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Mary, Tyler, More February 1, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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When I hit “play messages,” I hear her voice: “Hello Vermont. How are things there? Boy, is it cold here.” Who is that?, I wonder, recognizing the voice but not placing it. Friendly, sweet. Eventually, “We’ll see you Tuesday at 11:45 and Tim at 12:30. Safe travels!”

Ah, Mary. The receptionist at my hair salon in Portland. Whenever she calls, it’s like this. She never says her name. Even if I’m home and pick up on the confirmation call, she uses the name of the salon. “Hi, this is [salon], calling to confirm. How are ya?”

Still, even without ever speaking her name, she has this easy intimacy that I love. She makes me feel . . . known.

On this trip’s first morning, at breakfast, I immediately approached the basket that usually holds the croissants of the phenomenal bakery next door. Alas, it was filled with bagels. I figured that either (a) the hotel had given up the croissant practice, or (b) maybe they just didn’t bother with them on weekends. So I picked up an egg-and-cheese English muffin.

But suddenly, there was Tyler standing at our table, holding a brown paper bag from which he pulled two croissants and placed them perfectly on a white porcelain plate.

“They got cut from our budget,” he explains quietly, thus confirming (a). “They cost too much, and we always had leftovers. So now, we just run next door when we see someone coming in who likes them.”

Before this moment, I was a Tyler fan. But imagine walking into a hotel breakfast buffet, three months after your last visit to said hotel, to have the waiter dash next door for croissants for you without any discussion. I adore that he knows me. (And this may be the closest I’ve ever felt to being royalty.)

The good news is, the staff also knows us well enough to give us shit. “Can I order two bowls of oatmeal?” I ask the waitress Kristen, now at the kitchen window. She rolls her eyes, the burden of the order almost too much to bear. “I suppose.” The best comeback, of course, was one I wasn’t even around to witness, almost two years ago, when Kevin admonished Tim for grabbing a cookie because “Those are for guests!”

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Comments»

1. Helen - February 1, 2010

LOVE the title. Love the post too. It does sound like you have found a home away from home, except your away-home has a wonderful butler or man-servant or whatever the proper term is (I’m sure pool-boy doesn’t apply in this case… or does it?)

2. Eulalia Benejam Cobb (Lali) - February 2, 2010

Wow…I’m not surprised you go there so often.

3. Dona Patrick - February 3, 2010

Hmm, tried to comment but it didn’t seem to take. (maybe our blogs are telling us we shouldn’t communicate)

Trying again…

You’re very lucky to have this. Being known is very important and in my case, very rare.

4. Mali - February 6, 2010

I love that feeling of belonging. Especially somewhere where you don’t belong … (ie not home) … I used to have it somewhere in Cambodia … if I haven’t already, I’ll write about it.

5. Bridgett - February 7, 2010

Love this feeling. How wonderful when you find it.

6. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - February 10, 2010

My recent experience of being known was at a local Starbucks that has been Adam’s and my weekly writing spot for many months. A few weeks ago, I was doing a drive-through, and the barrista with the deep, silky voice and the large gold earring said, “We haven’t seen you and your friend in here of late. I hope nothing’s wrong?” I said, a moment before I caught the odd emphasis on friend, “Well, we decided to take a break over the holidays”—meaning a break from writing the book. But his crestfallen look and his “Oh, I’m so sorry,” told me he thought we had been a couple and were taking a break from one another. I spluttered a bit, but didn’t correct his misapprehension, especially since there were cars waiting behind me.

Adam and his wife (of 25 years) Lee went in the next week. Lee told the barrista that she had decided to “convert” him—”because I just love a good challenge,” she said, laughing.

7. indigo bunting - February 10, 2010

Ah, there is being known, and there is being known. What a wonderful story. Oh, the great and powerful Lee.

8. Adam Byrn Tritt - February 11, 2010

I love it. And love being known. Even when what is known about me is not quite, or even remotely, accurate. It is something I am coming int here in my new home of five years. Being recognized, having my peculiarities and idiosyncrasies known and catered to or, sometimes, being admonished for. “Are you sure you want that?” “No, you would not want THAT table – a horde of Vikings might descend and you might be caught defenseless, sipping coffee.” Now, you know you don’t want to hear the list of beers because none of them are uop to your standards.”

Some people know me as Lee’s, or Dr. Lee’s, Husband. This is quite a switch for me. Every other place we lived she was “Adam’s Wife.” People would ask her how it felt, how I managed to keep out of jail.

So now I get to create myself anew and allow people to know me differently than before. Maybe it’s time to cultivate some eccentricities, eh?

By the way, I have often thought of you, as far as writing, as Ms. Perfection. But today I notice, instead, misperfection. I quote:”We’ll see you Tuesday at 11:45 and Tim and 12:30. Safe travels!” Should not the second “and” be an “at” instead? Sure, let the blind guy find the mistakes for you!

Just sayin’.

9. Adam Byrn Tritt - February 11, 2010

I have just read Craig’s comment. He can no longer claim I have no right to make stuff up in my blogs. I shall abide by Sedaris’ maxim that only ten percent need be true for anything he writes to be considered non-fiction. Or, as Dave Barry often writes, “I swear I am not making this up.”

I shall leave it to you to decide what portion of his comment is rooted in reality and which portion is not.

As far as turning a guy, if such had needed to be done, Lee’s just the dame who could do it! I say we send her after a particular barrista and see what comes up.

10. indigo bunting - February 11, 2010

Adam: Thanks for your comments. I will in fact edit now. I hold that it’s hardest to proofread one’s own work. Sometimes I go back to old blog posts and can’t believe what I see!

11. Adam Byrn Tritt - February 11, 2010

I often have Lee read my work to me so I can hear the gaffs and missteps. I want to hear where there is no music. If I read it, my brain will fix it on the fly and the mistake will go by. Then I increase the font to a crazy size so I can proof. And I still make mistakes I find later on. And I always find mistakes in my comments.

12. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - February 11, 2010

Note that “gaff” is in fact a gaffe.

13. Adam Byrn Tritt - February 11, 2010

Well, if you are going to point out my little joke, it isn’t going to be as funny. Craig, you have robbed IB’s gentle readers of the delight of the discovery. For shame. For shame.

14. indigobunting - February 11, 2010

Oh, I doubt my regulars will come back to this. But if they do, and they read comments, they’ll see that YOU were the one to point out the gaphffff…

15. Mali - February 11, 2010

I’m here and much amused.

I often find myself self-editing, in fear of the editors who lurk around these blogs. I know I still get it wrong.


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