good deed for the day

15 June, 2009

Downtown I was, pre-dentist, grabbing a quick sandwich at a quick-sandwich place, when something green caught my eye. A table over from me was a young woman with long blonde hair.  A law student summer intern if I’ve ever seen one.   Her skirt suit was new, a young fabric and retro cut yet conservative enough to work in even a stodgy law firm. Her 3-inch black patent leather shoes were also new, as were the blisters they had created on her heels. The green was a scrap of green paper she had put over one heel by (poor) way of cushion against the grippy pointiness that is the back of a new pair of patent leather shoes.

Now, about interns for my non-Beltway readers. We DC “residents” are supposed to despise and detest the interns that descend on us for the summer.  Not without reason, mind you: the archetypal jerkoff is the guy who wears his Congressional ID badge on the Metro…on weekends.  In such a situation I am supposed to mock her naivete re professional dress, and her gall for daring to come to Our Nation’s Capital to further her career and eat lunch near me.

But no. My heart went out to her.  I have been there, and if you have not been there, then you are a man. A poorly dressed man.  I’m pushing 33, and seeing this woman made me realize that I actually have learned a thing or two in the last decade.  This particular lesson is a hard and often expensive one: as you walk slowly around the store in your hot shoes the Sunday before your job starts, you are so psyched about how good you look and so stressed about how little time you have that you ignore the glaring signs that the shoes will rip your feet to shreds in three blocks.  The sub-lesson: keep band-aids on hand for emergencies, and they should be big enough such that the crappy shoes don’t scrape them off when you need them most.

Nu? I offered her two large band-aids from my mini-purse (a smaller bag of goodies that can fit in any of my main purses).  I thought she would cry.  Me, I got a warm glow, and, I hope, some karma.  Maybe I should start “Be Kind To An Intern Day.”

Hey, audience participation! Ladies and smart men, what’s in your emergency kit? Mine:

  • Aforementioned bandaids (~1.5x~2.5″)
  • Normaler-sized bandaids
  • Pencil, pen, laser-pointer USB pen
  • Pseudo-sudafed (sometimes Advil too)
  • Earplugs
  • Lady products (both kinds, and pantiliners)
  • Nail file/s, nail clippers, cuticle oil
  • Lip balm (slightly reddish so can double as lip color)
  • Lotion
  • Compact
  • Hair rubber band and little clips
  • Business cards (in holder so they don’t get grody)
  • Razor blade
  • Stamps
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Moleskine slim notebook
  • The card from a bouquet of flowers my man sent me last Valentine’s Day when I was out of town
  • Copy of the Constitution (for which I have already been mocked, thank you)

Note this is the non-mother edition.  That is a whole other ballgame…