Saturday, December 11, 2010

In a District of Columbia Non-State of Mind

Wow, how time has flown and yet nothing has really been done to remedy this unemployment predicament I am in! Jk jk, I'm on the job prowl and for that, I had to traverse out of my comfort zone and into the District. As for the delay in updating, I apologize. I know you four people have been patiently awaiting an update!

Anywho, it was to the good old Capitol town I went earlier this week. I've been there before, in fact, I had a wee bit of an obsession for most of my life and have gone at least once a year. Something about old statues and homeless people, along with the highest STD rate in the nation, just makes my heart skip a beat and I have to go back.

This trip was unlike my others because I was actually doing something productive by getting some interviews via my buddy Berica. In hard economic times like this, it helps to have friends who will pass your resume, and not your blog, to future employers. I had three set up for Tuesday and a Happy Hour with some real working girls afterward, aka the perfect day.

In post interview celebration and pre Happy Hour time, I headed to the subway to try and navigate my maybe future home. I took the long way to the metro stop and after an hour of walking, got on. Maybe not the best plan in 28 degree weather, but it worked. I looked at the metro map and figured I'd go to the Smithsonians since they were free.

As I got out of the stop, the wind had picked up and I realized I needed to get inside somewhere quick and immediately stumbled upon the Holocaust Museum. In an effort to get feeling back in my toes, set the mood for Happy Hour, and celebrate Hanukkah, it seemed like the perfect spot. It was free because it was the off season, so I ventured inside. I couldn't help but be reminded of a previous visit to the Holocaust Museum that I shared with my friend Bkelly.

I was visiting Bkelly as she spent the summer working for some non-profit. We couldn't think of anything to do, so we went to the Holocaust Museum's gift shop, naturally. We looked around at the menorahs, the Torahs, and the postcards to pass the time. We both spotted a tiny, ancient lady who seemed to straining to reach a book (at least I remember her playing up the damsel in distress bit) so we walked over to see if she needed help.

She motioned for us to follow her to the back of the store, and we did, thinking that something was just too high for her to reach in her Merrels. All of a sudden, a table appeared before us with a mound of books atop it and an empty chair behind it. The lady sat down and handed each of us a book. She explained that this was in fact her book about her experience in the Holocaust.

Moved by her words, I thumbed through it. There were pictures of her as a young girl and I genuinely was interested, but just not in buying it. As I looked through it, I tried to find the words of consolation for such an experience and also the words to say that I was just looking and not intending to spend $20 on her book, Bkelly sat the book down and walked away, leaving me looking like a putz.

Now, it's not that I didn't want to buy the book or didn't feel for the lady, but I was a college student with limited funding and limited time to read. Trying to politely get out of the conversation without purchasing the book, I proceeded to ask her to sign the book, thinking I could get her to sign it then walk away and leave it somewhere where she wouldn't see me put it down.

Unluckily, she informed me that I would have to pay for the book before she could write in it. This was a predicament indeed because there was just no easy out. I caved and put the book on my credit card then returned to the table and asked for it to be personalized. The lady did it with the biggest smile and quickest pen. I walked away feeling I had made this lady's day.

I met Bkelly outside, who was laughing at me for being a softie and buying the lady's memoir. I mean, how can you say "no" to a lady who has been through the Holocaust? It's just not right!

When I returned home after my trip, I opened the book, because I believed it deserved a read for both the lady and my $20. I never finished it because it was probably one of the most poorly written books I ever started. I felt like I should almost edit it then send a copy to her to republish. I read the back of it and got the jist.

I felt I did both her and I a favor by reading the synopsis, but I also remembered to not go into a museum's bookstore again unless I wanted a signed book or rock candy.

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