Transplanted Life
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
More things Marti likes
1. Seeing Roger Clemens get his ass kicked. Ask anyone who knows me, and I'd tell them I was rooting for Roger Clemens to do well with the Astros. I grew up watching him pitch, I remember both 20-strikeout games, and I figured that, with him off the Yankees, I could simply enjoy that one of the all-time greats was still playing and playing well. I don't buy the "it's better to go out on top" thing people say; I admire the guy who keeps playing the game he loves even though he doesn't have the physical reserves he used to. And as long as he was in Houston, he'd be doing it out of my sight. I could just hear that Roger had another win, another few Ks, but not actually be reading game stories and be exposed to Roger Clemens the man.

And then he started the All-Star game. After forty-five minutes of Fox Hell, it starts, and I'm hoping for him to get crushed, even though I've tried so hard to train myself to root for people and not against them. Clemens seems to be an exception to the rule, though, and it did feel extra-special good to see Manny take him yard.

2. Women can wear sandals at any time. Well, not necessarily at, say, a job interview or a funeral, but even then, you can often get away with something that is just sort of strapped onto your foot so long as it has an inch of superfluous material under your heel. And the dress code at work says no open-toed shoes.

I know what some people reading this are thinking right now - just another example of how Marty's gone completely girly and forgotten that he was ever a man in any way. But it's not like that; I'm not thinking "shoes are fun! I need one of ever color and shape and with heels and maybe some sandals which have a little flower desgin next to my big toe!" Even though I, admittedly, own more shoes now than I can ever remember owning at any given time in my old life, it's not as many as a basketball-nut male friend of mine from high school did at his peak. And, besides, I was an IT guy; I could wear the same pair of sneakers every day until they started falling apart because being presentable was never a part of my job description, which it was at BioSoft (and is, to a lesser extent, now).

And it's not so much about how, despite this body apparently needing its legs shaved about twice as often as Maureen's does, that doesn't extend to the feet. It's kind of weird, since the Martin body has sort of hairy toes. Suffice it to say, I was not a big sandal-wearer then.

No, what I'm getting at is that the last couple days here in Boston/Cambridge have been pretty wet, and even if the puddles aren't quite the large, sink-up-to-your-knees things you get when the snow starts melting in March, there are a few that are worth dancing around, or would be if I were a guy. But if your footwear is just a piece of rubber, an insole, and a strap around the wide part of your foot, they're really no big deal; you won't be spending the whole day with soggy socks feeling uncomfortable inside canvas shoes that are starting to smell from something worse than just foot-smell. And, come to think of it, my feet don't seem to get terribly smelly in the girly shoes; must be something about having more air circulation or something.

3. Swordfish. One of the nice things about Carter working at the supermarket (for now) is that rather than doing the shopping for a whole week on Sunday, he can just bring home what we need for the next day or two after work. And he's aware of the really good sales, like swordfish tenders for $3/pound. Doing one's grocery shopping daily also means having seafood more often, since you don't have to worry about it getting nasty quickly or having to defrost it. And...

4. Roommates who can cook. Just because neither Carter nor I has any desire whatsoever to be Suzy Homemaker doesn't mean we can't appreciate that Maureen has the proper training. I took Home Ec in junior high (everyone had to take both that and Industrial Arts, boys and girls), but I basically learned how to not burn myself. This isn't a gender thing, either - Wei displayed about the same level of competence in the kitchen, and I cooked for Mags when we stayed in. Maureen, though, was just brought up in a household where women were expected to learn to cook, and she took to it (and doesn't quite understand why her little sister hasn't).

This is probably the first time since I moved out of my parents' place that I've lived in a place where the kitchen has spices in it for "in case they're needed" as opposed to being left over from a special occasion. Maureen took the fish tenders and made kabobs last night, and they were really, really good.

Indeed, I kind of had to hide a grin when Maureen talked about how she kind of has to hide who she is - she goes to work in the office of a high-tech company, at least for the next week, and almost feels like she has to hide that she likes to cook or that she goes to church every Sunday. Well, not really hide it, but not advertise it. Sometimes she feels out of place, like the one time a guy actually got offended at her offer to cook dinner, saying that the fifties are over. Carter called this guy an idiot, Maureen thanked him, and said that dating was hard for a girl like her, that there didn't seem to be much happy medium between the guys who scoffed at her more old-fashioned habits and the ones who didn't respect her. Said it must be easier for girls like me and "Sam", who have more in common with guys in terms of interests.

I told her that wasn't the case, that a lot of guys actually find women like us threatening, and want someone girlier. She just sort of blinked twice and said she had a hard time imagining anyone thinking of "Sam" as threatening. "No offense, of course." Carter didn't seem to take any, although it must have hurt.

Of course, Maureen can't exactly know why it must have hurt. I must say, she's starting to grow on me.

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