Friday, March 30, 2007

handshake mechanics, coffee, and a book

I don’t usually have baby burn out. I have double working mom burn out, but pretty much I want to spend all my free time sitting in the floor flipping through board books and saying things like “Look at Duckling. Her mama is Duck. Look at tadpole! He grows up to be Frog. Frog jumps! Up down, up down, up down,” in a psychotic sing-song voice.

But then...

I was home 4 of 5 days this week with the Teething Demon Changeling (doctor visit yesterday; she isn'tr sick, the fever's from the teething.) who replaced Molly. This feverish, clingy, fussy baby who can’t sleep and has to be physically touching me every single second has given me my first taste of the burn out. I turned a meeting today into Heidi Time, and snuck out of the house an hour early to go sit at the thrift store/coffee shop having alone time before I met my client. It was bliss to have dark roast with full caffeine (I almost always get half decaf out of fear that I’ll turn the nummins into Red Bull or something) and biscotti while I caught up with the girls. (I worked there for years while I finished school up until I was 5 or 6 months pregnant.) I found this gorgeous book and picked it up for the Birdie’s birthday in May. They had nothing clothes-wise for me or the baby, unfortunately.

After catch-up time with coffee and my old peeps, my client and I met to go see her sign maker. The woman who owns the shop looks exactly like Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler’s Mom) and she cracked me up. She shook my client’s hand, looked me over and declared “You can’t shake- you get a hug!” and then dove at me with her voluminous frosted hair and a giant, sweet smile and gave me a huge, serious girlfriendy, bear hug.* The meeting went well. I have to find a way to transfer my files into something their archaic, just-shy-of-an-abacus computers can read, but she was cool. Her prices are excellent, which is great for my client. She’s an artisan (stained glass loveliness) and start-up entrepreneur, so yay.

*This is interesting- the etiquette of Baby Elephant. When someone thinks to offer me their left hand to shake, I’m ecstatic and give a firm and warm shake. When people hug or kiss me on the cheek in lieu of the shake, it’s generally fine. Usually people who do that have good energy and intuit that we should be on hug terms. Once in a great while someone wants a hug and I feel very patronized or weirded by the sharing of space. A lot of the time, maybe most of the time me and my new acquaintance just smile broadly and forego handshaking or hugging or cutesy Eurokisses. The most annoying thing is when someone offers me a right hand, and I’m forced to “shake” it with my left. Obviously this doesn’t work and results in a seriously lame princess-like dainty gesture which seems like I want them to kiss my hand or something. Which I do not. It’s awkward to me, probably to the right-hand offerer too.

So if we ever meet in person, you are all officially on the hug tier of my social hierarchy, and now we don’t have to be weird.
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