Saturday, September 13, 2008

Doing Our Patriotic Duty

On this recent anniversary of the September 11th attacks, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama spoke at Columbia University in New York at a forum on public service. Both stressed the importance of military and non-military service to your country, and criticized President Bush's meager response to 9/11 when it came to asking Americans to make sacrifices. (Just to refresh your memory, we were told to quit bitching about the increased security at airports, and to go out and shop to keep the economy humming and show those terrorists that just because they executed a well-coordinated attack on our homeland, we were not going to stop buying blue jeans and DVDs and frappucinos.)

As Sister is already working for a non-profit organization, Brother-in-Law gave his life up for two years teaching 4th graders in inner-city Baltimore through Teach For America, and I try to recycle on a daily basis, we decided that we'd already made enough real sacrifices for a while, and should follow the advise of our fearless leader and do our part to boost the economy! Hello San Francisco - what do you have for us to buy?

Sister and I set out on a driving tour/shopping spree of downtown San Francisco. I had scheduled a late afternoon appointment at Bella Bridesmaid to check out some dresses for the wedding, so we had some time beforehand to stroll down Union Street and check out some of the cutesy shops. (Sadly, the bridesmaid dresses were a bust, so we're still nowhere with that.)

After our appointment, we split a roma chicken panini at a coffee shop, and then set out for (drumroll please)... Paper Source. File folders. Envelopes and cards in every color of the rainbow. Paper. Yards and yards of amazing paper. A paper-loving-girl's utopia. (Little did I know that there's also an even bigger store in Berkeley; hells yeah I'll be going next week while Sister's at work.) Exactly 52 minutes later (you have to time the meters very carefully downtown), we emerged from Paper Source having done our patriotic duty: droppin' some Benjamins.

A few other highlights from the day:

~ I will absolutely never get used to driving in a big city. Sister is fearless, and views other cars (or pedestrians, bikers, stationary objects) as mere annoyances trying to block her from her destination. At one point yesterday, she pulled a Y-turn in the middle of a 5-way intersection without batting an eyelash. I meanwhile was clutching the seatbelt, careening my head left and right looking for either the police car or smushed human.

~ Who knew that pedestrians rule regardless of signs, lights, or oncoming buses? As we approached a corner, I saw a bus turning left onto the street we were about to cross. Sister brazenly stepped off the curb, and I jumped into big sister mode (much like the time I attempted to save her from the swimming pool at our old apartment in Fond du Lac - I still claim she was drowning and needed saving; she claims I was being absurd). With no regard for my own safety, I grabbed Sister's arm and screamed "BUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in my best "I'm-being-attacked-in-the-big-city" voice... only to have Sister look at me like I was drunk. Apparently, buses turning left will in fact heed to pedestrians. The bus driver sneered at me, the obvious tourist, and waited for us to cross the street. (Adding insult to injury, I looked up in time to see the walk sign clearly indicating we had the right of way.) Sigh.

Coming up later... the two-story Target!!! (Yes, Farmer Girl, I most definitely went there. And I most definitely spent half a car payment in tribute to the diety that is Target.)


Anonymous,  September 13, 2008 at 5:41 PM  

So bummed to hear the dresses were a bust. I have an insane amount of homework to do and will be sorely needing a distraction. I will try to find it within myself to stray from homework and "force" myself to resume the dress search ASAP.

Do not fear, TWP is here!

(Wow...I need sleep.)

Have fun in San Fran! Can't wait to hear everything!

Love, TWP

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