So yesterday was free lunch Friday ("FLF"). The firm has some caterer guy who makes lunch for the attorneys each Friday, and when they're through, there's enough for all the rest of us. Each week there is bitching about the food, but we all still eat it because it's free. And it's not that bad. And it's free. Either way, by Friday lunchtime the staff is almost jovial in anticipation of the weekend and another free, albeit sub-par, lunch.
Funny, now that I think about it, the whole lunch kind of started out with vaginas, in a way. Emily and I were waiting with the others in the lunchroom for the food to be brought in (we don't get to mingle in the swanky conference room where the official attorney lunch is held), and someone announces it's fajitas. There's some relief then, because we've all had the fajitas before and compared to a lot of FLF, they score a solid "pretty decent." To which I reply, "Oooh, faJITEahs!" (Pronounced, of course, to sound as close to "vaginas" as possible.) And then tell them all how much Elise hates it when I say this, and how I thus say it as often as possible. Cruel, I know, but I enjoy embarrassing my kid. In fact, when we are anywhere near a place that serves fajitas, or we're buying tortillas at the store, or anytime the situation arises where we could possibly talk about fajitas, I like to say faJITEahs a little too loudly. No opportunity to do this goes unanswered.
Yes, I purposely embarrass my daughter. Push her limits. Stretch the boundaries of her comfort zone. I like to think I'm teaching her a real-life lesson about how you really can't concern yourself with what other people think. The ego is a dangerous mistress, looking to subdue and control and manipulate, even when you think you've put her in her place....
But back to lunch. So anyway, now blurting out "faJITEahs" is something of a habit. I tell them all this, and we're laughing and by then a few people are trying it on. You hear a stray "faJITEahs" around the room. Uttered from the mouths of good Utah folk. Mostly women. Good times.
The food arrives, Emily and Darcie and I construct our fajitas and take them upstairs to our favorite empty office for lunching. I'm determined to go outside though, as it is warm and sunny and if I can get just a few moments of fresh air each day it helps to assuage the trapped-in-a-box feeling that always lurks, just on the other side of some thin film in my mind, waiting to burst through and finally allow me to run and scream and bang my head into things and tell a few people to fuck right off. Thus, I had a plan. Emily and Darcie weren't into it, they said it "looked cold," which I've determined is patently impossible through the thick glass of our windows that never open. It "looked" sunny and lovely and like exactly where I needed to be.
"Alright then, I'm eating and then going for a walk for 15 or 20 minutes, with or without you."
"It's cold out," they say.
"It is not cold out," I say.
"It looks cold."
Turns out, they were wrong. It was absolutely beautiful. Too bad for the gals, they missed out not only on a few precious moments of a phenomenal day, but on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the look on Elder Bennett's face when, as I walked through the temporary/construction sidewalk, directly towards him, the wind caught my dress and blew the knee-length hem up and flat against my chest. And I don't wear panties. That's right kids, full-on crotch shot for the Elder. I'm surprised he didn't cover his CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS nametag with his hand, to shield the Church from such a shock. As it was, he didn't have time to process. Really, the whole thing couldn't have been more perfect, everything lining up just so in the universe to a tidbit of reality that I couldn't have created on my own if I tried. One moment, we're sharing a casual stranger-on-the-street-pursed-lip smile of "hello," the next my skirt is in the air and he's staring at my vagina. OH how he gasped, and tried to hide the gasp so as not to draw any more attention to this game of man-vs-vagina street chicken! How his eyes BUGGED out of his face! Neither of us stopped though, and just as quickly as it happened, it was over. He was gone - behind me. Probably pleading with the Lord for something or other.
I, however, thanked the stars for my good fortune at being able to enjoy such a hilarious moment in the middle of a fantastic day. And then I laughed my ass off all the way back to my building.
See, this is a good thing. Just as Elise needs me to stretch her boundaries and teach her these fundamental life lessons, Utah also needs me. I like to think that I - with a little help from the wind and the "celestial kingdom" from whence it blows - am doing my part to further the cultural growth in this town. In less than an hour, I had a roomful of mostly current or former Mormons all a'twitter, saying "faJITEahs" and enjoying it, AND I managed to show a 60-something year-old Mormon man what a vagina looks like in the sunshine.
From the look on his face, it may have been a first for Elder Bennett.