you hope that’s not true, it may be a little bit.

I have this unbelievably good friend who writes the best e-mails. He always responds to something that you said or implied that is not the main thing but something you should probably think about and he writes in a funny clever way. I rant at him somewhat regularly and he says he doesn’t mind so I keep doing it.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote him an e-mail about how I was tired of wearing clothes from Rite Aide and about how I didn’t want to give my friend Carol back her shoes because they were so comfortable and because I really owe her a new pair. So he wrote back about how I had to get to a mall, how I really shouldn’t be dressing from RA (although he didn’t put it that way) and about how he had a friend who I know who was a personal shopper and how he would ask her to help me and all kinds of nice things.

My note to him told about how I got dressed up to go to City Center with my daughter and about how when they turned up the heat (it was a very cold night, but not so cold that the orchestra section needed to be 110-degrees) my outfit stunk. My outfit smelled like the fire. That smell permeated the whole section and was so pervasive that everyone was wondering where the smell was coming from. I would have left but I was sitting next to my daughter who kept telling me that the odor wasn’t me and I believed her until we went outside and she said that she knew it was me all of the time but that she didn’t want to make me self-conscious but I really did smell terrible. I guess it was good that she did that even though I really didn’t get into the performance because I was pretty sure that I was stinking up the place. And, it took me a while to find this funny.

I guess I’m glad this happened because right after that I got on the 14A bus, which was over-heated. I was wearing a coat that I had just pulled from a dry cleaning bag and the same thing happened. That time I got off the bus which wasn’t that good an idea because it was really cold out and a really long walk home. Plus, since I got off the bus because of the stinky thing, it didn’t seem like a good idea to get on a subway or take a cab so I made a plan.

My plan was to throw away my coat as soon as the next bus came along. The plan would work if I could toss the coat in a garbage can but there wasn’t one nearby and I think you’re not allowed to move them and I’ll bet they’re really heavy anyway. Also, I once got a ticket for disposing of household trash in a trash can even though it was car debris. So I decided that split second timing wasn’t going to work because obviously I had to be on the lookout for a policeman when I tossed the coat, and also tossing a winter coat on a freezing cold day would make it seem like you were planting a bomb. This is the kind of situation that New Yorkers who are inundated with the slogan: “if you see something, say something” should respond to.

I’m not saying that anyone pays attention to that direction anyway, but we should and someone who keeps looking west on 14th street then navigates snow drift obstacles to garbage cans then tosses a coat looks suspicious. There’s just no way around that.

That’s when I decided that I really had to go shopping. I don’t know if this would have occurred to me had my friend not told me that. Also, I realized that I didn’t have to wait for a personal shopper or anything. I could buy a coat right on 14th Street, which by the way, you can’t, but it seems like you could if you needed to but maybe those stores are west and I was pretty far east.

Because I got old, I tend to think things through. If I were younger I wouldn’t have ended up walking all the way home in the snow and the wet. That entire walk, I kept telling myself that it was good to be old because if I were young, I might, at that very moment, be being questioned by some terrorism task force. But, I think that that probably wouldn’t have happened and that I should have paid attention to the advice in my friend’s e-mail when I got it and it still wasn’t too late.

I’m acting more sensible now and I hope I don’t need too much more supervision, but I might, and I’ve decided not to be huffy at all about it if it comes my way.

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