Mighty Girl
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contact: maggie at mightygirl dot net

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11.30.04 ALARMING
On the train, there is a sign. "If anything doesn't look right, let us know." Next to the sign, there is a middle-aged man. He is wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt with leaping dolphins airbrushed on the front.

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11.29.04 ELSEWHERE
Another installment in my etiquette series over at the Morning News: "Don?t Be Rude: Couples Showers and Late Wedding Gifts."

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11.26.04 HELPFUL
Dear Container Store,

Yesterday, I stopped by for some peaceful pre-holiday browsing. At the door, two greeters wished to know how I was doing and offered to help me find something. I smiled and answered that I was just browsing.

I proceeded to your "stocking stuffer" table. There an employee complimented my sweater. I thanked her. She then explained the intricacies of your stocking stuffer table, the purpose of which, apparently, is to group all of your stocking stuffers on tables located throughout the store so I could find them more easily. She offered me a catalog. She explained that each table had different options, and again complimented my sweater. I nodded, and thanked her. She continued to compliment my sweater. It was, she said, a color that also looked nice on her daughter. Yes, I said, and continued upstairs.

There I met another employee. She told me about the stocking stuffer tables. Apparently, all of the stocking stuffers are grouped on said tables, so I can find them more easily. She proffered a catalog. I told her I already had one. She asked if I needed help finding anything. I told her I was just browsing. She told me to let her know if I needed anything. I told her I was just browsing. She told me to enjoy the store.

I looked beneath the table at some items stored there. Another clerk was passing. He said, "Are you looking for the Cap zapper?" I was not. He scooped one up from the table, and handed it to me. I took it from him; then put it back on the table when he had left.

In the next aisle, a gentleman clerk spotted me. I avoided eye contact. He walked over, stood next to me, and began to straighten a perfectly arranged display. I turned away from him. He began to mutter under his breath. "That doesn't go here. We'll just put that over there." I continued to ignore him aggressively. Emboldened, he said, "Say, can I help you find anything?" Without turning toward him, I said no. Thank you. "Has anyone told you about our new holiday line?" he asked. I said yes. He said that if I needed any help, he'd be happy to oblige.

In the next ten minutes, I received three more offers of help. When I picked up an item no larger than my palm, two clerks offered me shopping baskets.

Container Store? Get off my back.

I can find my own damn shelf extender. Tell your clerks to stand down, before I knock one unconscious with a Keepsake Shadow Box.

Thank you.

Sincerely, Maggie Mason

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11.22.04 WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE
This weekend, we went sledding with my niece and nephew. Having grown up in California, I'd sledded exactly once before. I was around eight. What I learned yesterday is that sledding on your stomach is better before you've developed breasts.

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11.18.04 PRETTY THINGS
A lovely exhibition of unique rings over at Velvet da Vinci. Click the ring photo and you'll come across a "view all images" link.

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11.12.04 BEAUTIFUL MUSIC TOGETHER
My "Venus" razor falls out of my suitcase. Bryan retrieves it from the back seat and holds it like a switchblade.

Him: I'm gonna cut ya!
Me: The pink razor is not as threatening as you might suppose.
Him: Boy, boy, crazy boy, stay smooooth boy!
Me: Got a razor in my pocket...
Him: ... you're silky smoooooth boy!
Me: Lather up! I'll make you look like a schoolboy!
Him: Just keep it smooth boy...
Both: ...reeeeeal smoooooth.

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11.11.04 CITYSCAPE
L: Everyone's getting into fire hooping.
M: It's San Francisco, throw a rock and you hit a fire dancer.
J: It ricochets off and hits a guy in a leather cop uniform.
M: Then it bounces and hits some guy on stilts.


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11.10.04 LITTLE PEOPLE
Excerpt from this week's New Yorker:

TINY NINJA THEATRE PRESENTS HAMLET A miniature plastic action figure is the Danish prince in this multimedia production of the tragedy, in which all the roles are played by figurines. Directed by Dov Weinstein.

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11.09.04 REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING
It's a belt buckle, it's a bottle opener.

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11.08.04 FOUR MORE YEARS
We attended Senator Kerry's concession speech inside Faneuil Hall. It's a relatively small space, so there were masses of people outside pushing to get in. Everyone was upset and eager. It was incongruous, like a very aggressive funeral.

The election left me feeling blindsided and bewildered. I was angry at more than half the nation. But the senator said something that day that I've always believed, and that I've thought about a lot since. He said:

"America is not only great, but it is good."

Bryan and I flew home separately, and as my plane flew over all the states between Massachusetts and California, I spent a lot of time looking out at the lights below me. I felt a great tenderness for each family behind each light, and--despite my frustration--I know all of us are doing our best.

I keep hearing that we are a nation divided, and I've certainly experienced that in the past few days. What I hope is that we can begin to talk about what we share: a flag, an anthem, a land, and the good fortune that is ours by right of citizenship.

All of us want our children to be safe, and we hope each generation will have a happier future than the last. All of us want peace, and security, and time to spend with the people we love.

When we have the freedom to say whatever we want, it is no surprise that we disagree with one another. What is remarkable is that we agree on so much. What we have agreed, as a people, is that our union is more important than our opinion.

May our opinions shift, and our nation remain steadfast.

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11.02.04 ELECTION DAY
Sorry for the silence, I've been celebrating Halloween excessively. Also, I just arrived in Boston where everyone is going crazy with election-night party prep. I will be out in the cold with thousands of people who will either be giddy with relief or completely inconsolable. Today gives new meaning to the phrase "anxious anticipation."

If you haven't voted, please vote. If you're not a United States citizen, any chance you could throw some good thoughts, well wishes, or fervent prayers our way? Thanks.

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