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.

What I’ll Read When I Have Time

So far the Marble Memo keeping is going well, thank you.  I only have a few pages filled, but I think it’ll take me a while to get used to thinking in terms of the notebook.  It took me a while to get used to thinking in terms of a blog.  You know, in days gone by, when I drove around the gas station three times because I forgot which side of the truck the tank was on, or when I slipped playing broomball and concussed myself, I would just think, “Wow, that’s unfortunate.”  But now, I think, “Wow, this’ll make for a great post.”

Eventually, beyond merely listening to people talk or observing something unique, I’ll learn to write down what I see and hear.

In other news, I have some richness in my bookshelf that I’d like to share with you.  As much as I’m dreading graduation because it means the end of college (yes, Dad, I went to the resume-writing workshop today.  And yes, I know what J-O-B spells), I’m also looking forward to reveling in delicious books every evening.  I’ve spent the last four years (well, really the last twenty-two, but the last four especially) amassing piles and piles of books that I haven’t had time to read yet.  Here are the ones I plan to devour first (and yes, I seem to associate books with eating…):

1. The White Forest, by Adam McOmber.  I met him!  I met him!  He was at the Literary Festival, and I had the honor of taking a workshop with him, and of introducing him later when he gave a reading.  I gave a rather creepy introduction, referencing last Spring, when he Google chatted with my fiction writing class.  People laughed, but honestly, it was creepy.  He came up to me afterward to say thank you, which was nice.  And he signed my book, which was awfully nice.  

2. Coop, by Michael Perry.  I swear I’m not deliberately plugging the Lit Fest, but Michael Perry was one of the authors last year.  I also took a workshop with him, but didn’t get a book signed because I was too cheap to pay full price, and opted for Amazon instead.

3. Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace.  A friend gave it to me for my birthday, with a nice inscription citing a George W. Bush quote.  Can’t beat that.

4. One the Road, by Jack Kerouac.  Also a birthday present.  Boy, people know me well.

5. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo.  NOT BECAUSE OF THE MOVIE.  I’m way more hipster than that.  No, seriously.  I’ve been meaning to read it for years.

6. Three Cups of Tea, by David Oliver Relin.  Various family members have been telling me about this book for quite some time now.  Also, I met David sophomore year, when he spoke on campus … I am so sorry about all this name dropping, you guys.  But it makes sense, right?  That I’d want to read books written by people I’ve actually had contact with? 

7. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott.  For the zillionth time.  But now I own the Penguin Threads edition, which is just about the prettiest book edition I’ve ever seen.

Rachel Sumpter Penguin Threads Little Women cover