Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nickled and Dimed: Coming up short

*This is an embarrassing story. I should not put myself up as such an easy target for ridicule on the blogosphere, but it is too funny to pass up.*

I love the symphony/orchestra. I also love my friend Kylie. So when she told me that she was playing in University Orchestra, I knew I had to attend.

The day of the performance came and I went to buy a ticket for myself; the ticket was the loose change amount of three dollars. As I’m paying for my ticket the box office attendant tells me “your card has been declined. Do you have any other way of paying for the ticket?” I reluctantly tell her that I only have the card. I walk away empty handed and officially embarrassed.

Like any normal, self-respecting person I only use cards and the occasional check at Costco, so I had to scour my room for any kind of cash. Finally I exhumed two one-dollar bills and a dollar worth of change in nickels and dimes. As I walk towards campus with my money I turned red just thinking about how ridiculously pathetic I will look paying for a three dollar ticket in change.

I reach the Ticket Office and I place the ratty dollar bills and sprinkle the change on the counter to order my ticket. “I don’t know if we accept change” the Box Office attendant says and he quickly turns to the two or three chatting employees and asks “hey, do we accept change?” Fantastic, apparently paying in change is more pathetic than I even anticipated. Not only that, let’s alert everyone in the BYU Ticket Office that I’m paying for a three dollar ticket in change. A fellow employee answers, “we normally don’t, but if she does not mind that we cannot give any change back.” I sigh with relief - crisis averted.

But then he begins to count the money.

“You are short a nickel. Do you have one on you?” Crap. I must have miscounted. How could I miscount? I worked as a bloody cashier! I’m blushing like mad at this point, and I begin to look furiously in my bag.


“Hey does anyone have a nickel?” he asks the employees. Brilliant. Now I’m the Box Office charity case. And of course no one has a nickel.

I’m standing there not knowing what to do. Should I grab the money and run? He looks at me and says, “don’t worry about, we will figure something out.” I walk away almost laughing out loud with embarrassment. It was a kind gesture, but it was also the only gesture that the box office attendant could make - I was so pathetic that I basically cornered him into giving me a nickel.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The love child of John Smith and Pocahontas

The other day I noticed that my brown flats, of three and a half years, were falling apart. So, I recently bought a pair of shoes as a replacement.

While breaking my shoes in, a friend commented on how they were an interesting mix of Native American and European culture.

They are the love child of John Smith and Pocahontas.

We all laughed heartily at the joke, patting ourselves on the back for being so witty and clever.

But then I realized just how much the joke revealed. Historically speaking, John Smith and Pocahontas never had a love child. There was not romance. She married John Rolfe, became a Christian, adopted the name of Rebecca Rolfe, and assimilated into English society.

So why did we all make John Smith and Pocahontas a couple?

I love Disneyland and Disney. However, I do not appreciate their romanticized and false portrayal of early American history. I remained a disillusioned, naive, indoctrinated child for a long time because of institutions like Disney. It was not until high school and college that things were told in there more gritty reality. This incident is similar to the quixotic history of taught at schools about Christopher Columbus discovering America, and the relationship between Native Americans and the English.

I realize that history in of itself is a narrative and cannot be relied on as fact. However, there are some renderings of history that are more accurate than others. Also, I realize that Disney made a Pocahontas II in which they tried to rectify their historical mistake. But it is too late. It is like an unwritten rule that sequels never create as much revenue, are as well written, or as widely viewed by the public as the original (excluding the anomalies of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Batman). In other words, Disney cannot undo the damage that has been done.

On that note, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I don't know about you, but I'm thankful for adorable brown flats, Disneyland, Disney, and the wonderful songs from Pocahontas.