What’s acceptable?

My daughter has told me that whenever she hears the word ‘acceptable’ she thinks of broccoli and cauliflower.

I know, right?  Totally wacky and I’m not even sure how those wires coulda gotten crossed.  I can understand how, when she hears the name Keith, she thinks of Heath Bars.  But the acceptable/cauliflower combo??  Not so much.

You know what I think of when I see the woman on the bike wearing a full-on sunhat UNDER her bike helmet and a surgical mask covering everything on her face but her eyes?  I think she’s got bubonic plague.

This woman rides through our neighborhood every morning in her get-up.  At some point I would think she would A) either get over her bubonic plague or B) finally succumb to it, in which case bike riding is no longer an option.

Granted, there could be a very reasonable explanation for the surgical mask (pollen time, pollen time, poll-poll-pollen time.  Pollen tiiiiIIIIMME! – sung to the tune of summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime.  SummertiiiiIIIIME!)

But where’s the fun in having a reasonable explanation?  It’s more fun to develop an off-the-wall theory and treat it as fact.  So either this woman is afraid of GETTING bubonic plague on her morning bike ride…or she already HAS bubonic plague.

Which is actually NOT as off-the-wall as you might think because bubonic plague is alive-and-well here in Colorado.  The prairie dogs carry it.  And there are a LOT of prairie dogs.  In fact, my neighbor spotted one running through our back yard recently.  A “scout” of some sort for the prairie dog colony that lives down the street?  Who knows.  But the neighbor reported whacking it a few times on the noggin’.  Is this the prairie dog equivalent of breaking someone’s knee caps as a way to send a message to the mob boss??  Yo!  You’s – this is OUR territory, capiche?!  The prairie dogs have not been spotted in the ‘hood since the “whacking” incident.  But that’s assuming the scout made it back to base with the “message.”  For all I know he could now be lying comatose in our yard and at some point our dog will find the plague-y thing, playfully toss it into the air, jauntily catch it in his mouth, then proceed to drag it up and down the front stairs thereby spreading death and destruction to all household members.  If – going forward – you begin to see us riding our bikes with masks on…Beware!  BEWARE!!!

But I digress.  Where I was REALLY going with all of this is how this reminds me of the way people treat me (not all people, but a surprising number of them) when they find out I don’t have a job.  They treat me like I have the plague.

I can practically HEAR them whispering behind their hands to each other, “But what’s WRONG with her?  Why can’t she get a job??”  As if I have a hunchback that I disguise very well under my interview blazer (“She gave me water!”  What??  Too esoteric of a literary reference for you people without Degrees in French??  I was quoting Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame after Esmerelda gave him some water.  Hunchback.  Get it now?!?  And you wonder why I can’t get a job!)

And if it’s not some physical deformity, could it be some inherent character flaw that prevents me from being employable??  (whisper, whisper, whisper)

All this whispering is making me think there IS something wrong.  Maybe I should just start wearing a surgical mask to interviews as a very visible sign of whatever ails me?  Beware!  BEWARE!!!

Well – there actually ISN’T anything wrong with me, all joking aside.  I am eminently employable.  It’s just really hard to find a job doing what I was doing.  There are a total of 5 companies in the world where that job exists.  And none of those companies are located HERE, where I live.  And until I can repurpose my skills, there’s a slight (ongoing) hitch in my job giddyup!

But really, don’t worry about me (she says as she holds her finger up to her mouth trying to keep the emotion in check and give herself a moment to regain her composure).  Nope!  Don’t worry about me!  And don’t worry about me wearing masks to interviews.  While it certainly would make me MEMORABLE to prospective employers, I understand it wouldn’t be……acceptable.

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