I’ve got so many ideas floating around my head that I want to capture, put on paper, and release back into the wide world/world wide web, but I’m in the process of moving, and that doesn’t leave me much time to write. Also, I’ve been without internet in my new home for the past week and a half, which took me right back to those early days in Fatih Apartman (a story for another time). But, I’m back online now and hopefully back to putting a pen to paper. So, I digress…
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The other day, I had the single most delightful interaction with a stranger that I’ve had since returning from Turkey, during what is usually the worst kind of interaction — calling my internet service provider.
As the get-shit-done kind of person that I am, I took it upon myself to research and get the internet set up at my new place. I called the company about 30 minutes before the end of their advertised workday, braced to deal with a surly, gum-snapping sort, who was just watching the second hand tick closer to her clock-out time.
I was pleasantly shock by how friendly and how young the “customer service representative” at the other end of the line sounded. She was chatty, considerate, and helpful. When I told her that I was looking to sign up for internet service, her response was — no lie — “Cool beans!” (When was the last time you even heard someone say that?)
Talking to this girl was like talking to a combination of my cousin, S.B.; my sister; and Marshall Eriksen — just delightful. I found out all about how this was her part time job; she worked three days a week while going to school. When her (I can only assume) old computer struggled, she cajoled and coaxed it, “Come on, li’l computer, you can do this! You got it, buddy!” She sang along as she typed my address into the company’s computer system.
This girl was just weird, and I really liked that. Instead of keeping her monologue internalized, as I and most other people do, she verbalized it, narrating her every move, as if a sports announcer giving play-by-plays, without a hint of embarrassment. She unabashedly opened herself up to me and charmed me with her chatter.
My life’s been full of too many errands and trainings and have-to-get-dones, too much normal; this girl’s quirkiness, her weirdness was so refreshing. Without even knowing it, this girl pushed me and challenged me to bring out my own weirdness, a set of traits that I usually keep locked away until I feel well-acquainted with the people who surround me. As I readapt to life in the States, settle myself in a new city, and strike out to forge new friendships (arguably the greatest challenge I face), I need to remember to let my quirks shine. Because the obscure pop culture references, the (over)enthusiasm for all things Turkish, the your-father’s-taste-in-music and the observations that make people look at me askance are my best, most essentially-EJ qualities.