Tuesday, July 29, 2003

“food” and “good” are spelled similarly for a reason, ya know

Usually, I roll my eyes impatiently and jerk away in annoyance when people try to fuss over me. But there are still people who, no matter how deceptively sweet they look, can out-do me in stubbornness and nag me without annoying me. Now that takes some major skill, I say.

Take this friend of mine, for example. We have finals this Thursday. She constantly nags me for not studying enough, shakes her head in despair on the occasions when I fail to show up for lecture, and tells me I talk too much whenever we do manage to study together. What nerve. :) Last week she handed me an index card outlining our tentative study plan for finals, on the back of which she had scrawled, “For Ms. Smarty Pants Yasmeen, even with ditching!” I laughed, because she had spelled my name wrong, and drew an arrow to the top corner, where I rewrote it. She just shook her head ruefully and said, “Don’t forget to pay as much attention to the front side, okay?”

So I decided to be serious and actually attempt to study. But I had barely stepped inside her apartment yesterday evening and dropped my stuff across her sofa before she shoved a plate under my face and directed me to the kitchen, where she watched me narrowly to make sure I helped myself to everything. Everything being, garbanzo beans, samosas, fried chicken, and something that sort of tasted like kabob, but wasn’t. Whatever it was, it tasted good. And that’s all that matters. Washed down with several glasses of ice-cold water. A bit later, she offered me mangoes, then ice cream. It's not as if I had a choice; she made sure I ate it all. I guess she's not amused by the fact that I constantly forget to eat throughout the day. Either that, or I just don't make time for meals.

Then we studied. Actually, she studied, while I ended up falling asleep over my notes. And she let me sleep, which is unarguably a refreshing change from other friends whose goal in life is to poke me with their mechanical pencils whenever such a situation occurs.

When I decided it was time for me to leave, I just smiled indulgently as she argued that it was stupid of me to drive all the way home to the Bay Area at midnight, when I’d only be turning around and driving back up at 6:30-ish for my 8 a.m. class anyway. I’ve been through this scenario with dozens of people over the past three years. There are some things I’ve learned to just smile at and give up on explaining.

She even made me promise I’d call her when I reached home, so I did. Good thing I did, too; the crazy child was in a panic wondering if I’d make it home without falling asleep at the wheel.

Now I’m sitting here eating the two slices of strawberry shortcake she sent me home with. Yes, two slices. And I’m eating them both all by myself. Right now. Delayed gratification has never been one of my strong suits (edit: Please note that I am talking about food here). And I guess I must have been absent from kindergarten the day they talked about sharing. But it’s all good. You know, I’d love her anyway, but all this food she loads me down with is such a nice added bonus. Alhamdulillah for people who care.

I’m still glad I came home. It’s so much cooler down here. Which means I’m wearing my fuzzy socks again, because I’m weird like that, a fact that we’ve already established numerous times, I’m sure.

By the way, the stars are looking really beautiful tonight. I was watching them on the way home. You should go outside and see, too.

And there are deer on my street.

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