Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chatty Cathy

When I was a freshman in college, I was part of a work-study program, where I worked for a few hours each week in the main library to help pay my tuition. During that time I became friends with my boss who was in charge of the Circulation Department. He had several mannerisms, expressions, and styles that kind of imprinted themselves on me. This took the form of absorbing some of his catch phrases, my preference for Ralph Loren oxford shirts, and developing a taste for pasta not smothered in a tomato-based sauce.

Over the years, I gradually lost touch with my old boss and have not had contact with him for more than 20 years. However, one of his catch phrases unexpectedly bubbled up into my head the other day that I had not thought of in many years. Working in the library those years ago, I was typically stationed at the main check-out desk. Oftentimes, we would witness an excitable student who would be nattering away with their friends in what was supposed to be a quiet space. My boss would look to me and remark, "Isn't that one a little Chatty Cathy." (I came to know that Chatty Cathy was a talking doll from the 1960s/70s.)

I found myself smiling as I remembered his expression. I have fond memories of the bagels that he used to bring into work for us, adventures on campus during the summer months when the place was a ghost town, and lots of important, everyday, or inane conversations that made me enjoy my days back then all the more.