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the plan was a big failure. despite that, it was a very interesting night...

i showed up and discovered that i had been looking at the wrong schedule. alyssa wasn't working tonight. in fact, we didn't have a third office person at all, because rhonda was supposed to be coordinator, but she called off. this kind of messed up my new york plan. asking marie and kelly had been very easy, because they were both there, and each of them heard me ask the other person... so neither marie nor kelly thought that i was dying to go to new york with them, or something like that. they saw that i asked everybody in the vicinity, and realized that i was just dying to go to new york, and didn't really care how i got there. so i figured i'd repeat that technique with jane and alyssa tonight... but since alyssa wasn't there, i couldn't. i decided i'd play it by ear.

i went in there and tasha was still working, for about 15 more minutes. so i went back into the cash office with jane, and started cleaning stuff up...
she brought up something about marie, or kyle. (when she saw me on sunday, she had asked if i had gone out saturday morning with alyssa and marie. i had told her, 'no, kyle came, so we forgot that idea.' i had tried pretty hard not to sound jealous, and when she looked like she was ready to get upset for me, i just shrugged and went back to my signs.) but today, she says, 'i yelled at marie for ditching you on saturday. i told her that it's not very nice to break plans with your friends, just because some boy comes along. i told her that it probably hurt your feelings, and that she should think about others, instead of just going gaga over whatever guy she's with at the moment.'
i am amazed. i had figured that most of my problem with that situation came because i was pretty obsessed with marie, but here's jane, a random bystander, and she still thinks that marie was wrong.
i shrug and say, 'yeah, but that's her. boys are her favorite thing in the world...'
jane laughs and says, 'she's like some boy-crazy 12-year-old, isn't she? i thought kids outgrew that...'
i laugh. jane rules!
then she looks at my hair and shakes her head and says, 'i still can't believe you let them do that...'
i shrug. she says, 'debbie, i accept you for who you are. you know that, right?'
i don't know how to answer, because i hear 'gay' written all over that... when i don't reply, she says, 'i would never make you dye your hair, or pluck your eyebrows. i like you for you.'
i smile and say, 'ok,' because 'thank you' never comes out when it should.

then tasha leaves, and i go out to the counter, and i keep smiling, because jane is the coolest boss ever. i know there was a little gay reference in that statement about accepting me for me, but she's not pushing it... she's just letting me know that she doesn't care, without forcing me to admit it, and that's good. and she's completely with me on the marie issue.

rashid is working tonight. i brought him my cis notes. they're from the quarter that christine got fired... so they don't have much cis in them, and they have a whole lot of kroger stuff. he's had my notes before, and i told him before that i'd never let him have any notes from that quarter. i told him they were crazy, and i had like 3 pages that started with i am terrie, and then went on and on, trying to figure out what terrie thought. but he really is taking the class, and he really does want my notes. so before i went to work, i went through and rashid-proofed them. there's plenty of interesting stuff in there, still, but i ripped out the worst parts, like the terrie part, and the part where i spent 4 pages obsessing over the fact that christine was gone, and the part where i talked about how christine knew what was going on in my head, even though i didn't say it. i left a few references to 'the stupidest question ever' (basically, asking christine if terrie knew i was gay), but i never come out and say what the question was, or why it was stupid, or anything like that. so i think they're safe.

he came up to the service desk and asked if i had brought them. i said i had, and told him i had ripped out parts, but there was still tons of weird kroger stuff in there. jane overheard and asked, 'do you always write about kroger in your notes, or was this just a pretty boring class?'
i laughed (it sounds rather strange to be this obsessed with a grocery store), and told her, 'not usually. it's just that this was the real bad jim quarter.'
she says, 'oh, jim.... you liked him? i thought you never liked him.'
'no,' i correct, 'i didn't like him. but he liked me, and it got messy. he was crazy!'
she says, 'oh, i do remember that. he was pretty weird for a while, huh?'
jane says, 'he always picks the wrong girls, like when terrie was living with us, he was always over...'
that's too many new facts in one sentence. i have to clarify them one at a time, and jane cooperates. she clarifies that terrie lived with her and her husband for a while because she put her house up for sale, and it sold faster than she had anticipated. so she had to get out, but she hadn't found a place to go. so she lived with jane and her husband for a while, until she found a place. and jim was always coming over to visit jane and her husband, but mostly, he just wanted to hang out with terrie. because yes, jim had a crush on terrie.
this makes me and rashid laugh a lot, and i remark, 'that wasn't very smart of him,' and jane laughs with rashid and me, and agrees.

jane tells rashid and me this story about her kid, and how his new favorite phrase is, 'you're hurting my feelings.' like jamie was picking his nose, and jane's husband said, 'jamie, please don't do that,' and jamie burst into tears and sobbed, 'daddy, you're hurting my feelings!'

rashid and i spend a lot of time talking about arnicia and looking at arnicia and trying to approximate her weight. jane laughs at us, and she says, 'you two are too obsessed with that girl!'
this makes us both laugh, because we both like to play like it's only terrie and he that are obsessed with her, and i'm just playing along...

terrie calls, and i pick up the phone. she sounds upset. it turns out that she's babysitting, and she can't find the movie that jane's kid wants to watch. so he tells her, 'you're hurting my feelings,' and he bursts into tears. terrie says she feels like a terrible babysitter, because she didn't mean to hurt the kid's feelings. jane listens to the story and then cracks up. rashid and i listen to her reassure terrie that everybody hurts jamie's feelings, because he just likes to say that... we laugh.

then it's time to close in the office, so the service desk is closed, and it's just me and jane. i know that now is my chance to get started on the plan... i realize that i work with jane again on thursday morning, and it will be easier to ask about new york then, when there are other people around (and i'll have a better chance of finding somebody who knows somebody in new york, if jane doesn't volunteer terrie). but if i get the guts to say, 'terrie is good at being gay,' i don't want anybody but jane to hear that. so i spend forever trying to get the guts to bring it up. she talks about stuff, and i answer, and we actually have good conversations. we talk about kristen, and jane tells me lots of stuff about her. up until then, i had only known the thing i promised not to repeat. but jane tells me how she got drunk all the time, and how jane and her husband had always had a christmas party for the kroger office people, at jane's husband's bar. but kristen came and got really drunk and tried to have sex with amit and then puked all over everything, and jane got stuck cleaning it up, so that was the last year she had a christmas party. and kristen had sex with the policeman that marie always flirts with. and marie also had sex with that policeman, last summer or so. (i didn't want to know that.) then jane talks about how when brian used to be the assistant manager here, he would always make fun of ann, and when ann was talking to jane, brian would stand behind ann and act like he was smoking a joint, and just do dumb things to make jane laugh. and then she told me about how she was at a bar with jacqui the other night, and jacqui is always getting completely trashed. and jacqui cussed out the bartender (who was a friend of jane) and jane spent the whole night following jacqui around, and apologizing to everybody for jacqui's bad behavior. and jane has a pool, and she has various people over. and one time, michelle and teena and terrie were over. teena refuses to go in the water. she won't even take her shoes off and dip her toes in the water. and michelle didn't have a swim suit, so she was just wearing this big t-shirt of jane's, and her hair was down (michelle has LOTS of hair) and her glasses were off, so she was squinting and couldn't see a thing. and then jane's brother showed up and decided to go down the slide and jump off the diving board, and run around like a maniac, completely naked. jane was trying to make him stop, and terrie was cracking up, and teena was hiding from the water, because she wanted to be there, but she didn't want anybody to try to talk her into swimming, and michelle was blinking rapidly and turning around in circles, trying to figure out what was so funny, but without her glasses, she couldn't tell that the guy was naked. and jane says that sometime this summer, she thinks she's going to have a pool party for the office people. i tell her that i think that would be fun. then she tells rashid that he can come, and now i KNOW it will be fun. rashid is the coolest guy EVER!
anyway, all this is very interesting to me. i have this odd obsession with knowing every detail about every person that i've ever met, so i'm thrilled that jane is sharing all this with me. but i'm also mad at myself, because every time there's a break in the conversation, i want to bring up terrie, but i can't get the guts, and then jane starts talking again, or the phone rings, or a cashier comes up and needs help.

so finally, i'm getting all psyched up to say it, and then rashid comes up and the phone rings. it's teena, for jane. she's watching a tape of the grammy's. rashid and i listen to jane's end of the conversation.
jane says, 'oh no, debbie and i hate avril lavigne! that sk-EIGHT-er b-o-i song is quite annoying. but marie (of course) owns the cd. and can't you just picture her sitting in her room, getting teary-eyed, and singing along at the top of her lungs, IT'S A DAMN... COLD... NIGHT..., and thinking about kyle?'
it was just about the funniest thing ever. rashid and i could not stop laughing, and teena was laughing so loud that we could hear her, even though jane was holding the phone. it was great! like, jane is funny. so lots of things become funny, just because jane is saying them. combine that with the fact that i really can picture marie sitting in her room, getting all teary-eyed over that cheesy song... it was hilarious!

(ok, i didn't get to the interesting part yet, but i have to go do laundry and dishes now, before it gets too late. so i'll finish this story later...)