Thursday, February 24, 2011

You say you're happy, but does your face know that?

Thursdays generally tend to be my favorite day of the week. This is when i get to wake up a little later and head on down to the Georgia Straight office where i pick up a few bundles of their paper and deliver it to and around Granville Island. This takes about two and a half hours and then my day is freed up for whatever i choose to bring into it. On top of that i get to spend my "shift" outside which, weather permitting, can be lovely. It's a great way to spend my day and a nice jump from the routine of pulling shots at the shop four days of the week. I get paid well and in the last year that i have been doing this some very special people have come into my life. Seeing some of these smiling faces makes the job that much better and though i may not be forming lifelong friendships with these folks, those brief moments of appreciative recognition and stimulating conversation are enough to make my day. Whether it is the joy received from having something to read in a brief reprieve from the monotony of these peoples jobs or the possibility that someone "saw" them and put an ad in the I Saw Yous or even the familiar shiny face that comes around every Thursday to hand deliver their favorite publication, i seem to be in a role of bringing a certain happiness to peoples lives and i really enjoy it. I look forward to seeing Steve the bike fixer guy and recounting our week in whirlwind bullshit sessions. I look forward to seeing my favorite dog pal Buddha at my friend Sharpies gem store. I look forward to the shouts of Georgia Straight joy from the kids at the Hammock shop on the island. I look forward to spending a few minutes holding space with Loni at the art studio. I look forward to the myriad sweets in bowls on desks at the many offices i deliver to. I look forward to stepping into the incredibly high end wood-furniture store and dreaming about the day when I'll afford a $9,000 bed. I look forward to seeing all the pretty people, the B-line commuters or Granville artisans alike. Yes, these Thursday short shifts are usually very life affirming and i often think of how when i was 13 or so i delivered the Mission Times newspaper 2 times a week. We'd fill the back of my moms Volvo station wagon with hundreds of papers and I'd spend what seemed an eternity delivering to homes. It was thankless work that paid me $30 a month which at that age seemed a lot. Now I'm well into my adulthood and here i am delivering newspapers for fun and making really decent money to boot. 
 So what's with the title of this post? If I'm all shits and giggles, why the dripping sarcasm? Well, with all good and interesting things there comes a browner side that merits attention. As much as I'd like to only observe and revel in the happy parts of my favorite day, i can't help but notice things that make me a little sad. It's not much really, but it's enough for me to stop and give my head a shake. See, i have worked in the service industry for a long time now and i see a lot of people. When you're behind the counter or approaching a table there is usually an unspoken barrier between people and their state of mind. We can all be shitty to each other and i have had my fair share of bad interactions with clientele but whether you're serving or buying we all tend to fake it a little bit, despite our foulness. Out in public when the filters are down there is little to hide the pain in so many peoples faces or the shutting out of the real world through texting madly and shitty cell phone conversations. I wonder if some of these folks could see just how deep their grimace was, if they'd take evasive action to change it around. Yeah, sure, we all have bad days and we all go through rough and horrible spells, but i feel like i can tell the difference between heart pain and an unwillingness to engage with society by looking like a gargoyle on day 1 of the worst PMS ever. And these people aren't just sprinkled lightly in this city, they're EVERYWHERE! And they scare me. I saw a woman today in her massive white Escalade frothing and spitting and furrowing her brow because an old woman was crossing the a crosswalk. She honked for a solid 5 seconds while beating her hand on the steering wheel, eventually veering out into oncoming traffic almost hitting the old crosser and killing herself in the process? And for what? So she could get home to her shitty lonely lapdog life and online episodes of Glee? A hair appointment? Yogalates? I saw another young woman with a frown a mile wide get huffy and frustrated because someone dropped something in front of her while she was walking. She literally stomped her foot and exhaled audibly because SHE had to step around something, a whole half a second of her life, gone. Poor girl. Have a cookie, bitch. 
Then there are the few folks who have made up their own story about the guy who comes to deliver the Georgia Straight to their store every week. It's rare and after a year 95% of them have realized that there is far more substance there than the half retarded simp some of them decided to paint me as. But every once in a while i get some high falootin' richie-rich pull out their chalk board and spell out specific instructions as to where they'd like me to leave the paper and to not make eye contact if they happen to be dealing with a client. Well, it's not that extreme, but you know what i mean. Some people are self important jerks. But i shant let that get me down. These are simply observances that i can choose to let affect me. It's just kind of tough to see on such a beautiful day, surrounded by good food and awesome scenery. It just makes me wonder how some think it's better to have their head so far up their own ass when there is so much potential for joy all around them. Somehow i don't feel that a dark damp shitty hole is actually a better place, but then again it's been so long since I've been in a place where i was unaware of the choice. Bad moods happen, but for the love of shit, pick up your frown that's trailing 2-feet behind you before someone trips on it and gets wrapped up. Go look at the sea or a mountain or something. Have a cookie, bitch. 
Here's to laughs and better head spaces. Thank you i LOVE you!

1 comment:

  1. Yup. Seen a lot of that in my 36 years of driving folks around for pay.