Policy and reality. A few days back I was all irked at the company's harsh and pathetic bereavement policy, giving you three paid days off if you lose a spouse, parent or child. Next day, a woman in my office got a call about her very ill dad, told the closest manager, and left the office within about 3 minutes of hanging up the phone. She hasn't been back in the office since, and nobody's bat an eye, everybody's covering for her, and, I'm quite sure, nobody's counting days.
It makes me feel much better that the official policy seems to be nothing more than a thing that's written down, and that's all.
In other news: In the car tonight on the highway home from visiting some out-of-town friends, Charlie (who is roughly 3 3/4)asked us, "Do you realize that all those red lights out there fit in one conta*ner?" I said, wow, how do they do that? "It's a magic c*ntainer."
First, I was loving the use of the phrase, "do you realize", which is new to him. But what I did realize is that he'd been listening to my husband talk earlier in the afternoon about a theory that concludes that the entire human race would fit in the space of a sugar cube if you squeezed out all the empty space (99.999% of the volume of ordinary matter is empty space; massive distance between the nucleus of an atom and its electrons, but don't quote me). I didn't think he was listening, but he picked up the information, and put it into his own magic container.
I'm kicking myself. One of the friends we were visiting is expecting her first child soon, and she was saying she'll probably feel guilty when she goes back to work, and I, stupidly, said, "oh don't worry about it (or something like that), you'll feel guilty no matter what you do." Gah! That's exactly the kind of glib thing I'd sometimes hear from well-meaning-but-asinine people when I was pregnant, which usually just made me mad later (then I'd feel guilty for being so enraged at someone so seemingly well meaning). I have to make it up to her.
Ennisclare. A sign on a building on the way home tonight saying "Ennisclare" reminded me of my lovely trip to Ireland not long ago. I was trying to think when exactly that trip was. Guess what -- ten years ago. I was all choked about turning 35, so I took a trip to visit friends to mark the occasion and cheer myself up. I swear it still feels recent. As for taking a trip to cheer me up about turning 35, it worked. It was so much fun, and I used it as fuel for a long long time afterward, going on a decade. Reminds me at the time what my mom said when I told her facing 35 seemed "like I was on the edge of an abyss!" My mom's answer: "Guess, what? Next year you get to turn 36!" I find her remark a lot funnier ten years later than I did at the time.