July 2005 Archives


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Rae is sitting on a wooden chair with red fabric cushions in the center. She's sitting in the posh teacher's lunch room at the Madeira School for girls. It is on this campus that she takes children canoeing and sends them zipping across gulleys. She picks up a sliced beet from her salad, looks at her coworkers and states, "I love to eat mashed potatoes with beets because you can put the beets on top of the potatoes and make them pink."
Jeff, sitting across from Rae, has an amused smile on his face and Hannah coments "I love beets."
"I do too, I'm growing some in my garden. I think they are doing really well." Rae responds.
Simon says (sorry- I couldn't resist), "Are they carbohydrates?" Or at least that's what Rae hears him say.
"hm... corn is a carbohydrate, aren't all vegetables carbohydrates...shoot. A beet is a root, so are carrots... is a carrot a carb?" Rae is bumping into many different thoughts about beets and carbohydrates without considering why Simon would give a damn, or if he was evening listening to the conversation. Her face has that look of someone trying to make sense of a situation. She mumbles something about not being sure. She starts to mention corn when Hannah interupts.
"Rae, he's asking about your car."
"What, oh."
"Yeah, is your car a Hybrid?" Simon repeats and Rae's face lights up with recognition and delight.
"Yes, it is." Rae responds with recovered energy now that the confusion is gone...though she will spend much of the rest of her lunch pondering the beet carbohydrate question. "It's really cool too because there's this touch screen, like for a GPS, and we're always looking at it to see how effecient we're being."
"I knew she didn't understand," puts in Hannah, " because she loves her car. She would always get excited and be like 'Yes, I'm being so effecient right now!'" It's true. Hannah knows because they carpooled last week. They live a mere seven minutes away from eachother.
"I was wondering how someone could not know if their car is a hybrid." Simon responds. "Who's we?"
"Oh, me and my husband" replies Rae and that's the end of the thread because everyone at work is suprised that Rae is married. Simon had most likely forgotten. Rae is in a slightly different world from her coworkers, but she fits in well. She goes to things like 'girls night' at Hannahs', and jokes with folks after work. Everything that Rae does at work is a little bit scary at first- including driving a four wheel drive truck up narrow paths in the woods- but she's embarked on a challenge that will leave a permanent imprint on her spirit- and perhaps provide some experiences to give her courage (and muscles, a tan, a million bug bites). In fact she's even considering going kayaking, and perhaps dear reader you don't remember- or you never knew- that poor Rae spent her entire kayaing experience in Alaska sobbing in sheer terror as she and Eric smoothly skimmed across the surface of an incredibly still bay. Perhaps it was the darkness of the cold water, the concern about flipping into that cold dark water, or the simple feeling of too much control combined with the feeling of no control whatsoever- but when you get down to it- it was pure, irrational fear. Perhaps Rae will learn to flip in a Kayak, to control the water and the boat in smooth graceful motions. Perhaps she will tell Simon that beets, in fact, are complex carbohydrates with lots of fiber.