Between Books

I apologize for the quiet week posting-wise.  I blame it on being between books; I began one, discarded it, began another, discarded it.  I knew I wanted to read something, but couldn’t figure out what.  I spent a great deal of time staring at my bookshelves, and the rest of the time watching mindless YouTube videos and scrolling through Pinterest.  I was generally listless and uninspired and only wanted lukewarm broth with noodles when lunchtime rolled around.  You know the feeling.

Last night I finally settled on one: The White Forest, by Adam McOmber.  It’s ethereal and mysterious and Victorian (three of my favorite qualities in a novel) and it’s just exactly what I’ve been craving.

Today, thank goodness, my productivity levels are up again.  I woke up at a respectable 10:00, put on some flannel, cleaned my room while listening to This American Life, and went out into the 53-degree world with blissful purpose.  I mailed a care package to Amy, who is homesick over there in cheesehead land.  Mom and I visited Ojiketa Regional Park to check out Art Blitz.  Then we went to Sunrise River Farm for apples and apple bread and apple butter.  And I tried to scratch a donkey’s nose.  He tossed his head away, disgruntled that I hadn’t brought a food offering for him.  I guess I see his point.

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Til You Drop

There isn’t much to report around these parts.  I’m still unemployed.  It’s still raining.  Ruby is still number one in the nation for canine popcorn consumption.

A momentous event did occur yesterday, though: yesterday, my mother (who has just been set free for the summer from her teaching job), my sister (who has a proper part-time job, but who had the day off), and I (bum, along for the ride) went clothes shopping.

I think you all know how I feel about shopping.  I can’t find a specific post to tag, but I suspect that I’ve complained about it at least several times.  Here’s a recap anyway:

The concept of buying new things I have no problem with.  I like things.  I like newness.  I also like oldness, hence my closet, which is currently stuffed full of objects too “sentimentally valuable” for me to part with.  But the process of shopping, of going in and out of stores and dressing rooms and waiting in lines for dressing rooms and cash registers and then after all that waiting being held up so that the cashier (who is undoubtedly just doing as she has been told by corporate) can ask you to sign up for ten different credit cards and email lists … all of that is a nightmare to me.  And then there’s the fact that one must engage in such torture several times a year, that one must shop for winter clothes, for summer clothes, for shoes to match, and finally, stressfully, for a decently flattering dress for that upcoming wedding.

I am the sigher and the watch-checker who plops down on the nearest bench or inside the nearest quiet clothing rack while everyone else rushes around with hangers full of promise.

I am the toddler who has to be placated with an Orange Julius or a large soft pretzel so that I won’t throw a tantrum in the middle of Penny’s.

I am the attitude-laden teenager who digs in her heels and refuses to step into Forever 21 because everyone in there looks “snotty” and because even if hipster clothes fit, it doesn’t mean you should wear them.

Yesterday–somehow, magically–yesterday I did okay.  I shopped the sales racks, willingly entered dressing rooms, and (allow me to boast) didn’t buy an otherwise wonderful shirt because, as my mother warned, “the shoulders didn’t fit right.” I even bonded with a Sephora employee over the fact that thick hair sucks when it comes to styling, and can only be tamed with large dollops of creams and mousses and gels.

Dare I say it?  It was a pretty good day.  And maybe, just maybe, the new things I bought will make me feel just a little bit Forever 21 hipster snotty.  Because that’s fun every once in a while.

Groceries

Tonight was one of those nights when you go to the grocery store fifteen minutes before close.  You snatch things off the shelves haphazardly, feeling a little lost without your usual list.  You feel your chest swell with pride when you pick out something that’s on sale, and you stand, cushy tennis shoes on unforgiving tile, for a few moments to deliberate over something that’s not.

Outside, the air has cooled significantly, and the sudden darkness drives you to the sidewalk, where you trot with a gallon of milk in one hand and a bag of palm-stripping weight in the other.  Every so often you have to stop and switch hands, sighing as the numbing gallon settles against your new rope burn.

Back at home, you unpack quietly for a few minutes.  That is, until you pull the large container of oatmeal out of the bag, and open the cupboard to discover an identical, nearly-full container within.  You bought oatmeal last week.