Friday, February 29, 2008

Would definitely eat an eclair from the trash

When I was a senior in college, I struck up an internet friendship with a guy from Portland. We seemed to have a lot in common, although I eventually came to realize that it was mostly just surface stuff, like music and movies.

Internet chatting was still pretty new at the time and the process of getting to know someone online was trial and error. Basic common sense dictated rules for safety but the subtle nuances of quickly determining whether or not someone was a total loser had not been established.

We ended up visiting each other in our respective hometowns a couple of times for concerts and special events or whatever. It was a great life lesson to me that no matter how famously you might get along with someone via e-mail or on the phone, all bets are off when you actually have to spend one-on-one time with that person, in person. A person's real-life quirks can never be fully communicated. You have to experience them first-hand.

The day before Portland's first visit, I ran out of toothpaste. It was no big deal. I had another tube waiting in the wings. I threw the empty into the bathroom trashcan and proceeded to squeeze from the bottom of the new tube and flatten as I went up.

The next day Portland gleefully presented me with my old toothpaste tube. "I found this in your trashcan. Look! I flattened it out a little bit more and there's at least another day's worth in there!" And then, a little reprovingly, "Why would you throw that out?"

I should have been grateful that he arrived in the nick of time to save me another day of toothpaste. I might have pleaded my case by saying that I had wanted to coax the last pearls of Colgate from their vinyl prison but I lacked the strength in my fingers. I could have graciously accepted his gift, they way you might accepted the bloody carcass of a dead bird that your cat has left on your doorstep. The fact that he had gone through my trash and, gee, isn't that a little bit weird, didn't even enter my mind.

My thought was, "That was in the trash, snuggled in among used Kleenex, plaque-covered strings of dental floss, and dirty who-knows-what-else and now you want me to drag its germ-infested tip across my toothbrush and then PUT IT IN MY MOUTH!"

What I said was, "Awww, thanks. Since, you rescued it, why don't you use it today?"

And he did.


Bertie said...

LOL!! That cracks me up! Oh, boy- how I'm going to love your blog! I've told Chet to RSS feed it- so he should be leaving comments soon:)

Shauna said...

I wonder how many days worth of toothpaste you have carelessly discarded over your extravagant lifetime.