Singing the Praises of People We Love

people who are good at their work

We love people who have skills. And we may never get to ride in a Formula One car, so that’s why we take taxis. Yes, of course, take an Uber or whatever if you want conversation and a clean, antiseptic car and the fear that you might only get rated 4 stars by someone who is timidly over-yields in their grey car.

Or take a taxi. Heaven only knows what happened (or hatched or died or got lucky) in the back seat, but that’s why we take taxis – to live on the wild side, to experience not just motion, but life. Sometimes you have a silent one, but most of the time you will get chat with a person who has a lot of opinions and no interest in your ‘rating.’ Local knowledge, weather knowledge, sports knowledge, restaurant knowledge and general life advice, taxi drivers have seen and heard everything, who better to weigh in on your decision to change jobs or husbands?

Uber and Lyft are fine, do as you please Darling. But they are driving for money; it’s not a calling and, sigh, the Ubers I have had with lost, tentative and distracted drivers. But taxis, they have nothing to do but get you where you want to go and the psychological bonus: U-turns in the middle of streets and going the wrong way down on-way streets make you feel alive. Sometimes you are newly energized to write your will or watch Repo Man again after a taxi ride.

people who take pride in their work

Mr. Bean in Love Actually – living the dream. I recommend watching the clip once a month: []. There are people like that all around if you just look closely. The man who works Burdick’s – he caresses that tissue around the box, snaps the tissue fluff into place, gets that ribbon just right, sigh I could watch him for hours. He knows what he is doing, does it well and takes PRIDE in it. No bag is leaving Burdicks without properly fluffed tissue paper and seeing that kind of dedication reaffirms my faith in humanity.

the people you tell your travels to; or how to avoid the ‘Aren’t You Special Stare of Boredom

There are people you are tell about your horrible trip to the Maldives and people you can’t. Be sure to treasure the ones you can talk to. There are factors of how well you know the person and how interested the person is, but also discretionary income. It’s not pleasant going on about watery Pina Coladas and lack of turn-down service in the Maldives to someone whose last vacation was to Illinois. So don’t.

If you are asked about where you got your too-charming sweater, don’t say “Ragamuffin, of course, but now I can’t remember if it was the shop on the Isle of Skye or the Royal Mile.” But then, you need to be careful if you lie. I was once asked where I got my dress and, not wanting to say Rajasthan, said, “the Gap” and got the reply, “I didn’t know the Gap sold gold lame dresses.”

Humble-brag about travel and possessions to those with equal chances (“I ONLY spent three weeks in Costa Rica”) and people who can escape you. Not fair to bore the woman who is doing your nails about the fabulous weekend in Paris you are preparing for. Silence or a mutually agreeable topic like Orlando Bloom. And when you have the chance to let loose in front of fair game, well then Darling, let loose. “Oh it was so terrible, the first morning of the safari we only saw a mere EIGHTEEN lions, I was hoping for twenty,” “so he insisted on buying me this despite my protests that NO ONE was wearing huge diamond earrings this season,” “I was so embarrassed, I wanted to JUST DIE, the entire London Philharmonic playing Happy Birthday for me in the middle of Trafalgar Square and then when the dozens of bagpipers appeared, oh I just wanted to SINK into the pavement,” “the restaurant was TOO silly, 14 hors d’oeuvres, each presented on its own hand-carved block of ice”. Yes my little canary, when it’s time to sing. Sing.