Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Karen's party

I'm leaving this afternoon to drive back to VA for my friend Karen's retirement/going away party. Karen and I worked together from 1986-1997. She was there before me, and remained there when I left. Although she's only 49 years old, she now has 30 years of service with the company (along with a nice pension) and is able to retire. She and her husband are moving to Myrtle Beach, SC. Good for her!

I met Karen at the telephone company warehouse complex. I'd gotten a job as a warehouse worker (don't laugh) and she worked in the office as an administrative assistant. Later we both worked together in the business office where we did telecommunications facilities assignment. It was there that we really got to know each other well and became fast friends.

Karen & I sat in a horse shoe shaped cubicle arrangement with 4 other people. The 6 of us got along really well. Karen decided to bring in a boom box one day, and all 6 of us would bring in CDs. We took turns listening to each other's music choices throughout the day, which was really interesting and fun. I imagine its not very likely my straight, 40- or 50-something year old office mates would have heard of RuPaul if it weren't for me! This went on for months.

Karen's husband's name is Delbert, but as a joke I would ask Karen how he was doing using every variation of his name I could come up with: Delford, Delman, Digman, Digby, Doughman - I must have had a dozen of them. Karen would simply smile or laugh and respond that he was doing fine.

Another funny memory I have involving Karen is sitting in my car behind her at the traffic light near the entrance/exit of our building. As soon as the light turned from red to green I would blow my horn at her, and she'd flip me off. Ah, such a gentle and refined girl.

But most likely the memory that will live forever in everyone's mind who worked at the phone company is Halloween 1996.

The 6 of us who shared the horse shoe shaped cubicles decided we should dress up for Halloween and wear our costumes into work. Someone (probably me) thought we should have a theme to our costumes. I wanted something defining and unmistakable, and then it hit me. I suggested we dress up as The Village People, and the little group agreed! At that time, Kathryn and I were both 33, Karen was 38, Doanne was 35, Mary was in her 50s and had 2 kids in college, and Eileen was close to, if not, 60 years old! I went to school with one of Eileen's daughters.

The 6 of us met in the parking lot, and after several minutes of our own uncontrollable laughter, all 6 of us walked into the office together, causing something just short of chaos. We probably didn't get much work done that day, what with the completely unrehearsed performance of "Y.M.C.A." pictured below. That boom box and those CDs came in quite handy! Karen is the Construction Worker in the hard hat, flannel shirt and tool belt. I am the Cowboy on the right.
A few days ago I went through my photo storage boxes (a birthday gift from The Village People) and pulled out the photos taken that day. I've placed them in a small photo album I'm taking with me to the party tonight. I image this will reduce most of us to tears from laughing so hard.

It will be really great to see Karen and several other old friends again tonight.

Crush du Jour: Andy Roddick


cb said...

That's a very thoughtful and personal gift. I'm sure it will be a big hit!

RAD said...

good times-- this cd is on my i pod and I listen to it all the time....just last week I was jamming to it as I cleanned the house-- Ru Paul is a classic!