Some of you reading this are those strange creatures I call “people persons.” By that, I mean you actually derive energy from contact with other humans. I think of you as vampires. I would be your victim. Yesterday, I was forced out of my comfort zone to spend nearly eight hours among you in donor mode.
It starts pleasantly enough with a trip to the library and then to have lunch with a writer friend. (I’m still not sure we figured that check right, Tricia 🙂 ) But then I begin a quest for some Christmas gifts. First, a stop at a fabric/craft store for three little items—the checkout line is thirty or so deep with no “10 items or less” option. Sigh.
Next stop, a trendy teen shop in search of a cool shirt for a twelve-year-old. Lo and behold, I find a parking space after only three tours of the roundabouts this upscale mall seems so fond of. I stop inside the front doors and scan to see what looks popular. Seems to be plaid. So I squeeze my way through the maze of displays—my fashionably huge purse threatening to topple everything I pass—and sort through the racks of plaid shirts for her size. Nearly every rack has a “two-fer” sale sign, but if you’re only buying one can you get it for half that sale price—don’t be silly! So, I find a decent plaid in her size and check the price tag. What! You want me to pay $34.95 for this paper thin flannel import that will surely be a rag the first time it’s washed because who will remember to “wash in cold water, hang to dry”??? I leave the store empty-handed.
Now, back to Target for the second day in a row to get the “Ultra” formula skin lotion—the one that promises to keep my skin from looking like a mummy’s during this furnace-heated season. Did I remember to bring the bottle of “Deep” formula I bought the day before and set by my purse to return? What a silly question. Okay, just grab the lotion … oh, and those gift boxes … and yeah, those chips … wait, isn’t there something else I need? Hmmm. Maybe if I walk through the store I’ll remember. Forty minutes later, I’m in the checkout line with those first three items.
All right, off to the bead store. I need one simple thing: a two-strand silver-plated clasp to repair a necklace my mother broke while here on a visit. She left it with me two months ago and I promised to repair it “right away” and mail it to her. Ahem. So, I find such a clasp in copper, brass, and even gun metal … in silver, no. I reluctantly move over to the sterling clasps where I find only one that my mother could easily manage with her arthritic hands … at four times the cost of a plated clasp. Ah well, it’s my mother.
Three stops later, I’m back on the freeway headed home, my eyes are locked straight ahead because my brain cannot process another single bit of extraneous input. In between the time I get home and have to leave again to pick my husband up at work, I plan to do some editing. I sit down at my editing table and find I can’t even read, let alone edit. Instead, I sit in front of the TV, a human vegetable watching music videos and whatever else said twelve-year-old tunes in. Oh, and I watch her increase the wear to my Turkish carpet trying to learn a dance step called The Jerk.
So, I salute all of you who spend most of your days like this—out of the house—and then come home and write. I think you deserve a publishing contract just for managing to complete a somewhat coherent novel or a short story or poem collection. I’d award you a Ghiradelli’s chocolate square, but that’s the item I forgot to buy at Target.
[This post has been edited from the original by the author, appalled at her inconsistent verb tenses.]