December 8th, 2010
|10:32 am - Ghosts of Solstice Past|
When I gave notice that I would be leaving my job, I took home a big box of personal belongings in the interest of making my exit a little easier. Now, the only personal belongings still at my desk are a coffee mug, a scouring pad for said mug, the box of tea that necessitated the scouring pad, a box of Kleenex, and a copy of that British WWII-era poster that says, "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON." I thought it was clever, but nobody else has even noticed it, so maybe I'm wrong.
Anyway, amongst the things I took home is a folder full of paper mementos -- birthday cards, certificates of achievement, photos, and the like -- which I wanted to sort through for nostalgia's sake, and in case there was anything important in there. It would have been wiser to sort through it this week at work, but it was Friday night and I just threw everything into the box in the interests of G'ingT.F.O.
The folder is indeed a rich treasure trove of the history of what I did at work when I wasn't actually doing work, and though I'm just tossing most of this stuff, there are a few things I'll want to keep. I'm undecided about a greeting card which I found extremely perplexing when I opened the folder on Friday night.
The envelope is plastered in the kind of cutesy stickers that make it look like it was given to me by a high school girlfriend, and the inside of the card is signed by "Katt." And the card is a real piece of work.
It's a Merry Solstice card, with copious references to Wicca and paganism, and though I'm not a Wiccan or Pagan, I'm pretty sure that a Wiccan or Pagan would tell you that the card is complete pants. Especially if that Wiccan or Pagan came from Britain, because they actually use the phrase "complete pants" over there.
The text of the card is as follows:
A pagan fire,
a goat killed dead,
and life's blood
pouring out its head...
Around the altar gather we
to send this Wiccan wish to thee...
As frosts of Saturnalia chill,
listen! All the world's still!
And Gaia's breast o'erfills with milk
and Shaitan spins the solstice silk.
A thousand druids wish the well
and comfort thee from outer hells.
The Black Goat sacrific'd shall be
and all the Wiccan world will see
a brand new day shall dawn at last!
So join hands now for our repast:
Yl'ang-syn'doch in doubtful sleep
appoints to you a wish to keep;
for as the mouths upon his hands
gape wide, and as he headless stands,
the Wyrm beneath the world writhes
and whispers to you, "come inside!"
For Yuletide's not for womyn alone,
nor man, nor dog, nor herring bone.
Our ancestors: they did eat the meat
of Christmas; Yule-time's witch, Gu'priit!
A merry Solistice to the brothyrs
and systers of Wicca.
This smacks to me of Wiccan-baiting (a phrase which has only three hits on Google). Speaking of Google, there are no hits at all for Yl'ang-syn'doch, whose description sounds suspiciously like Y'golonac. Gu'priit has one hit, and it's in an Estonian essay about animation.
This card is the kind of thing I'd pass around to everybody just for its weirdness factor, but I didn't recognize it at all on Friday when I found it, and I couldn't remember Katt, either. At first I thought she might've been a temp we had in 2006, around the time crabmoon and I started dating. In the fall of that year, I suddenly found myself with a handful of romantic prospects, which was uh, unusual to say the least. I lost touch with most of them when I started dating crabmoon. Most of them were coworkers who didn't stay with the company, and I can picture one who I thought might have been Katt.
It took me a few days to remember, but I realized that Katt is actually Kah, and I remember Kah quite well, which is funny because she temped here for less than a week. She was fresh out of high school, she was very weird (not in a good way), and she was interested in all the single men at work in a way that made us uncomfortable. Kah was not her real name, and but that's what she called herself, after Ka, the ancient, Egyptian word for spirit. She added an H to the end because otherwise people would call her Kay. Her job was to file things alphabetically in a big metal cabinet for eight hours a day, and she got fired for coming in up to three hours late, not understanding the phrase "business casual attire," and for being completely unaware of how the alphabet works.
My clearest memory of Kah is that on the day that she started, some of my coworkers were trying to decide whether to order lunch from Glass Nickel or Pizza Hut. She came up behind me while I was on the phone, grabbed me by my shoulders, shook me, and yelled "pizza butt!" in a monster voice. My headset fell on the floor, and I panicked and disconnected the call. Neither one of us got in trouble, but the experience got us off to a bad start. My second clearest memory of Kah is that I ran into her on State Street several months later, and she showed me the first iPod I'd ever seen.
I also remember that on the day she got fired, she invited me to accompany her to Sanctuary Circle, which I now realize is Circle Sanctuary, a Shamanic Wiccan church in Barneveld, WI. I'm not sure whether she had the name wrong, or if I'm just remembering it backwards, but I turned her down. I don't remember getting the card, but I'm sure it came from her. I may have purposely lost it in my desk with the intention of forgetting about it.
At any rate, the card is from early-to-mid December of 2001, which means it's much older than I thought it was.
Have I mentioned that I need to G.T.F.O.?
Current Mood: annoyed nostalgia
Current Music: The Jelly -- What What The Jelly
Wow, someone's been reading a bit too much HP Lovecraft. Your thoughts about her actually referencing Y'golonac are right on target. Yow. I'm glad this is a long gone stalker cause that's kinda creepy.
I think the card was somebody's attempt to upset Wiccans, but I also think she thought it was a genuine Solstice card. I'm also not sure she qualifies as a stalker, but she was definitely not ready to work in an office. I wonder what she's doing these days, but I have no real way of finding her, and that's probably for the best.
That card cannot possibly be serious. I desperately want to know where she got it, though, because it's absolutely hilarious.
I was deliberately withholding this information because I think it ruins the story, but there's a Cafe Press logo on the back of the card. I looked for it over the weekend, though, and didn't find anything. Let me know if you do.
That's worth keeping. It is at least an interesting relic from a workplace that is quickly becoming a memory.
This year we have actually been doing the "pass-the-birthday-card-around-the-department-for-everyone-to-sign" thing at my workplace, which is the first time I have been involved in acknowledging birthdays at work. So far, it seems like an exercise that doesn't amount to much besides repetition of "Happy Birthday!" or "Have a great day!" about fifteen times in a generic card. But maybe it makes people feel happier somehow, deep down? Dunno.
I usually write "congrats on your escape from the womb!", but I have to admit that sometimes I tone it down to "Merry Thursday!" when the card is for someone who I consider to be a dim bulb.
Once one of my coworkers circulated a birthday card for me when it was nowhere near my birthday. Most people didn't realize it, but the ones who did wrote some pretty great messages. That one is in the folder, too, and it's a keeper.