The Cafe and The Penis: A story of celebrating International Women’s Day
|March 8, 2012||Filled under Miscellaneous Prose|
It is hard to command a position of respect when people know you have porn on your phone.
As I have explained in a previous post, I somehow got inebriated at a parent board meeting and was voted as president of a kindergarten. I would like to clarify a few points here:
1. The kindergarten is a tree-huggin’, hippie commune in the forest where emotion and organic meals take the same priority.
2. You have to be seriously inebriated to survive a parent board meeting with beatnik green party members. In Germany. (Which kind of exponentially increases the seriousness to which a human can take their level of devotion to banning atomic energy and the like.)
Now, some things have been going awry at our free-love kindergarten because, God forbid, someone made a decision without ensuring that all parties have found inner peace on the matter first. Communication, open communication and fairness and granola are pretty much priority around here. And so the President (me) and the Vice-President (unnamed victim) called a meeting to discuss these very important matters with our teaching staff before they escalated to the likes of an Elders Gathering or Sage Burning.
We chose a neutral place for our meeting today: A cafe where they serve coffee and organic teas.
We arrived with our points of discussion carefully laid out: Words were chosen specifically to not offend or point fingers or suggest using non-recycled materials.
It’s funny how things come full circle in a conversation. In order to keep things casual, we all somehow began talking about it being International Women’s Day. I complained that instead of celebrating women we seemed to be bashing men (see my post from last year) and one of the teachers told me that in some countries today is a holiday and none of the women go to work. Sweet. My whole life is like International Women’s Day.
I am sitting at a small cafe table with two teachers and the vice president and we are having very serious conversations about things like safety measures below swings, competency of the Party & Celebrations Department, and trust in the value of people’s statements. Because that’s what running a kindergarten is all about.
So when my phone peeps, I ignore it. It is sitting on the small cafe table and I don’t even glance at it because I want the teachers to be aware of how mesmerized I am by the significance of our discussion. I am focused, like a good president. Like when Bush won’t blink during a book reading in class, my “Message Received” notification does not penetrate my concentration on the matters at hand. The people at the table glance at the brief disturbance, but continue the conversation.
For the record, I have an iPhone and I love it like butter. In case you do not have an iPhone and you are thinking of maybe getting one, please do not let the remainder of this story influence your decision to purchase. Because I am sure there is some kind of setting that could be changed to avoid a fiasco such as the one to follow, but as I do not actually know how to use the phone I own, such things occur.
“… and thus it is essential for the socio-emotional development of the children that we continue to provide vegetarian…”
My phone, insistent like a toddler, reminds me that I ignored the first notification of a message and so I try, without being noticed, to divert my eyes to the screen to see who is writing me what.
As my husband was, at that moment, taking care of my child and the VP’s two children, it was a possibility that he was messaging me to inform me that someone had chopped off their fingers or ingested a Lego or something of that sort. By now, the peeping of my phone had shifted from occurrence to annoyance. I decided to make an expressions of concerned importance when looking at it so everyone at the table would understand that whatever was being sent to me probably affected everyone and we should probably all be paying close attention.
The engineers at Apple are clever blokes. Just so we don’t have to further distract ourselves from meetings, they show messages on the screen when they arrive. Or when they remind. And so when my phone peeped, sitting in the middle of the tiny table, less than a foot away from everyone surrounding it, the screen displayed the message. Some of us are fast readers, others are not, but in this case it did not matter.
Because the screen of my phone was lit up with the glowing image of a bright, pink, and quite stiff, PENIS.
And I don’t just mean in the background. I mean my phone was like a Christmas light of potential coitus. Proud and pert it stood, for all the wool-wearing people to see.
I reached over, clicked the dimmer button, and said something distracting like, “And are the children singing Tolstoy rhymes during the sunrise circle?”
The VP was looking alarmed now and I wasn’t sure if it was because I mentioned Tolstoy rhymes (if he’d written them, they would have made Shakespeare appear short-winded) or if it was because she likely assumed that my husband was sending me photos of his erection while a) I was meeting with the kindergarten teachers and b) he was supposed to be watching the kids.
Further clarification: Even from across a coffee table, I could identify said protrusion as one I had not yet met in person. And/or had too many cocktails to remember. In any case, I wasn’t married to it.
Mortified, I tried to stop blushing and wracked my brain about who-in-God’s-name-would-send-me-a-picture-of-their-business-at-four-in-the-afternoon?!?!? and focus on more important matters at hand (the security of top secret documents about kindergartner development).
My phone peeped again, and this time I snatched it off the table before it had even finished its peep, fearful that the next image might have me in the background dancing with a bag of rufies.
It was a text message from an unnamed friend (I am protecting your identity for your mother’s sake, but you so.freaking.owe.me.) reminding me that it’s International Women’s Day. Apparently the electronic erection card is a traditional means of celebrating.
Which reminds me, I should forward that message to all my lady-friends. It was definitely worth appreciating.