A day well spent

It’s kind of ironically delightful at times, when things get all twisted out of the ordinary way.

My aunt and I, both of whom dislike shopping, found ourselves out shopping together for quite a while this afternoon, during my visit that was designed for us to hang out and relax together.

And yet, we enjoyed ourselves today, despite the fact that we got home exhausted in the early evening… it was nice doing something like shopping with a co-conspirator of the non-shopping sort. ūüėõ

Besides, when we got home so tired and so hungry as we were, I commented that I didn’t really feel like making any food, and that I really just wanted some biscuits and gravy…, and my aunt definitely agreed, so my uncle made us a super duper breakfast for dinner. ūüôā

Post-a-day 2018

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Sniffingly a homemaker

Walking through Target tonight, I found myself moving in a sort of comfortable, meditative state… It was late, and I was rather tired from the day… I took several times over the usual time it takes me to obtain an equal number and variety of items at the store… and I somehow didn’t mind it… ¬†I guess this just supports my theory that I secretly – read ‘subconsciously’ – want to be a homemaker-housewife. ¬†When I first moved into my own apartment several years ago, and then again in Japan (when I had to start from, basically, scratch), I felt a certain flow of mental chemicals that delighted me through and through, in a comfortable,¬†this is where I belong sort of way whenever I was shopping for apartment-related items, house items. ¬†And it isn’t to say that I belong¬†only as a homemaker or anything, but simply that it is somewhere of many somewheres where I do belong.

Tonight was no exception. ¬†I moved into a new home and with a new person yesterday, you see. ¬†She has most everything that goes in a house, and I have very little of that sort of stuff, so the match-up is rather good on that front (not to mention that we actually get along really well in the first place, because that isn’t the point). ¬†However, my whole OCD compulsions have me need my own cleaning supplies. —You see, it isn’t enough just to have cleaning supplies. ¬†They must also be nice to the planet, nice to the nose and eyes, and themselves clean (their containers), while kept in a clean space. ¬†Show me a bottle of cleaner that has been under a cabinet and has a thin layer of dust on it, and I won’t even touch it until you have cleaned the bottle. ¬†I probably also with have slight inner daytime terrors of the fact that the bottle is dirty. ¬†Anyway, back to the main point of this all… —- ¬†So, I was at Target, seeking out these cleaning supplies for me for my new home.

I walked calmly, despite the inward thought of how late it must be. ¬†I felt confidence every time I set down the basket and gave a once-over to a certain type of product. ¬†I gracefully selected bottles whose scents I wanted to test, and euphorically sampled their natural essential oil-filled smells. ¬†I smiled at each, and even¬†mmm-ed a few, closing my eyes to embrace the scent. ¬†I usually take my time with scents – I even stop to smell flowers much more often than is common, just to smell them and to indulge myself. ¬†It’s alway sa bit of a bummer whenever I find flower bunches at stores that don’t even smell (or don’t smell good). ¬†Whole Foods is one of those stores.

Anyway, so I take my time with (good) smells, enjoying them, allowing my brain to do any work it feels appropriate whenever it crosses a familiar scent. ¬†I was told when I was quite young that scent was the strongest sense for recalling memory, and I’ve always kept that in mind for some reason, delighting in the silly scents that bring back memories. ¬†(Like how the hand soap in this one bathroom in the house where I once nannied smelled like my grandmother on my dad’s side. ¬†She hadn’t been alive for years at that point, and yet I had no doubt that it was the same smell that was usually on her, though I never seemed consciously to have noticed her having a specific scent before that moment.)

So, I was smelling slowly and comfortably, and enjoying all the familiar and new scents. ¬†One in particular, though I definitely didn’t want it as a cleaning supply, was the replication of some regular smell from some point in my childhood. ¬†I took a picture and sent it to my mom, telling her to go find one and to sniff it, so she could help me figure out why the scent is so specifically familiar. ¬†It was labeled as being scented “radish”, however it was not merely the scent of radishes that was familiar – it was that specific combination. ¬†Perhaps my mother had used that cleaning supply brand and scent at some point. ¬†Though, I’m not too sure of that being very likely, because it seems to be a newer scent from this brand, and because it relates to a specific summer-type memory for me, as opposed to just lots of childhood cleaning days. ¬†I’m looking forward to figuring out that one. ¬†It might take me a little while, a few months’ even, but I am confident that, as with others in the past, I will figure it out.

Post-a-day 2018

 

A brief step behind the ocd and normalcy

Occasionally, I being to wonder if I might actually be a little crazy, or if it is all just in my head… and then I wonder if the two options aren’t one in the same…

I first saw the film “Girl, Interrupted” when I was little. ¬†And I loved it. ¬†But I have no specific reasoning as to why I loved it. ¬†I just did, and so did one of my best friends at the time, Jennifer. ¬†I even gave her the movie for her birthday one year, and she was exceedingly delighted. ¬†We just loved the film. ¬†For whatever reason, it was on my mind this week, and so I watched it today – day seven-ish of my illness-induced infirmity. ¬†Today, possible over a decade after the last time I saw the film, I saw something new in it. ¬†I watched the extras section on the making of the film, and it had, as I suspected to have been the case, the woman on whose life the film was based. ¬†She had written a book about her time in a mental institution in the 1960s, and this director had found the book, turned it into a screenplay (over about two years), and then made the film.

The lead actress, Winona Ryder, spoke of how she wished she’d read the book while she was a teenager, because it had ideas that would have been extremely helpful for her at that time. ¬†Having experienced genuine anxiety attacks, she’d had a glimpse of the sort of life the book described (but without the stay in the mental institution). ¬†And that’s what really got me thinking today.

They mentioned how so much of what the main character suffered was normal for people, very common, even. ¬†And I could relate to her. ¬†For certain parts, not at all, but, for others… completely. ¬†There are times when I look at myself as a sort of outsider, and I can say, ‘Oh, goodness. ¬†Whatever. ¬†Get over it. ¬†It’s not actually anything real. ¬†You’re fine.’ ¬†Today, I allowed myself to question myself after that statement. ¬†Am I actually fine? Or are you just saying that? Is it because what feels to be wrong just doesn’t make sense? ¬†Because I am better than this problem? ¬†It kind of felt like a 50/50, really.

So, I forced myself into my 200-dollar vehicle. ¬†After a few moments, I started it, and I drove to the store. ¬†I drove the wrong way to get there, thinking it was the faster way. ¬†And then I couldn’t figure out how I’d gone that way, because I’d known how to get to the store since before I could drive. ¬†When I arrived, I drove at an elderly pace through the lot, and eventually halted in a spot. ¬†It was the first spot, but I didn’t care and still don’t. ¬†For minutes, I sat there, car off. ¬†I looked around a little bit, and wondered what was wrong with me. ¬†This wasn’t the first time I’d had such an experience. ¬†Just recently, my mom had called me as I sat in the Target parking lot, and I was then wondering the same thing. ¬†I couldn’t figure out why I was – was it¬†afraid? – afraid to get out and go into the store.

I had driven to the store with two purposes in mind today (as is often the case when in similar situations): to get out of the house and to get food to eat. ¬†But I couldn’t figure out what to buy, and I didn’t know how to get from where I was sitting to the successful completion of my errand. ¬†And so I sat. ¬†I wondered about getting out of my head, because I was clearly stuck in my head…, except that I didn’t have any specific thoughts going through my head at the time. ¬†The only thought was about how I should probably get out of my head… but I couldn’t figure out what I’d been doing there, if I¬†had been in my head, because there were no thoughts there. ¬†I was just sitting, and I could feel how I was nervous about getting out of the car, but I had no thoughts or words to go with the feeling. ¬†It was just a feeling. ¬†When it finally hit the point of bordering on tears, I gave a big inhale-exhale and got out.

I went slowly into the store and got myself a basket. ¬†I went to the Texas wines to distract myself. ¬†(Not like I’d be buying any. ¬†You see, the rodeo showcases wines, and I always like to check the Texas ones in the store afterward to compare the wine garden prices to grocery store prices.) ¬†It worked. ¬†I sent a photo of a 23-dollar bottle to a friend of mine, telling her how it had been $10 for a little cup of it in the wine garden. ¬†I’d remembered the wine bottle.

And then I continued onward, found the smoothie thing I’d wanted, along with the noodle things I didn’t really want but felt I needed, because I wasn’t eating enough food otherwise (also part of the weirdness that made it difficult to¬†go to the store in the first place). ¬†I even gave myself two bananas and a special water (It’s a fancy, flower-infused water… oooh.). ¬†(I worried about the bananas, but I got them anyway, because they are good for me. ¬†Even now I worry that I might not eat them.) ¬†By the time I passed the Easter candy and had sent various photos to some of my Japanese kids in Japan, I was doing rather well, feeling rather normal and not so shaky on the inside. ¬†I played my audiobook on the way home, and it was splendid. ¬†I felt very much normal by the time I was getting out of the car at home.

And it makes me wonder yet again if anything is actually wrong with me, or if it’s all in my head… or, of course, if it isn’t just both.

I’ve had this thing around going to the store for quite some time. ¬†I don’t remember when it started, but today’s adventure was similar to the others. ¬†Oftentimes, I don’t even go to the store if I’m doing it alone. ¬†I scrounge for scraps of food, and make the unhealthiest of meals for myself in my desperate attempt to avoid going shopping on my own. ¬†If, say, my mom is going, I’ll go along easily. ¬†I even enjoy going along most of the time. ¬†But going alone is a rarity. ¬†I practically beg my mother to stop at the store on her way home some days, just so that I don’t have to go. ¬†I¬†do beg her to go with me regularly, and, when she declines, as she is apt to do, I usually end up not going. ¬†This applies to restaurants, as well as the grocery store or almost any other store.

To me, this all just sounds like nonsense. ¬†Like I’m just being dramatic, and¬†Goodness, get over it. ¬†That’s what my brain says to myself all the time. ¬†Sometimes it works. ¬†Yet this isn’t something that was around for just a little while, and has now disappeared. ¬†It actually seems like a genuine problem at times. ¬†I’ve actually not eaten multiple meals, because of it. ¬†And I’m not talking about only a handful here… ¬†doesn’t it just seem, well, crazy?

It certainly seems crazy to me. ¬†But I’m not crazy. ¬†I know that. ¬†This is just exactly the kind of thing they were referencing about the struggles people have in life that, when viewed with a certain perspective, have us viewed as insane, or borderline. ¬†If this were all someone knew about me, that person would have a completely different perspective than someone who has met me outside of this little pocket of craziness. ¬†And, like the main character in the story, perhaps that first someone would want to put me in a mental facility ‘to rest’ for a while, and the second wouldn’t understand why I kind of agreed that it was okay for me to go.

Anyway… hope that didn’t freak anyone out too much…

Post-a-day 2018

‘I am not a robot…’

You know those automated checkouts at grocery stores?  Well, my mom and I had a giggle fest at one this afternoon.

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Okay, so there’s a lady’s voice that says everything out loud for you at the self-checkout, right? ¬†Usually, she is somewhat bland and middle-of-the-road with her interest in your shopping spoils. ¬†“Please, enter your alternate ID on the keypad now,” she says with command and a certain ‘Hurry up, you idiot,’ edge to her voice.

This is how she usually talks. ¬†Her sentences are prerecorded as sentences. ¬†They are all somewhat monotonous and easily ignored. ¬†We still mute the sound whenever we use the self-checkout, nonetheless, because we don’t want to listen to the noise, since it isn’t pleasurable in and of itself.

Today, we discovered that, when she did the recordings for the individual names of the fruits and vegetables, she did them in a somewhat happy mood. ¬†Instead of plain old, regular “Bananas,” you have, “Bananas!” ¬†And we discovered this by overhearing someone else’s station, of course.

Our station is silent. ¬†My mom and I are scanning and placing the juices in our homemade bag without much conversation. ¬†In between the few comments we have been exchanging, slightly annoyed with one another, we suddenly here the self-checkout lady’s voice come from the checkout station next to us. ¬†An older man, grandpa style, is scanning his shopping selections. ¬†We hear the regular monotony of the lady’s voice at first, but then, mid-sentence, we are surprised with her joy before she finishes in the original monotony.

“Please, weight your… Bananas!… now.”

We catch one another’s eye and practically convulse with silent snorts of suppressed laughter. ¬†We aren’t at all sure why we find it so hilarious. ¬†We remain silent, and continue our checkout routine.

The cashier lady voice continues a few moments later, “Please place your… Bananas!… in the bagging area.”

We bite our lips, finish checking out, and walk out the door. ¬†By the time we are in the parking lot, we are almost falling down with deep, full laughter. ¬†Getting into the car, I attempt to repeat the voice’s phrases, and fall apart at “Bananas!” both times. ¬†“The fact that it was an old man…,” I manage to say, shaking my head, “…and she was just so… Happy… about the bananas…”

My mother agreed, and we continued our fits of laughter as we drove off from the store, feeling ridiculous for having laughed in the first place, but enjoying the incident nonetheless. ¬†At least, now we know that the fruit and vegetable names are happy recordings. ¬†I guess the lady likes fruits and vegetables. ¬†Or, rather… at least, she likes bananas.

 

P.S. ¬†Yes, I know that I am ridiculous. ¬†I am aware. ¬†ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2018

 

My very own “Pretty Woman” scene

You know the iconic shopping scene in “Pretty Woman”, where Julia Roberts tries on loads of fabulous outfits, and it just plain looks like a photo shoot? ¬†Right, well, if you don’t, I suggest you get on that cultural tidbit, because it’s fabulous. ¬†Anyway, so I remember a Cameron Diaz film having a sort of spoof on the scene, and, though I was somewhat unimpressed by the scene, I noticed a sense of something nigh to jealousy… envy with a little something more. ¬†I want to do what they were doing. ¬†I want to have my own BFF fake photo shoot at the clothing store, trying on amazing outfits, my subconscious cried.

And I’ve always remembered that, though I’ve never remember to¬†do anything about the silent wish I’d had that day. ¬†Tonight, as I was thinking of this one particular store where my family has shopped occasionally for most of my life, – it’s a discount outlet-type high-end clothing etc. store – I recalled a particular jacket that my cousin and I loved. ¬†And then I remembered how we had both put one on in the store, and taken photos together. And then, like a rush of memory, I recalled a whoosh of different pieces we all had tried on together, and the loads of photos we took. ¬†We had done our own “Pretty Woman” clothing store photo shoot, and I hadn’t even noticed. ¬†Why? ¬†Because we were just being ourselves. ¬†We were attempting to recreate something we’d seen elsewhere. ¬†We were just doing our own thing, being silly and fancy with high-end discount clothing etc. and having a wonderful time.

How cool is that?  I had hoped one day to copy the scene in my real life, but knew that it would be always that: a copy.  Instead, I got the real deal, and we had an actual spontaneous in-shop clothing photo shoot together.  Wicked.  I love life.  And family.  Especially family.

Post-a-day 2017

Malts

Today, I did what one would call volunteering while my mom was at work, and then she and I went to a shake place, so we could get a malt.  I even called ahead to verify that they had malts.  We didn’t want a shake.  We wanted a malt.  My mom briefly suggested that we just make our own at home, but I pointed out that half the purpose of going to get a malt was to be out of the house.

So, we went to the Galleria, the huge, high-fashion shopping complex in Houston, so we could try out this shake place.  We got a chocolate malt to share, and then walked around the complex a bit, drinking simultaneously from straws in the same cup, as though we were little kids who could wait to have their malt.  As we first walked out and saw various store names, we discovered that neither of us was even interested in window shopping.  So, we finished our malt, watching the kids ice skate below, which was far more interesting than shopping.

It was a good time.

As a whole, today was on a completely different level from yesterday, and in a very wonderful way.

Post-a-day 2017

Swiping Nuts

My mom steals nuts. ¬†She really does. ¬†Well, sort of, anyway… She doesn’t actually steal in the traditional sense…

Every time we go to this specific grocery store, I somehow forget about this fact. ¬†That is, of course, I forget about it only until my mother walks up to me and offers me some nuts. ¬†“You want some nuts?” she’ll ask, and proffer me a handful of mixed nuts. ¬†The first time she did it, I didn’t understand. ¬†Where had she gotten a handful of nuts? ¬†Did she bring them in with her, and I just hadn’t noticed? ¬†But it quickly hit me.

“Did you get those from the …?”

“Mmhmm,” she cut me off, and then offered me the nuts again.

Naturally, I accepted.  They were a bit old that first time, but that was it.  Today, they were actually quite good.  I really enjoyed them.

Perhaps you are wondering how it is my mother gets these nuts in a way that I do not feel any guilt or obligation in eating them.  Well, you could call it a sort of recycling, in a way.  You know how some stores have the pull-down dispensers for nuts, and sometimes even for cereals and other grains and such in the dried bulk foods section?  And you know how there are almost always those same dried bulk foods spilled around on the little shelf below all of the dispensers?  Do you see where this is going?

Hopefully, you aren’t entirely repulsed by this idea. ¬†It isn’t as though there is anything else on the shelves – they are cleaned constantly, as is required for something in such proximity to unpackaged foods.

Anyway, this particular store has a sort of tricky system for making those shelves look nice all of the time.  Instead of just having it be a shelf to catch the falling dried foods, it is a sort of grate on top of the shelf, and the grate allows the foods to fall through it and onto the shelf, while leaving the appearance of a totally clean and clear shelf, free from food spillages.

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So, as I went to get another bite of nuts after we finished what my mom brought over to me today, I had to enlist the help of my mother, because I did not yet know the last piece of information I just shared here.  However, she happily showed me her secret means of stealing nuts destined for the trash, and I got my other desired bite of fresh nuts, and I felt good about helping prevent that extra bit of unnecessary waste.

Next time you’re at a grocer with some nut dispensers, perhaps you’ll consider helping prevent waste, eh? ¬†;P ¬†Or you could just imagine my mother showing up and saying, “Want some nuts?”

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Post-a-day 2017