Turning insignificant into loved

I started working at a clothing store as a part-time job recently. And kind of ‘just because I wanted to do it’. I had never worked in retail before this, and I had often felt that I might be well-suited to being paid to organize and fold stuff (something I already do when I go into stores as a customer, anyway, but, of course, not for pay). So, I am giving it a go.

Walking to the store today to work, I had geared up for the pouring rain: Waterproof boots, a long raincoat, backpack waterproof cover, and an umbrella. The only thing not covered directly by waterproof material was my sweatpants – odd how that is singular yet not…. a single item of clothing, yet referenced as a plural for its two legs… yet we do not reference a shirt as plural for its two arms/sleeves…

Anyway, so, I am being very careful as I walk on the sidewalk. It is placed directly beside the road, with no buffer – genius, I know (meaning What idiotic brain fart planned this sidewalk?). Whenever I come up to a spot where there is a puddle in the road, I quickly run a large arc away from it, before joining back with the sidewalk, doing my best to avoid any possibility of being splashed by passing cars.

Just after I cross the train tracks, when there is nowhere to arc , and I am just running in a straight line to pass a puddle, a single car comes speeding up from behind me. There are no other cars around, and the car easily can move into the left lane and avoid hitting the massive puddle on the right lane… and the bright yellow individual who cannot be considered invisible right now.

The car does not move over. I notice just in time to jump forward and pull up my legs as best I can in front of me.

Almost my entire left pant leg, and some of my right, is suddenly soaked, completely through to my skin. My leg is actually dripping wet on the left.

I curse in an outraged yell, as I continue on my way, somehow embarrassed.

After setting everything down in the back at work, I change into my regular shoes, and head out to check in, eyes already beginning to burn. The moment she asks me how I’m doing – the standard check-in – I starts to cry. I cannot help myself.

I’m okay, but I’m not okay right now, I manage to say a couple times. I explain briefly what happened and that my pants are currently soaked through, and that, as I am now seeing with clarity, I am not only physically uncomfortable, but I am living in the experience of having been unworthy of being noticed. Insignificant out on the street, thus completely missed by the driver. That was my experience, no matter what logic told me, and I was still processing that experience and all the emotions that went with it.

She got it completely. Do I want to go change? she offers. I don’t have anything to change into, I reply, still in active tears.

“Okay, do you want to go pick out some pants?” I hesitate, considering how it doesn’t work for me to go buy something for myself right now.

“I’ll get you some pants,” she clarifies at my hesitation to respond. “Go pick something out from the sales rack, and come check back in with me, and I’ll get them for you. And then you can go change.”

And so I did. And she did. And I changed into dry, fancy, brand new pants. And the world was suddenly a lot easier to take in when I was no longer soaking wet and mentally preparing how to survive the next five hours as such, and somehow be in a good mood and help people and walk around with ease.

I checked back in with her once I was changed, expressed clear and direct gratitude for handling the situation so well – so immediately and so effectively – and for creating a space for me to clear things up for myself by removing the strong physical discomfort aspect of the situation. (Think how we are miserable and can’t function properly when we are super hungry, and then our brains suddenly work again after we’ve gotten the needed nutrition. Better yet, think about how a bull or horse will buck and buck like crazy, even after the cowboy is off its back, until that miserably tight burr strap is loosed off its hindquarters.) It has been a no-brainer for her, and she was glad to have been able to help clear it all up for me. After all – and she didn’t say this, but we both know it – I can serve the store and its customers best when I am at my best… and wet and miserable is certainly not my best. So, it was beneficial to the store for me to have the new pants, more so than just the cost of the pants, but for the cost of all the customers with whom I would come in contact the rest of the day.

I don’t know if she bought them herself, or if there is a budget for the store to be used for such odd, here-and-there occasions. And I’m okay with it either way. I am nonetheless grateful that this person considered such a solution, whatever the details of it, and made it happen. And immediately. It made a world of a difference for me, and I was and still am extremely grateful.

Plus, I actually really like the pants. They were comfy to wear, and they are a really pretty color. Thank you, K. You turned a terrible experience into a lovely and loving one. And I am grateful.

Post-a-day 2020

Mother-daughter

“I really want that dental tool… and I need underwear.”

What was that?, you wonder. It was something I said tonight on our way home, which was the catalyst for a several-minute cry-fest for my mom and me.

We could not speak. Only the occasional partial word exited our mouths, and none of it comprehensible, even to each of our own ears. Our eyes were pouring water. Our cheeks ached. Our bellies convulsed in silent, intense laughter.

Eventually, we both began to gasp for air, and slowly traded our silent laughter for loud coughing, tears still pouring down our faces.

So, why did this all happen, then?

My mom and I joke regularly about how our brains work on this family. We change topics very easily, but we always return to any topic we have set aside, no matter the reason for doing so. So, it is completely normal that we throw out a complete non-sequitur…. and also normal that the conversation continue with ease and without hesitation or judgement. Oftentimes, the original conversation will continue by one person, while the other person shares a few comments on a non-sequitur before returning back to the original conversation (the one that was continued by the other person).

Example: We are talking about cheese, say.

‘I think Brie would be better, because it’ll work with the crackers.’

‘I’m really glad they banned smoking in bars and restaurants in France.’

‘But a good smoked Gouda is always amazing.’

‘It just would have been miserable for me, if everyone had been smoking all the time.’

‘And a nice Swiss, too.’

‘Like in Japan… ugh. You always just go explore the cheese section at the grocer, and find fancy cheeses all at once there, so just have some in mind, but don’t bother settling on what cheeses ahead of time.’

‘Yeah, you’re right. I always do like doing that.’

See how two conversations kind of just happened at once? Well, we do that.

And we are fine with it.

However, we have, in recent years, begun to notice how it might appear to an outsider, whenever we have any sort of odd or atypical conversation. Therefore, such conversations usually end up with us laughing at some point in the middle of them, as we both realize one another realizing the outside-view-crazy conversation we are having.

Tonight, when, out of nowhere, I mentioned my desire for a dental tool, that was already a bit odd. That I continued with the, “I need underwear,” statement, that sent my mother out of it completely. I, naturally, could not contain myself with her laughing so hard. As I began to laugh, I asked for clarity on why specifically she was laughing, whether at the randomness of the conversation then itself or st the specific combination of those two comments. It was the latter, because she was immediately imagining how the two might go together somehow, like ‘I need bread and milk from the store’. But it was a dental tool and underwear, as though one had to do with the other.

I explained that I had gone to the store recently, but I had forgotten to look for the tool, and they had been out of the underwear I had wanted, so those were the only two items on my list that hadn’t gotten purchased.

That didn’t make it any better, though. 😛

We laughed so hard, it was ridiculous. And it was spectacular.

I love these ridiculous times with my mom, and I am extremely grateful for them.

Post-a-day 2020

Motorcycles and memory

There’s a guy at work who is getting a motorcycle next week, apparently.  When he talks about ‘getting his motorcycle license’ and motorcycle, there’s a part of me that reacts with envious awe, “Woah… a motorcycle license… that’s cool… motorcycle,” placing the man temporarily on a shining white pedestal with a glowing golden spotlight on him.

But then, as I mentally gaze up at this god-like figure of a person (who is thus due to the motorcycle status, of course – nothing to do with his actual body or anything) surrounded by shining lights, another part of me slowly wakes up and says, “Uh… hello… it’s actually called a motorcycle endorsement, not a license…. And, heLLO, Banana: you have one of those… and you drive a motorcycle… derr… you dope.”

And then I just feel silly and giddy all at the same time, laughing at my odd forgetful moment and delighted in the recovery of the relevant memories and information.

I guess I am really cool still.  And I still just keep forgetting how cool.  B.A., really…  in many ways, I am that shining person up on that pedestal.  And that is totally baller.  I am ever grateful for such beautiful blessings and opportunities in my life.

Thanks, bruh… I love you.  😉

Post-a-day 2020

Scars and cars

Two things:

1) These scans are at the point that they have dried out so much, they now keep cracking when I move, ripping themselves open anew, sending immediate and searing pain through my hands or knee, when it does happen. I finally managed to drive okay, but it was an old stick shift today, and putting it into third gear was quite difficult with my right hand situation. It ended up busting open my scabs more than once, and drawing blood from them… yippee… haha

2) Speaking of driving that car, it is a ’97(?) Porsche 911. That means the speedometer only shows numbers in increments of 25 (up to a very high number), the engine feels very comfortable at around 80mph, and driving it is like a party for the senses in a way they always seem to forget that they adore. Driving such a car makes driving fun. A long drive into town, while mentally seems miserable, ends up being no big deal at all, and, in fact, a kind of total meditative experience as I am one with the wind and the glorious German engineering and power of an engine. I don’t even have the need for speed, myself – it really is the car. But, since I’m driving it, I tend to take it easy for the most part, and chill with traffic at safer and much slower speeds than one likely would expect from a driver of such a car. Nonetheless, that car makes driving fun. Really.

Now, I’m curious how this idea could affect my search for a reliable, responsible – both for me and for the planet – vehicle this weekend. The plan is to lease a Nissan Sentra, after verifying that I still like the vehicle, years and years later…, but that will be a hard comparison after driving this car again… oops. 😛

Wishful thinking, y’all. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Squirrels on the loose

My mom asked me this week if I have been noticing more squirrels than usual lately.  Whenever she is out somewhere, usually driving, she feels like she has been seeing loads more squirrels than usual.  At first, I was thinking about mating seasons, and wondering whether we were at a time of year where there just happen to be lots of recently-added squirrels in the mix.

But then something else occurred to me… and then she said that something else. “I just wonder if, because everyone had been staying home and not going anywhere for a while, she began.

And I finished, barely able to restrain my laugh before finishing, “No one was out driving to run them over??”

We both laughed.  But we both considered the idea as a genuine possibility.  Lost of things were affected this summer by people’s not going into offices and work anywhere near the typical amount…, perhaps this was just another of those effects.

And perhaps not, but the idea is a lot more fun to consider that the poor squirrels this summer actually had a chance for once.  Kind of like the air, you know?

I still laugh when I think about her specifically bringing it up to me to ask my thoughts on the matter, as though it were something of significance in our lives.  Just in the squirrels’, I suppose, but we both totally loved considering it, nonetheless.

Post-a-day 2020

Vroom Vroom

Today, I went to my mom’s house to bring some salmon for dinner for my grandparents (who are still there due to hurricane damage at their home in farther-east Texas), and to hang out with them and with my mom. Where I am house-sitting is about an hour away from my mom’s house. I have express permission to drive the Vespa (which was, essentially, a copy of mine only a few weeks after I bought mine) and the Porsche, because, “It’s the cheapest car we own.”

Take that in for a second, will you?

Anyway, it’s a 1999 Porsche 911, a little car made for speed and spectacular performance. I drove it (with the owner in the passenger seat) once years ago when he first bought this particular one, and he had me go up in the highway and experience the sheer speed the engine can produce. I remember noticing that we were going 96 miles per hour despite my having had no idea we were much above even 60mph – I had told him at the time that the car just felt comfortable there, like it was made to go that speed more so than any other speed. He agreed with me, and then gave me a breakdown on why that felt to be the case. It was a really cool experience for me.

Today, I own a 2002 Hyundai Accent GL with crank windows and a 2013 Vespa 300GTS (that’s 300cc). The Hyundai is mostly a rainy day and grocery store car, as the engine can really only handle light use and short distances. The Vespa is, well, a Vespa. It can go 88mph with me driving it, but it isn’t made to do that very often or on the regular – it is really made to go 50-ish on the regular, possibly a bit more. Neither of these vehicles is anything like a Porsche. Nor was the 2011 Toyota Prius I recently drove for a while while a friend was out of the country – that one even less so, really.

And so, fast-forward back to today, when I fired up – and I use those words on purpose, because, boy, does it sound like someone just lit a massive fire when that engine roars to life! – this Porsche 911. It kind of made me nervous just to get the thing out of the one-car garage door (of a four-car garage, of course), I felt like I might blast a hole in something every time I even touched the gas. (Plus, with the age, the gear shifter was a little wonky to figure out at first, having to pull it way to the side for first gear, and even more way to the side for reverse, I was nervous of going the wrong direction straight into the concrete in front of me!) I had to run a quick errand first, and so experienced the world of growling beasts that are the low speeds of such a vehicle… I felt like I was going to break down just about everything that I passed, that engine was so strong and rough with its constant dull roar and slight explosion at every press of the gas pedal.

But I got over it after that short errand, and I took the dog for a quick little neighborhood ride before I headed out. I was told she absolutely loves it, and she even snuck out the gate while I was checking things over before leaving, and she climbed halfway in the driver door, despite my telling her to come back inside the yard. It was actually quite comical, so I couldn’t resist. I had considered doing it, anyway, but didn’t want to be running any later in my plans than I already was. When she so pathetically tried to crawl into the car, I had to go ahead with the original plan to take her for a ride.

Thus, the following… and no, I have no real explanation but that I imagine she might have been escaping the sunlight… the top and the windows were all down, and she knew it…

So, there’s that…

After I dropped her back off at the house, and gave her a treat as my departing gift, I headed out to my mom’s house. To start the trip, there is a quick stint of about six or so exits on the highway, before exiting for a ground-level Highway with a million stoplights and a surprisingly low speed limit for something called a state highway… anyway…

As I turned onto the feeder and headed the long road to the ramp onto the highway, I began really to feel the car’s power. I used to drive a new Volkswagen Jetta, manual, and was in love with the German engineering and the smoothness and classic-ness of the engine and steering and everything-to-do-with-driving of it. When I rented a new Volkswagen Beetle a few years ago, I was reminded of that fabulous engineering. Today, climbing up onto that highway ramp and overpass, my whole body reacted with memory and nostalgia at this experience of yet another classic case of stellar engineering. When the car felt like it was in its ‘chill space’, as I call the average vehicle’s 45mph feeling, we were going 85.

I might have gone a bit faster than that for a while, but I wasn’t paying attention to the speed anymore. I was feeling throughout my whole body the tingling sensation of memory combined with satisfaction and fulfillment. This is how a car should feel, I found myself thinking. This is a car.

And I meant it.

The top was down, the wind was blowing in just that way around, and I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling and laughing aloud, hard. I actually thought for a second, Wouldn’t it be silly if I cried right now? And then I noticed how my thoughts spoke without analyzing fully the situation… within seconds of having the thought, I noticed tears in my eyes. And not from the wind. I agreed with my thought, that it was silly, but I allowed the expression to be true and easy, and dove into my experience.

Driving this little car just felt right for me. It surprised me, but I could see that, now that I was trying on the idea, I truly want to make having one of these in my life happen – I want to have one of these 911s one day, to drive on the regular, wherever I may want to go in it. She is calling me, and I can finally hear it…

Vroom Vroom…

Post-a-day 2020

Old people

My uncle left another uncle’s house at four pm, to drive a drive that Google Maps lists as four hours and eight minutes.

He has a cell phone, but won’t give the number to anyone (don’t ask).

The other uncle asked me to let him know when his brother arrives.

You know, because the uncle won’t let him know himself, because that would give away his cell phone number.

He finally arrived, close to ten at night.

No one is surprised, because this is apparently normal for him… he stops a million times for the bathroom, and possibly to pick up food and all from favorite places…

And then, he casually mentions how his tire blew almost immediately after leaving the other uncle’s house, and so he was on the side of the road for a long while, fixing that.

I didn’t even bother saying anything, but, dear me, it just sounded so stupid to me that he wouldn’t just call my uncle to come help him change the tire, only minutes from his house.

But no, then he would have the cell phone number.

Crazy old people, I dare say…

Ugh.

Post-a-day 2020

Homeward Bound

One of my favorite sets of movies when I was a child, it was…

Anyway, I’m headed home in the morning.

Well, in the afternoon, I suppose… I’m packing up in the morning, though, and possibly going to a museum quickly after I do some tutoring, and before I head out.

I’m headed to Dallas area in the morning, and am meeting someone there for a drink or something, and then I’ll be heading home after that, in the later afternoon.

And I might actually be even head to that until almost noon, anyway.

So, I’m headed home at some point tomorrow. 😛

And I’m not opposed to a detour along the way, either… I just need to be able to be in Austin on Monday for hiking.

This time, it will be hot and humid hiking… I likely will miss Madison’s weather greatly. 😛

But that’s okay… the hiking will be lovely, and my skin will be glad to have humidity back in its life… it’s been so dry up north these past few weeks, both in Wisconsin and in OKC.

So… a lot is ready to begin at home… I am almost ready for it to begin… and I am ready to jump on in, anyway. 🙂

This life is beautiful, and this next part of it is likely to be a glorious and fun adventure. 🙂

Here’s to our next steps, y’all: Cheers. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Guess(t) what!

I keep going back to how, when I was staying with a friend at her house, – yes, a house and not an apartment – she was very excited to inform me that she had guest towels now.  She was so utterly excited about that fact, likely on account of its sounding so grown-up like, that I didn’t say anything about it.  However, it seems to be that this is her first time of having guest towels, right?  Well, I have noticed in the past that one of the first things I do, whenever I move in somewhere, is prepare for the possibility of a guest or guests coming to stay with me.  This has always included having extra towels for these guests to use, and enough blankets and pillows, as well as a handful of other things I consider to be important to have available for a guest’s use.

Now, one might think that I have guests over all the time, if this is something I always seem to do.  I actually think I don’t often have guests stay over, and it has been almost never for my current place of residence this past year and a half.  However, I definitely have had people come stay with me at each of my other residences…, and plenty of those times were last-minute or spur-of-the-moment or totally unplanned sleepovers.  Because of that, I have always just made sure that I am prepared… you never know when the opportunity will arise, right?  That’s how I see it, anyway, and so I make sure that I am always prepared.

If only we could get the part of me that keeps my living space super tidy to view things that way, too, so that I just would keep my living space always tidy… Alas, it does not see things that way so far, and my clutter-y messiness wins out on a regular basis still.  I am, however, working on improvement in that area, and have improved much already in recent years.  And I have finally accepted that, well, I am messy – not dirty, but messy, untidy – with my living and working spaces.  That acknowledgement has definitely helped me to plan a little extra mental space and time to spend tidying up regularly, and so the tidiness has lasted longer and longer lately, and the messy stages shorter and shorter!

Anyway, I’m off to sleep – much still to do in the next day or so, before I head home…, and I am still very tired and sleepy after the car ride yesterday.  I went 872.0 miles, with an average of 27.9 miles per gallon through hill after hill in a lovely Jeep Compass for 13 hours and 42 minutes of drive time yesterday, going from Madison, Wisconsin, to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I left at 4:45 in the morning from my brother’s driveway, and arrived in my cousin’s at 20:22 (that’s 8:22pm), meaning I spent 15 hours and 37 minutes on the road, in some capacity or other.  (Though, I really enjoyed the part that involved taking fabulous photos of the Bridges of Madison County, despite the snakes everywhere!)  That’s a lot for a day, especially after having gone to bed at midnight the night before, and struggled to sleep at all due to paranoia around potential bug bites… (It turned out to have been from hiking on Friday that I got the bites, and they just didn’t show up until Saturday morning, all itchy and swollen and red, leaving me to think that something was in the bed, biting me overnight… but, we didn’t piece that together until last night, after I was long gone from the imagined bed bugs that had kept me out of restful sleep those four hours of planned sleep.)

So, anyway, I’m off to sleep now.  Goodnight, all!  😉

Post-a-day 2020

Today

Today, I had delicious food and beverage, provided by my cousin.

I was upgraded for free to a rental car that was more than double the price of what I reserved, and is much nicer and fancier and comfier.

And the guy gave me an extra 5% discount for a hassle I had in picking up the car (some locations are closed, and the reservation said that someone would be in touch, if I needed to go to a difference location, but no one got in touch to tell me to go to a different location. So, we showed up and found a son in the door, which indicated what nearby location was open, and we went there instead.).

It is a Jeep, and I am excited.

And the plates remind me of a good friend of mine!

And I started my period today, and day two is the day on which I have to go to the bathroom somewhat constantly…, so that was a bit of irony for me, – I had wanted to be past day two by the time I arrived to my brother’s house, you see – but it’ll be okay.

Also, I have to stop for an hour at nine in the morning to tutor somewhere that has good cell service… aka a real city.

My options are 2:45, 4:16, and 5:50 away (hours:minutes)… so, we’ll see what happens with my bathroom breaks overnight tonight, and that will determine if I leave for the farther-away locations, or just the nearest one… :/

Anyway… off to sleep now!!

Wish me safe and happy travels for tomorrow! 😉 ❤

Post-a-day 2020