Monday, November 10, 2008

Insult or Compliment?

I had to go to Brooklyn yesterday to pick up my new custom-made Flirt-skirt and to see a designer about taking in another article of clothing that I'd bought from her flea market stand.

Brooklyn is a big place, with lots of different neighborhoods. I started in Carroll Gardens, which I like, and walked through Gowanus over the canal (now one of my favorite parts of Brooklyn) and then on into Park Slope. After taking care of the business I was there for, I dodged strollers and training wheels on my way to the coffee shop, where I intended to get a snack and do some work on a 3-D atlas piece I'm trying to write for the Chronicle Books blog.

I scanned the menu and addressed the counter help.

"What bread does the hummus and avocado sandwich come on?"

"Whole grain or alsatian."

"Alsatian?" I was puzzled. "Sounds like a dog. What about the chili? Does that have tofu in it?"

I didn't mean to spit it out like tofu was the devil. But y'see, to me, it is. I'm horribly allergic. But the guy behind the counter didn't know that.

"No, no tofu." He laughed at me a little. "It's turkey. It's really good."

"Turkey chili?" I probably looked a little appalled. "I'll have... the BLT."

I thought for a second and then realized I should make sure.

"That's pig meat, right? Not turkey bacon or tofu bacon?"

Shocked, the counter help looked at me.

"You're not very Park Slope."

I squirmed. "I'm not from around here," I said after a minute.



LynnieJ said...

Ah the blessings of living in a small town. I call the chinese takeout and without identifying myself I order my soup and she says "no eggs no tofu ok?".

Marie Javins said...

Small town? That's called Caller ID.

But yeah, for those readers who do not know this, I come from the Allergy Family and I myself am allergic to 19 items.

One of which is tofu.

Matt Hollingsworth said...

And stillness. You're also allergic to stillness.


Marie Javins said...

I'm allergic to inactivity. my god, it drives me crazy. I think I can handle stillness like "Sit still and meditate," but the part where I feel like I'm achieving nothing drives me completely insane.

For whatever reason. I don't really understand it, but fighting it all these months has made me even more frustrated. I think it's time I just admitted it's who I am and embraced my need for activity. No, activity isn't enough. Meaningless activity doesn't help. I need meaning, movement, and goals. Going to a job where I fulfill someone else's dreams every day drives me bat-shit.

So 20 things. I'm allergic to 20 things.

Yasir Khan said...

forget the allergies and the turkey chili. that skirt's very fetching.

Marie Javins said...

Why thank you! Yasir has helped me purchase clothes in the past, though he was in Cairo and I was in Barcelona. I'd send photos and he'd give me a thumbs up or thumbs down.