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Editor’s Corner: It’s that me, espresso
Andrea Gutierrez new

Stop the presses, everyone–I’ve always wanted to say that–because the song of the summer has arrived on our shores and in my earbuds, and will most likely be stuck in my head for the rest of the year. Sabrina Carpenter’s bubbly hit single ‘Espresso’ lives up to its name in every single way, giving me a burst of main character energy whenever I listen to it.

It almost makes me forget that every day I am living through major global events occurring all around the world that are calamitous and deadly in nature, like the war on Ukraine, unrest in the Middle East or the dangerous heatwave in India. (Well, I said ‘almost’.)

Will Sabrina Carpenter’s songs save the world and/or stop me from doomscrolling on my phone at night? No, probably not. Will “Espresso” get me to actually order espresso at a coffee shop like I’m some sort of born-again coffee drinker? Also no. But maybe Sabrina can release a break-up song in the autumn months inspired by chai lattes; it would probably be a power ballad laced with warm instrumentals and spicy lyrics. She can thank me for her future Grammy win later.

Father Time

In my view, disappointing your parents is a rite of passage for all children, akin to learning how to ride a bike or how to scam people with a lemonade stand. Some kids do it large, like sneaking out to a party as a teen; others are more sly, and choose to, say, get a piercing or a tattoo in a discreet location on their body. And there are, of course, losers like me: where simply eating a doughnut in the living room while watching “Bridgerton” is cause for exasperation in my father, who famously never eats meals or light snacks while watching television, mind you, and especially not with a beer in hand. Pot, meet kettle.

Annoying my dad is surprisingly easy to do, which is why I try not to take it too much to heart whenever he has his little outbursts. Once upon a time, when I was a young child, my dad threw his salad on his boss’ lap after being reprimanded for taking too long on his lunch break, leading to his swift dismissal from the company. I would make some salad jokes about this incident, but I don’t wish to dress things up–so I tossed it out of my column (See what I did there?)

But my dad also has his usual fatherly ways of tiring me; last week, he made yet another trite comment on the holes in my jeans, or more accurately, my ‘mall pants’ (the pants I exclusively wear to go to the mall; my clothes categorization could also be the subject of another column).

And of course, my choice of college major continues to vex him, nearly two years after I finished school. Apparently anyone who isn’t a mechanic is “lazy” and doesn’t offer much to the world, according to him (I even believe my mother was in the room when he said this, as well). But there’s something about growing older as a young adult that numbs you to these silly comments. Five years ago, I would be arguing with him like crazy, but nowadays I just retreat to my room to read a book or watch a movie, right after reminding my dad to be sure to lock the backdoor once he’s done watering his plants in the backyard. I imagine this is what folks mean when they say that kids grow up to take care of their parents in old age.

(How apropos: at the time of me writing this column, my lovely sports correspondent Mike Brown sent me a brief email wishing me and my father a good weekend. If you’re reading this Mike, I hope you have a good weekend too and have a happy Father’s Day! Please don’t fret about me, I do plenty of that myself!)

Anyways, I’m not sure where I was going with this whole spiel, but I suppose I just wanted an excuse to write about my dad in this column after the whole doughnut debacle. When I complained to my mom about my dad’s unreasonableness, she simply sighed and asked me to be ‘patient’ with him, which essentially boils down to ‘politely ignore him to avoid further controversy’. (My mom also does this with the extended family overseas, so it must be a good strategy).

In all seriousness, I do love my dad, but I’m happy to report that I didn’t inherit his penchant for workplace tantrums, or taste in salad dressings. (He ONLY eats ranch; how boring of him.)

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! (Honestly, I don’t think he’ll even read this, he once told me on a a car ride to Athens that he hates ‘the media’....).

Back to the Future

As the managing editor of a smalltown- that-isn’t-really-that-small-anymore newspaper, I get to wear many hats in the workplace. (Not actual hats, obviously–that’s gaudy and unfashionable.) What I mean to say is that during the workweek, I get to do various different errands under the broadly-defined job title of ‘editor’. Thirty-plus years ago, some of the stuff I do at the Bryan County News on a weekly basis would be relegated to other folks working together with me in service of the paper’s news coverage and overall mission. Those people back in the day were known as S-T-A-F-F (I think that’s how you spell it…? I had to ask ChatGPT.) and were able to make newspapers via the power of friendship, cigarettes, and the trusty Linotronic 300.

While looking back at all the cultural and technological progress in the past few decades, however, I often wonder how different my life would be had I graduated college in 1982 instead of 2022. But to be honest, I have since concluded that my core personality would not be all that different: I’d most likely still be a mousy, bookish young woman with a predilection for cheap romance dramas and faddish pop music (the 1980s version of me would have loved Duran Duran).

Andrea Gutierrez is the the editor of the Bryan County News.

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