Unexpected gifts

Gift 1:
What goes around comes around . . . (Isn’t this a line from a Tone Tony Toni song?)

I had bought best-possible matinee tix for Trucie and Chris to see Jersey Boys in January as X’mas presents. For two people who have pretty much every 3-dimensional item they need in life, I felt it would be more appropriate and appreciated. I even worked out the date with them.
“And afterwards we’ll go to dinner with you,” I promised.
“What, you’re not coming to the show with us? What’s the point!”

Well, the point was, I don’t like musicals as much as they do, and I already dropped bank on my Cal Performances subscription, etc, etc. And at the current price points, I didn’t feel like spending THAT much money on seeing musicals myself.

I used to watch musicals during their heydey, i.e. “Les Miz”, “Miss Saigon”, “Phantom of the Opera”; but my interest has waned. Or are musicals just not as good as they used to be? I could barely sit through “Rent”, and “The Producers” didn’t quite meet my expectations.

I felt guilty enough after their cajoling to go online to look for two more tix for that show; but now they were genuinely sold out. “Well, this will give me a chance to check out the new Bloomingdale’s that’s in the old Emporium, while you’re at the show.”

I waited with Trucie at the theatre and when Chris arrived, I took off for Bloomies. On my way to Market St, a poster for “Forever Tango” caught my eye. It comes to San Francisco for repeat runs; and I’ve already seen it twice. Still I couldn’t resist. I walked to the theatre.
“Are there any tickets left?” The lights were already blinking for the audience to take their seats.
Right there and then, I bought a ticket and went in. So while Trucie and Chris were watching “Jersey Boys”, I was 2 blocks away watching “Forever Tango” !

I felt a bit sheepish, but oh well. I’m sure enjoyed my show just as much as they did, although I didn’t stick around to get autographs like they did afterwards. Heck, they liked it so much, they went out on a limb and bought tickets for us for February.

Luck by the skin of their teeth, it was the one day we didn’t already have plans.

So we saw ‘Jersey Boys’ this past Sunday. It was well produced, and the music is good, but had I paid my own money to see it, I would have been mildly disappointed. It had the feel of a VH1-“Where are they now” docu-tainment: epsiodes in the band’s evolution strung together in a song-and-dance format. ‘Frankie Valli’ looked like Fred Savage grown up.

The best thing was the sign posted in the lobby: “Flashing strobe lights, loud gunfire, and AUTHENTIC, PROFANE, JERSEY VOCABULARY are specials effects used in this production.” [their caps]

Gift 2:
If you want something done right, do it yourself – the Good Vibrations tagline

Khun M had asked Biker to ask India Tim who was traveling in Thailand to bring back a present to me from Bangkok. She must not have realised that Tim lived in Southern Cal, 500 miles from me. (Or as I usually explain it to folks in Thailand, “LA and SF are as far apart as Bangkok and Chiang Mai.”) It just so happened that Duck saw India Tim in LA and was coming to see me afterwards. So this present was going to pass through a third and final set of hands before getting to me.

There was a gift-wrapped item with my name on the gift tag. There was also an unsealed manila envelop that contained 5 small packets of seeds (basil and chilis). The manila envelop had an address on it to someone in North Carolina, as well as a note taped to it that said: “India Tim, please give to Uzbekcelia”. I assumed Khun M had simply re-used an envelop that she had previously mislabeled, to hold the various small seed packets; assuming she had thought about our garden plot and thought we could grow them in the upcoming year.

A couple of days later, I mentioned getting the seeds to someone who knew Khun M, who must have told her about our conversation. Because the next day Khun M sent me an email . . . asking me to mail the seeds to the person labeled on the envelop.


I was pretty taken aback, and felt bad, even though it wasn’t my fault. After all: why hadn’t Khun M (1) let me know more explicitly in advance what I was supposed to with it; (2) or have Tim mail it from LA directly. Since she had to impose on him to bring it across the Pacific, she might as well as imposed on him further and have him mail it also.

I had already opened the seed packets, and given some to a friend. I simply mailed the rest to the intended recipient. Whatever.

Gift 3:
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

This isn’t a gift, since it’s work.
“Fred” had dropped off print-outs of emails at the cubicle where I used to sit. On top of the papers was a post-it that simply said “Emails on Bikes – Fred.” The person who currently sits there glanced at the papers, saw the discussion had to do with bikes, and assumed that they were intended for me, but dropped off in her cube by mistake. She gave them to me.

I read the emails, and was mystified. It was a rather heated discussion on a project that I hadn’t been involved in previously, and knew nothing about, and wasn’t told to get involved in. I called and left Fred a voicemail late in the day asking him why he had dropped them off for me, and what I was supposed to do with it. (Fred is not someone I’ve actually worked with.)

The next morning, before I got in, Fred had already come to retrieve his print-outs. Apparently, he hadn’t been paying attention to which part of the cubicle maze he was in when he came to drop off the print-outs; he had actually intended to drop them off to someone in the next section over. (The cubicles are configured differently in our section from the next.) He never called me or emailed me to explain. Whatever. He was probably embarassed.


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