Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Wake up Mary!
You are not the center of the universe!

After The Week-End Exhibition at The American Cathedral, I felt free to do silly things, like laundry, returning a stove top that didn't heat hot, and readjusting to not being so important. 
Starting with the easiest task, I headed off to Darty  with my two burner electric plate in its original box and bag. The ten minute walk was long enough to rehearse the confrontations I was anticipating.
Somehow, I thought it was my fault, but was  confident in Darty's "contract de confiance".
I had returned the same model two months before for a similar  under-heating problem.  It was an upstairs-downstairs-stand-in-line-procedure. 
Again, I was going to have to tell them that I couldn't boil water, which in some language, I can't remember which, means that you're an idiot. But, even an idiot knows that macaroni don't cook in luke-warm water. 
First step, was the return desk downstairs.
I waited fifteen minutes with that director on the phone with an irate customer. I could hear her voice blah-blah-blah from his phone. Loud and cranky. 
"Why doesn't he  just tell her that she's right and he's sorry?"  I thought and get on with it or me.
Finally, her time ran out. 
My turn.
I learned that it was "normale" that my hot plate didn't heat hot and I could replace it.
He gave me the necessary papers.

Upstairs, I was happy to see that the former aloof nineteen-year-old snobby salesgirl had been replaced. The new one, a very tall young woman with bad posture was in conversation with another customer. She was holding her hand on her chest.

I first took it as a sincerity gesture.

When my turn came, she smiled and said "Bon Jour."
She seemed refreshingly sweet - sort of with a smile and an ear of a pastor.

She continued to hold her hand on her chest during our conversation.
I asked her if she was in pain.
She said "Yes."
Next extraordinarily impolite question I asked was
"Are you pregnant?"
She said "no". 
So not heart-burn.
Her pain came from "une ulcère."
She then, encouraged me to buy an upscale model hot plate.
She said that they had had many returns with the one I had first chosen.
"Then, why don't they stop selling them?"
"I don't know." she said still holding her chest.
"Have you seen a doctor?" I asked.
She said, "Yes."
Then, I remembered my ulcer story and told her.

About twenty-five years ago, I had an ulcer in the same place. 
I saw a specialist. Then a homeopath. I changed my diet then
my doctor. Late one night there was a knock at my door. 
I was living in New York at the time.
It was a former boyfriend that had up and left me to marry  "the perfect woman."
I told him that he couldn't come in. He pleaded and announced that his marriage was over.
I finally relented telling him only because it might be good for the ulcer pain and put my hand on my chest. He said,"You have a pain, too?"
She was nodding waiting for the outcome. 
The ulcer went away, but so did I and came back to Paris.

My new stove top is working well. Hot. Hot. Hot.

Painting from India water color series "Bombay" 1976
Fugi photo colors on Canson.

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