Today is the day. I need to run. I haven’t ran since last Saturday. I do my regular: coffee and write first. I have to blog and write a preview article of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for moviewiseguys.com. I also send a message to Brian and Gina on fb thanking them for the present they sent. Gina tells me to open it now. Pause on the writing.
Inside the red peppermint gift bag is a letter from Gina. She first came across my blog when I wrote about Christmas, and she, too, is obsessed like me. She also used to work in the entertainment business. I know she worked with Regis but I don’t know if it was with Kelly or Kathie Lee. (Most of my friends are in love with Regis and Kelly so I’m sure they’ll want to know more.) She talks about missing Aunt Jody, so she included a picture video that she made for her memorial. (My Mom has a copy. If I put this thing on I’ll need a box of tissues handy.) When Gina and Brian moved into their first house, Aunt Jody gave them a set of two ornaments – one that says Harmony and one that says Wonder. “I gave you the one that says WONDER because you are on such a fun, exciting journey right now and probably filled with all the wonder of LA and the possibilities that lie ahead.” Wow. I love it. That was so thoughtful. There’s another note attached with an update on her three boys – Michael, Jack, and Luke. They are adorable. They were so little when I last saw them. They’re becoming little people now. Gina also included some Christmas candy and a silly Jersey Girl chocolate bar. I will never forget where I came from. Yea Jersey.
I send another thank you on fb and get back to writing. Doorbell rings. Troy answers. The guy has two packages for me. “There’s more.” He gives Troy a look. Annoyance? Frustration? Definitely both, because when he returns he has another two, big, heavy packages for me. Gosh, this is exciting.
The first small one on top is from Colette – I knew this was coming. At Girls’ Weekend she asked if anyone wanted a jump rope because she had an extra one so of course I said yes. It’s a nice one. Then, like I do every year, I left something behind at her house. This year it was my wine key. I need it for work. I have another one but I left it at Tara’s house last time I was there. So this week I’ve been using a really really crappy one and last night it broke during the madness. I thought Colette was sending the one I left but I guess she couldn’t find it or didn’t have a chance to go back to her shore house because she’s sent a new one! I feel bad opening a wrapped Christmas present but I have work tonight and I really need it. It’s an awesome one. Way to be clutch, Colette.
The other three, big boxes are from Mom. Underneath one of the boxes says, “Final Christmas package.” Well OK then. Inside are more wrapped presents and two awesome looking stockings that say Mike and Lindsay! Love! This was almost my first year without a stocking. I almost bought four of them but it seemed too expensive and timely to buy them, decorate them, and then I would surely be the only one to fill them. There are also a couple wrapped presents that say ‘Troy’ and ‘Sonny’ on them. “What? Who is that from?” My Mom. “She’s a saint.” Yeaaaa she is. Amidst all the presents these boxes are also somewhat of a care package – toilet paper, paper towels, contact solution (yes!) dove soap, splenda, toothpaste, more Ramen, rice-a-roni, pasta, tuna fish, etc. Courtney has included a small tin of her chocolate chip cookies. Yum. I’m organizing everything when the doorbell rings again. I answer, laughing. “Lindsay Stetson?” Yup. That’s me. This is a small package and a big envelope. Inside the box are extension cords. Random. Find out later that they were supposed to come with the tree Mom sent. The envelope contains a $100 Kroger gift card. No note, but I figure this must be from the Manfre’s. 100 dollars to spend on groceries? I’m in heaven.
I finally sit back down at the computer, happy. Opening all these packages is almost like Christmas morning! It’s almost 2pm and I still have to shower before work. Guess that run isn’t happening. Oh well.
I’ve been looking forward to tonight for two weeks: pay day. I have a number in my head that I’m expecting to make. I’d like it to be more, but if it hits the number, I’ll be happy. If it’s under, I’ll have to re-evaluate my job at Lilly’s. There’s a big party at 7 tonight, so I don’t want to bother Francis at the beginning of the shift. Later, when we’re almost done, Francis is sitting with the party. I ask Corinne, Francis won’t just leave, will he? “Yes, he is leaving soon.” Oh. I wanted to get my paycheck. “Oh that’s right! It’s Monday!” She’s obviously not in desperate need of money. “You should ask him before he leaves.” I plan on it. I haven’t really described Francis yet. He’s this little, wiry older man with gray hair and he always wears a red beanie with a ball on the top. He’s so cool. I walk by him outside and he calls me over to give me the rest of the inventory to finish tonight. “Just leave it on the end of the bar and I’ll get it tomorrow.” OK, do you have anything else for me? “What do you mean?” A check? “Oh yes, I will get it for you before I leave.” Wonderful. It’s not until almost 11 when Francis hands me an envelope. I try not to rip it open in front of him. As I finish cleaning up, I tear into it. It’s just under my mark, but the cash in there exceeds what I wanted by just under 200 dollars. Good. I’m happy. Looks like I have a job.