Thursday, May 25, 2006

get your own

Work Friend and I have a system down wherein every morning, one of us stops at Dunkin to improve both of our mornings via the power of beverage. Iced coffee with milk and two splendas for her, Diet Pepsi for me if I've had breakfast, and one of their new yogurt smoothies if I haven't. (I know I probably shouldn't drink DP that early, but I have an addiction. I think I actually do; I get a little frantic when I'm without it for too long. The last time I drove to New York I didn't stop along the way for one, and by the time Jason got me to a little store near his apartment it was late, and while walking home I had to restrain myself from drinking it straight out of the 2 liter bottle. I know, it's like I'm an animal. But it proves my point.)

Anyway, it's like a well-oiled morning machine. We never even have to think about paying each other back because we're always trading off. But this other person we work with has somehow managed to complicate the most mindless, uncomplicated ritual of my day. For this and other reasons I've come to think of her as the Ruiner of a Perfectly Good Thing. It started when one morning I didn't stop at Dunkin on the way to work and instead ran out a few minutes after I got there, and Ruiner asked me to get her a complicated coffee order. I don't drink coffee (hence the DP) so it's all I can do to remember Work Friend's splendarific drink order. But, okay, I picked up what Ruiner wanted. But when you carry three drinks you have to use the dumb cardboard tray, and it's hard to open doors, and she asked if I brought her any napkins, and she wanted to pay me but did I have change for a five and... blah blah blah.

Then the next morning, Ruiner came in with drinks for all of us. Work Friend had already picked ours up, so we had doubles; I had so much caffeine that day that I'm not even sure I was blinking. Ruiner said, "So just grab me a such-and-such when you go tomorrow morning. Just make sure you get me napkins." So the day after THAT, I had to go find her and give her her dumb, high-maintenance coffee and a stack of napkins because apparently they're very important to her and then I had to wait there while she dug around in her purse to find a couple dollar bills to give me, holding up a finger at me because she was on her cell phone the whole time. When I saw her later, she asked, "So, is it my turn tomorrow morning?"

I said (lied!), "Oh, we don't actually go every morning, so it's fine, don't worry about it." Then I told Work Friend I'd broken up with her. She said, "Great, but now we're going to have to sneak around."

And now we do have to sneak around, every damn morning. And we've done a pretty good job of it, until this morning. We were in Work Friend's classroom, and Ruiner walked by and said she was going to Dunkin and did anybody want anything. Then she saw Work Friend and I, between us ingesting enough aspartame to kill a small country. She looked at us and gave us the fakest, meanest smile I've ever seen. Busted! It felt like a Seinfeld episode.

But whatever, you know? Homegirl needs to take care of her own napkin habit.

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