I promise him I will try it. Later. After I finish my $4 peppermint latte from the evil corporate coffee chain.
Frank doesn't drink peppermint lattes and he doesn't approve of evil corporate coffee chains. He sits just a few feet away from me at work but lives on another planet entirely.
He's an anti-corporate vegetarian environmentalist in his 20s who spends his free time organizing Burger King boycotts and strategizing a media campaign to raise awareness of prison conditions.
He scavenges organic pizza crust from the backs of restaurants, reads French social theory and rails against gentrification. He rides his bike and uses public transportation and still - I am sure of this - worries about his carbon footprint.
I am a 45-year-old suburban mommy whose purse is stuffed with grocery lists, receipts and overpriced cosmetics that were probably tested on animals. Hardly a day goes by when I do not patronize some corporate retail establishment. I could not name a single French social theorist. The term "carbon footprint" makes me think of shoes.
It has been a long time since I imagined I could change the world.
But it's not as if there is no common ground between us.
Frank wants me to listen to some Italian folk music he likes.
I like it too. It makes me want to chop fresh parsley and garlic and simmer homemade sauce on the stove. It makes me want to go to Williams-Sonoma.
"This makes me think of making spaghetti," I tell him.
"What about cleaning your rifle?" he says. "Does it make you think of cleaning your rifle? Because it's music from the resistance."
"How was I supposed to know that?" I say, a little defensively. Jesus, when did I become "The Man"?
I tell him it is just a matter of time before he falls head over you-know-what for some pretty young thing with a Prada fetish and a Neiman Marcus credit card. And his "resistance" to the forces of rampant consumerism will come crashing down outside a Victoria's Secret dressing room.
But Frank is not the only force of social consciousness in the office.
"Is that fair trade coffee?" I am asked when I come back with a a bag of Starbucks Latin America breakfast blend.
It is $12 a pound coffee, ingrates, is what I am thinking. But what I say is: "It was produced by an organic, lesbian co-op. A portion of the profits go to benefit the anarchy defense fund."
Frank's gritty urban apartment would probably fit into my living room. But he lives within his means, while I am in debt up to my mascara. One of my favorites brands is called "Urban Decay." It makes me feel gritty and urban, like maybe this weekend I will head out to the North Side to catch a slamming new band.
But unless there is a new band called "PTA Mommies," it is not on my calendar.
Photo: Who says revolutionaries don't like spaghetti?