Sunday, December 21, 2008

stuff and nonsense ...

i started my christmas shopping today, about five days ahead of schedule. first i had to take the bus downtown to get my car, which i'd stashed in a ramp to postpone the inevitable $1,500 trip to the body shop that happens every year.

i'm victimized by lesser drivers.
my car has had more work done than the statue of liberty.

the bus was 20 minutes late. this was uncomfortable for two reasons:

1. i was getting cold, but hadn't put my hood up immediately when i left the house. when i finally did flip it over my head, the confetti of snow made it seem like i just won myself a national championship.

2. i was sharing the stop with a man who had the rare bus-rider qualities of a) being freshly shampooed, b) not wearing sweatpants pulled up to his mustache and a transistor radio on his shoulder. the longer we waited, the weirder it seemed that we weren't talking about the 13's tardiness. finally he just headed east on foot. this is exactly what needed to happen to make the bus come, and i'm glad he took one for the team.

while traveling down sixth avenue east, i listened to an 11 year old girl, a self-described "grammer freak" talk about a classmate using the word "ain't" to taunt her. "everyone knows i'm a grammer freak," she said to her mom.

i wondered if that was necessarily true.

"who's bethny?"
"you know bethny ... blonde? long hair?"
"no ...?"
"the grammer freak?"
"oh! why didn't you say so! the grammer freak! right! bethny."

getting to the mall was a treat. it only took an hour and felt like i was going to slide backward into the lake once.

* the mall was, of course, packed. a woman slid in front of me just as i started to look up a book on the computer at barnes & noble. so i stood just a little too close to her and made sure she knew i was watching her type "oscar wilde" into the search field.

* i heard the name ayn rand pronounced six different ways by one couple over the course of three minutes.

* at the counter, i thank the woman who rings up my purchases for her speedy turnaround. the line had been well into the yoga paraphernalia, yet it took no time at all. i do this to undo the bad karma from the oscar wilde incident.

trying to find a present for a second grader serves to remind me how far removed i am from elementary school culture. what did i like in second grade?

* michael jackson's "thriller"
* puffy stickers
* garfield
* saltines
* snow days
* tom e.
* my own cursive writing
* scribbling poetry
* smurfs
* donut sunday
* roller skating in the basement to lionel ritchie

but this particular youngster, my niece mel, is a different breed of second grader. for one thing, she's smart. for another, she doesn't have a mullet.

whatever. my shopping is 90 percent done. every time i dawdled, i realized i was in a race with the weather. like that sand timer at the beginning of "days of our lives." i got close to home, ditched my car in a snowbank and had myself draped in sweatpants seven seconds after i walked in the door.

i freaking hate winter.
i should add that i completed almost all of my shopping without buying something for myself.
i caved at the end and got a book.


chuck said...

I'm not sure what "donut sunday" is, but I'm going to go ahead and believe you're talking about a donut *sundae*. I could really go for one of those right now.

Talk With No Thought said...

Chuck, no donut day? Your parents should be questioned.

Although we didn't have donut Sunday we did have donut Saturday, which we coupled with a nice dose of Saturday morning cartoons. I didn't hit the neighborhood on my bike on those mornings until soul train came on.

Beret said...

So what did you get for Mel? My daughter is in 2nd grade and doesn't like any of the things I liked in second grade either (Straberry Shortcake miniatures, Smurfs, baton twirling, knickers...).

Kristabella said...

I'm going to bet that the grammar freak doesn't actually have any friends. And also, I love that the kid "taunts" here with the word ain't.

I hate winter too. My car is stuck in its parking spot on the street currently. I might miss Christmas. I'll be like that kid in Home Alone. But with wine.