Saturday, January 06, 2007

January the sixth: a historical perspective

Today I tromped through Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood with classmates. We visited several businesses and asked if they would like to donate to this year's Challenge for Charity auction. I stopped by Queen Anne Office Supply, where I was a delivery driver ten years ago, and this prompted me to look back through my musty memory-books.

Ten years ago in early 97, I was looking for a job (didn't start at the office supply store until a month later). On 1/6/97, one of the many places I applied was the Starbucks roasting plant, and I wrote down my random observations:

I am in the Starbucks roasting plant lobby. Everything's nice and new here. It's quite a walk down Airport Way S. to get here. The receptionists are talking quietly. But I can still hear what they're saying. The words "vagina ... yeast..." have floated into my ears.

Before I walked down here a paid a visit to a bustling little mart. It has a Vietnamese name, underneath which reads "The Asian Connection." The small store is crowded with noise and people. When I stood in line to buy my noodles and curry, a small old woman cut in front of me. She asked me something in a language I do not know. I just smiled at her. In reply, she let out and a hearty laugh and kept her place in front of me in line.

Fifteen years ago, on 1/7/92, I was a social intermediary 'twixt my sister and a fellow at our high school:
Katy asked a guy named Adam to the tolo. At the game tonight he told me he would say no, and afterwards, she called him, and they both agreed that they were relieved. But Katy told me later that she is actually a little disappointed.
And I recall being stressed about where I would go to college:
I got a letter in the mail today that says I have been accepted to Western. I hope I don't end up going there.

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2 comments:

Megan said...

What's a tolo?

Jonathan said...

It's more popularly known as a Sadie Hawkins dance. For some reason, the high school I attended referred to it by its much less common name, and probably has done so for decades.

I wonder: why have different regions adopted a particular variant of "Sadie Hawkins dance"? Why the linguistic pockets, instead of one term that everyone knows? How big are they, and how did they evolve? The above-linked Wikipedia article only provides cursory information on the subject.

Another question: are there equivalent dances in other countries besides America?