“Some might call her ‘bubbly’,” DL observed as we made our way to her chariot after Utopia. A term of disparagement for us, ‘bubbly’ is what you need for the restaurant business. I’ll never forget the time I was the overworked, underpaid ‘hostess’ for Salmagundi’s on Geary Street and the manager called me into his office after a particularly harrowing noontime shift that I’d somehow weathered. I thought admirably. “I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go,” he informed me, slouching in his white dress shirt behind his formidable backroom desk. “Why is that?” I demanded, exhausted from the lines of demanding patrons. “You’re just not ‘bubbly’ enough”, he said, chewing on the end of his pencil thoughtfully. “You need that quality here. And while you performed well with handling the customers’ orders and cash, we do need someone….”

I didn’t need to be told twice. Pulling my green apron off, I tossed it on his desk. “No need to explain further,” I said. “I’ll just take my non-bubbly self out of your equation.”

I think DL has a similar story. I’ll have to ask her when next we meet in Utopia.

But for today, bubbly was in the air. The ‘Bubbly’ one DL was referring to was a ‘sous chef’ at Millenium, some chi chi restaurant I’d never heard of. But DL had been there. I was impressed! Bubbly Sous Chef went on and on about this and that. I honestly didn’t register much of what she was saying at all. Could be that I don’t cook (“We unfreeze and we cut and assemble,” DL had said) or that I was wiped out after my freezing cold swim and the much needed heat of Utopia.
The pool, too, was a bubbly place. While I could barely keep moving for the cold, a bubbly young woman with pig tails and bright eyes stood in the center of the end lane yapping at the lifeguard for 45 minutes. I swear. She just stood there! Talking! She was bubbly. She said this and that too. While I was swimming, I of course couldn’t hear her because of my ear plugs, but the lifeguard was giving her tips about when to swim, when it was least crowded, what circle swimming was, blah blah blah.
She was eating it up.
Her Boyfriend, or friend, or wanna be boyfriend, a scrawny pale dude, stood by her forlornly. He did look cold.
Miss Bubbly, on the other hand, was not.

Does talking a lot keep you warm, I wondered?
I think it might. Bubbly Sous Chef certainly seemed warm in her round animated nudity. I marveled at how much she could talk about her job, her college days, her interest in learning Vegan cooking.
All in 5 minutes!

DL shook her head as we climbed into Carmine.
“She definitely had the extrovert thing going on,” I said, quoting a favorite line from my friend Mary Anne.
“Yes, that she did,” DL agreed as she turned on the engine.
I sank back into the seat as DL pulled out onto Broadway. Relaxed in our silence for a moment, I sighed.
Thank goodness DL isn’t Bubbly, I thought, as she turned onto grey plusher street and headed toward my car….It is vastly overrated. At least from an Introvert's point of view!


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