Monday, May 25, 2009
  Master of The Obvious

The CP is, as is mother dubs him, Master of the Obvious. There is no clarity like the reasoning of 4 year old mind. He was outside playing with a new found friend from down the street. They were having a day of water fun with a pool and a slide and water balloons. At one point the CP wrapped his towel around his arm and made a puppet mouth with his hand. "I am Cockroach Man" he declared. I have no idea why, but it made sense to him. I suggested he remember that little bit of shtick for his mother. She has a "thing" about cockroaches. Not particularly bugs, just cockroaches. Always has. So I knew she would be , shall we say, amused.
At dinner, I prompted him to tell his grandfather about Cockroach Man. Pop-Pop asked if he knew what a cockroach was. "Some kind of bird" said the CP. So we enlightened. "What does he eat?" the CP wanted to know. We told him bug food, but that wasn't specific enough. So we told him that if we drop food on the floor, and didn't clean it up, a bug could come and eat it.
When his Mom arrived I reminded him about his new super hero incarnation. "I am Cockroach Man' he proclaimed. Not in her house, his mother assured him. The CP had an argument ready. He told his mother that if you drop food on the floor, a cockroach will come and clean it up for you. He thinks it would make a good pet.
I hope she lets him come back.

Saturday, May 09, 2009
  By Any Other Name

So, obviously, the CP and I are far from the only pre-emptive spellers out there. It was somewhat therapeutic to find out that all of you have name recognition challenges as well. My favorite comment of all was Cheryl's "De Wolfe, as in Hungry Like DeWolfe". Whatever it takes, right? Yesterday I interviewed a young woman, a college sophomore who spells her first name Brighid. When I commented on the unusual spelling she told me that people usually tell her she spells it "wrong". I told her she spells it "incorrectly' and she laughed so I hired her on the spot.

A couple of name related stories popped into my head, so I thought I would share them with you.
Quite a few yeas back I was at the hairdresser. It was the week leading into Christmas and the salon was crowded with women getting their holiday do's. I was sitting and waiting along with two other women, when one of the salon employees stopped in her tracks, put her hand on her chest and said "Oh my God". Naturally , the three of us looked up from our complimentary salon copies of Cosmo. The employee pointed to each of us in turn. "Noel, Holly and Star" she said. "What are the odds?"" Indeed.
Not as many years ago, but still a few years. a member of my office staff went and got herself engaged to a young man who's family regularly graced the society page of our local paper. We were invited to the engagement party, held in an area we refer to as "the Main Line". Think "Philadelphia Story" and you'll have the general idea. Sarcasdad and I pulled up to the circular driveway, in our Hyundai, and were welcomed by the local constabulary, who were, as you would of course expect, parking cars. I think they parked ours back in Philadelphia so it didn't have to sit amongst the Jaguars and BMW's . The party was set up on "the grounds". I remember the menu being comprised of hor'devours and not many of them. However, the booze flowed freely. After a bit, my co-workers and I needed the restroom. We actually thought this would be our chance to get inside the house. Silly us. When we got to the front door we discovered that there were 2 bathrooms, 2, just inside the entryway. One on each side. Outside each bathroom door there was stationed a "maid". These maids looked like linebackers and they did not admit to speaking English. They were however clear on one point. No one got past the foyer, through the french doors which if they were open would have given access to the fountain. Yes, an actual working water spouting fountain, in-the-house. In our state of blissful inebriation we thought we could bluff our way through, Again,silly us. However, while we were thusly engaged we spied two of the bride's sisters tip-toeing past the fountain on the other side of the doors. They held their shoes in one hand and used their other hand to form the international sign of SHHHH while imploring us with their eyes to not let the "maids" turn around and see them. We happily made idiots out of ourselves until the bridesmaids were in the clear. Later they reported back to tell us they had made it all the way up to the second floor and that the rich people were slobs. I knew those weren't really maids by the door.
I bet you are wondering what this story has to do with names. The next day myself and another party guest were at work retelling the nights events to people who had no attended. My fellow tale teller was stuck on one theme. The groom's mother's name was "Angel". She kept harping on it, and asking me what kind of a name that was for a grown woman. I finally pointed out that I felt unable to comment as my name is Star. "Well yeah," she said. "But that's your name." Odd is obviously in the eye of the beholder
One more story.
A few years ago my daughter Star and I visited a local museum, the Rosenbach. I know it wasn't Star's first visit, as it was mine, but I think it was the first time she took the tour. As it happened on this particular day, when the tour stepped of we were the only two there. So we had the undivided attention of the docent. A lovely man. A very elderly man. He reminded me of the men who sell poppys for veteran's day. He led us into a room where photos of authors and presidents and other really cool people who had a part in the history of the museum were displayed. He began his presentation by introducing himself. Loudly. Loudly as if his hearing was not as sharp as it once was. I was immediately gripped with the fear that the next step was going to be for us to introduce ourselves. This was not going to go well. Two of us, with the same , unusual name, and a man who can't hear right to begin with. At worst we were going to confuse the poor man with two people who have the same name, which he was going to hear as Doris. At best, we were going to sound like an episode of "I've Got a Secret".
"My name is Star Foster"
"My name is Star Foster"
Luckily, he never asked and Star and I were treated to his delightful and informative presentation, followed by a self guided tour of the museum, which we greatly enjoyed. As soon as we were back outside, I turned to her and said:
"If that man had asked our names, and you went first, I was going to lie about mine."
She laughed and said. "If you went first I was going to lie about mine".
You know what they say, like mother, like daughter.
And on that note I wish a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms.

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