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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Salt And Karma

Some years ago I had a friend named Jill and we did a lot of fun things together. Unfortunately, when I met and got engaged to Trent, she backed out of my life. I hope that she is happy, and enjoying life to the utmost. Jill and I met because we were in the same new-hire class for telephone customer service at the bank. I just happened to sit next to her in the back row (the easier to step out to use the restroom), and we ended up becoming friends during the weeks of training. 

Jill and I had some riotous times, sometimes due to her complete lack of a concept of time. She once told me that her mother said she was always late, and in fact had been born late. It was part of her persona even before her birth. If she had an hour before she had to be somewhere, she'd invariably find something to do in the interim that would take at least an hour and a half. Such was the case one day when she needed to have one of her acrylic fingernails repaired. We went to the salon and her nail tech, whom I will call Suzy, told her, "I'm busy right now, but you come back at 3:30." Since it was about 2:30 and neither one of us had eaten lunch, Jill decided it would be a good idea to go to a restaurant for a nice meal. In spite of my little nudging reminders of the time, we returned to the salon at 4:30. 

Suzy was a sweet and sassy Vietnamese woman. What she lacked in height, she more than made up for in attitude. When we returned to the salon, she was trying to help a group of her family members get their nails ready for a wedding that evening. She was visibly frustrated by Jill's arrival time. She looked up when we came in, and said, in the sternest tone she could muster, "Jill, I told you come back three thirty, not four thirty!" Jill charmed Suzy into going ahead and repairing her nail, but was told several more times that when Suzy said three thirty, she did not mean four thirty. This became one of our running gags, and I use it with Trent to this day if we are running behind schedule.

As is often the case with friends, a lot of our fun times revolved around going out to eat. One of our favorite things to do was to go to a chain pizza and Italian-ish restaurant that had trivia games. Jill was in charge of using the answering device and I was in charge of the answers themselves. We'd always sit at a table where both of us could look over each other's shoulders to read the tv screens with the questions. Not to brag, okay, to brag...we usually were the high scorers in the restaurant when we played. Nothing made us happier than overhearing people at the tables near us saying things like, "I don't think TD (our player name, the initials of her favorite Broncos player) is real. That's just a name they put up there to make it seem like everyone else is losing!" We'd sit there and chuckle, and kick their tails by using our system to play the next round. It was great fun.

One day Jill wanted to go to a restaurant that I hadn't tried before, but that she said she liked a lot, especially because they had something they called bottomless fries. I'm sure that you have now figured out the name of the restaurant; you've seen the commercials. Well, I did like the endless flow of steak fries, and I especially loved the house-branded seasoned salt that was on the table. I remarked that I liked it so much that I wondered if I could buy a jar to take home. I could, and did so. I've gone through more than one jar, and am currently roasting some chicken thighs that are seasoned with said salt. But when I told Jill I wanted to buy the salt, she just laughed at me. "Katrina, just put it in your purse!" I couldn't do it. I could sneak into a second movie at the theater to see a free double feature, but I could not take that salt. So when I bought it, she took the jar off of the table and put it in her purse.

After we got out to the car, Jill realized that she had left her purse in the booth in the restaurant. And that when the staff would have looked inside to find her ID to make sure that it went back to the rightful owner, they would see the stolen salt. But we went back in, her face cherry-red, and reclaimed her purse. Not a word was said by the staff about the half-jar of salt in her bag. In fact, they were very kind and cordial. And the salt was still there when we got out to the car. But Jill never could face the embarrassment she would have felt if she went back to that particular location. Which was how I would have felt if I took the salt, even if I didn't get caught. My conscience was clear. But Jill certainly learned about how much it can sting when you combine salt and Karma!