Date:      Friday, May 21, 1999 (9:44 a.m.)
To:          Awraris
From:     Sofanit
Subject: Was it good for you as it was for me?

Mr. Boss Man:

Yup, Awraris. You've smoked us out! That's what we women do when we all get together… except you missed the hours we spend doing our toes, and the endless affected brain-storming sessions we have on how to nab ourselves one of you Dalton men. By the way, we also talk about spending summers on the Vineyard and turning our wombs into factories that churn out perfect little Kinnebunkport Driving Club kids.

---Such insolence!---

Anyway, marketing stud (you should have known if that was a come on or not.. J ), I am writing this last entry from the front porch, listening to a sweet red robin chirping away. It's another gorgeous day. I am trying not to look at my house too closely because I will inevitably find several things wrong with it, and before you know it, Harry will be a live-in handyman. People might start talking.

Awraris… I have very few vices… and I don't confess this easily.. but I have become horrendously addicted to those "home fixing shows" on PBS. I could be in the middle of reading the most heart-wrenching chapter of a manuscript, but the minute I hear the opening music to "This Old House", all breathing stops for 28 minutes. Transfixed by Steve and Norm, I've watched bay windows being re-glazed; fireplaces dismantled, stripped of lead paint and stained; 18th century barns restored; plaster walls patched; intricate crown moldings replicated; and English gardens emerge from dirt land.

Please don't mistake this for profound knowledge meksem mefeleg. I have exactly zero interest in actually doing these things, which is why I am concerned about this am'eHro metawek.

It pains me to tell you that we are SOL regarding the tub situation. I found Harrison scribbling furiously on a notebook when I went galloping downstairs yesterday. He was making a list of parts he needed to complete the project. He can't come this weekend because it's one of his grandchildren's birthday .. (I say he has his priorities all wrong here).. and the next time he thinks he can come back is on Wednesday. What is a girl to do?? 'Till then, I can only use the shower in the other bathroom. ("'Till then, l'il lady, you gonna havta use the shower.")

Besides, you were mean to me, so I see no reason to use the tub. (Did you really buy a thesaurus to impress me?)

I feel nervous that you have actually fired the receptionist. One never knows with you plebeian corporate types. Strange things happen in that environment, Awraris. Don't let them steal your dreams.

Despite your occasional and pathetic attempts at self-deprecation ('duriye' operation? Awraris, please!), you have proven yourself to be a worthy cyber pal. I've enjoyed sharing this time with you, and I'm proud of you for taking matters into your own hands vis-à-vis your career. I hope to make it on my own too, although even if I DO go back to corporate America, I hope it will be on my terms. For now, I am busy loving life.

Let me know the progress on the Ethiopian stockbrokers. (I will borrow some of my money from Harry to go in on this project.) I am sending you the fudge brownies you signed up for. The total comes to $1,436.23. I hope you enjoy them.

I had to consult my parents on what "Andandaym be Waldeba yezefenal", meant… and I like THAT alliteration/saying/venture into "alu-isms". I guess it is a legacy to your Dad that you still speak Amharic so fluently. That was one thing my parents insisted on too. They couldn't give us a childhood in Ethiopia, but they were darned if they didn't try to hang on to the culture as long as they could. I will always be grateful for that.

I am outta here, Awraris. What a strange long trip is has been.
I hope we keep in touch.



Date:        Friday, May 21, 1999 (11:17 a.m. EST)
To:           Sofanit
From:      Awraris
Subject: OK, Ramblin' Rose

I was reveling in having the last word, Sofanit, until I got your sweet posting, and I've decided to behave. (Besides, I get the impression that the editors are solidly on your side, --why is that?--and whatever I say might be easily edited to make me look like a spineless, greedy corporate hound. I know when I am beaten too.)

In all seriousness, this has been a very rewarding exercise, and it was worth every hot breath down my neck by brutish but still esteemed editors. I can't tell you how much I admire your guts at trying your hand at self-employment. It takes a lot of discipline and focus. But the dream is there to be got. If ever you need advise please don't hesitate to ask. (About setting up your own 'shop', not about untenable and outlandish remodeling projects! Why don't you just use Crazy Glue like the rest of society?) Lemaneyawoom, you go girl!

I especially enjoyed our discourse on connecting to what makes us Ethiopian. I was moved by the story of you and your grandmother. There are moments in our lives which define us, and I appreciate you sharing yours with me. At what point do you think we will be happy with the degree of our abeshanet? I'd quit once I am able to get the main point of "Fikir eske Mekabir".

I really did get a new thesaurus… well, on CD ROM. I was going to have a ceremonial "Burning of the CD" bonfire, but I would like to keep in touch, so maybe I'll hang on to it. It might help my record with all-chick school educated chicks.

Have a great time with your pals…I am literally being dragged into a meeting, so I will have to end this here. Just wanted to drop you a quick note before you got going.

All the best,

p.s. I've written the check for the fudge brownies. But since they are perishable (unless you laced them with toxins), I suggest you deliver them in person. Or I can get them straight from the oven.