Mom was a proponent of a good lollygag and fritter.
To be clear she accomplished things in her life, but she also took the time to not be focused on her To Do List, allowing herself to let go of the need to accomplish things all hours of the day.
To wit, yesterday afternoon her daughter, moi, was out running important errands when it dawned on moi that spring had finally arrived.
The sky was medium blue with gorgeous white clouds floating across the it. The trees were sporting bright green leaves again. The temps were in the 70s so that I was wearing capris + sandals.
Thus, channeling my mother + remembering her admonishment to lollygag and fritter, I decided to toss my To Do List aside and stop at Home Depot to wander aimlessly through their garden nursery department.
I half-filled a shopping cart with herbs and annuals. Nothing exotic, just tasty and pretty plants. Then I went to pay for them at the checkout counter where the sales clerk, dispensing with your traditional “hello,” asked me:
Are you having a productive day?
And you know what, my gentle readers? Her question about productivity, asked in that moment, peeved me in a way that surprised me.
She was, I believe, harshing my mellow.
Was I not, I ask you, paying tribute to my mother’s memory by lollygaging and frittering in the garden nursery department, not bothering a soul with my mellowness?
Why yes, Ally Bean, you were paying tribute to your mother’s memory by doing that which she taught you to do.
However, putting my snitification aside, I also believe that, knowing Mom’s sense of humor, she was laughing from heaven above about my irritation over a small thing in life on earth.
Yep, she was probably lollygaging and frittering on a beautiful white fluffy cloud– like the ones I could see floating overhead while I mumbled something to the sales clerk about being productive enough… for today.
I saw a former neighbor when I was out shopping in the real world. I hadn’t seen her in years, which was fine by me.
I’m a person who believes that losing contact with some people along the way is healthy because we’re not meant to stay in touch with everyone we’ve ever known.
When former neighbor spotted me, there was nowhere to hide, so I smiled. My smile was sincere, just not in the way that I imagine former neighbor thought it was.
You see, I was smiling because I knew I was about to find out a few things that were wrong with me. This is because former neighbor knows everything.
Yes, she knows it all. She is always right.
I’m sorry to tell you, my gentle readers, I am wrong. About almost everything. All the time.
‘Tis a miracle that I can hold my head up high when I walk out my front door. THAT’S HOW WRONG I AM.
And true to form, after a bit of “where do you live now?” chit-chat, she started rabbiting on, allowing me to learn that I am wrong about 3 specific things. They are: 1) the value of higher education; 2) what sterling silver really is; and 3) that I’m getting my hair cut at the wrong place.
Fortunately the conversation ended there because she spotted someone else she knew– and needed to correct. So I took the opportunity to walk away, saying “good-bye” as I scurried in the opposite direction from where she was standing.
But as I was doing so, in a moment of self-awareness, I realized that shopping online is easier and quieter, with fewer distractions– and less criticism.
Ask a question you assume you know the answer to: “Don’t you agree that Muskrat Love is the worst song ever?” You may think that everyone will say: “Yes!” But I’ll guarantee you that someone in the comments will say “No” and then explain why it’s their favorite song of all time.
• • •
Anyhoo, getting to the point of this post, I found myself laughing at myself because I asked a question to which I was not prepared to hear the answer.
OH. NO. I. WASN’T.
You see, I was at the pharmacy picking up my prescription. It was the first time this year that I had it refilled.
The worried look on the pharmacy tech’s face probably should have warned me, but when she said: “oh, your prescription has gone up in price” I instantly said: “how much?”
Trust me when I say I was not prepared to hear the answer to my question. An answer that was: “oh, 200%– or a little more.”
I didn’t throw a hissy fit, nor did I get upset with this pharmacy tech, she’s just the messenger of bad news. I went ahead and bought this medicine that technically I could live without; I need the script to see straight in a comfortable way, not in a life or death way.
But I will say that I was shocked by the answer to my question, and kind of startled into remembering that no matter where you go, or what you do, the answer to your question may not make you happy.
SO I AM SHOPPING IN Kroger at a particularly busy time of day on a winter’s day when the weather is shifting from snow to rain. Dude, a 40-something man with graying hair and expensive eyeglasses, is in my way.
Everywhere I go in the store, Dude, in his perfectly pressed dark blue jeans and black hoodie, is there in front of me.
In the foyer, Dude grabs the shopping cart I’m reaching for.
In the produce section he blocks me from grabbing a Vidalia onion… the mushrooms… a head of iceberg lettuce.
In the bakery department he stands indecisively by the rustic sesame seed bread that I want to buy.
In the meat department I try to reach for some boneless skinless chicken breasts, but he and his cart are in my way …again… as he ponders all things chicken.
I LOSE TRACK OF DUDE while I’m shopping the interior aisles of the store. I grab a jar of green olives stuffed with garlic and a box of Cheerios unhindered by his in-the-way-ness.
But he reappears in my life as I walk from the cheese department, where I’ve picked up some Swiss cheese, to the yogurt department where I want to buy one container of plain no-fat yogurt.
It is there, trapped behind this man once again …waiting… that I realize there’s writing on the back of his black hoodie.
NATURALLY I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT SAYS.
I BEGIN TO STALK DUDE as he walks up and down the freezer case aisles, but he never stops to grab something from a freezer case when he’s under a bright overhead light so I’m unable to see the gibberish on the back of his hoodie.
Eventually we both end up in the refrigerated beverage section of the store where Dude reaches for a gallon of iced tea. He’s standing under a light so I can read the pithinicity that’s written on the back of his hoodie.
Unsurprisingly, it says what I believe to be about the dumbest thing ever, while perfectly explaining Dude’s behavior while shopping in the grocery. The writing on the hoodie said:
“If you’re going to fight, fight like you are the third monkey on the ramp to Noah’s Ark and brother it’s starting to rain.”
Well, what I didn’t tell you was that as we sat in the chicken joint’s bar, eating our sandwiches, dawdling over beer, watching a college football game that we had no interest in, we both noticed that the swivel bar stools that we were sitting on were comfortable.
They weren’t like the awkward ancient curvy wrought iron bar stools that we had at our kitchen counter in our home.
So while in the bar Z-D turned over one of the stools hoping to find the manufacturer’s name on the bottom of the seat, but there was no name.
Naturally this didn’t slow us down in the least. When we want to know something we are intrepid. Blame it on our love of mystery novels and TV police procedurals. We find the answer.
Thus it came to be that, using a smart phone, we snapped a few pics of these stools, and googled them once we got home.
We found the manufacturer’s website and discovered that they make about a gazillion and seventy-two bar stools: different styles, different heights, different metals, different wood seats, different fabric seats.
All lovely. Somewhat pricey.
• • •
• • •
THE STORY WOULD HAVE ENDED THEREexcept for the fact that in early January I received a coupon in the snail mail from Wayfair. The coupon said that as a first-time buyer I could get 10% off anything I ordered plus free shipping.
On a whim, motivated by the coupon, I went online to see what Wayfair had to offer… and just for the fun of it, I looked to see if they had counter height bar stools.
Well, the angels sang…
Come to find out Wayfair offered one basic style of the above-mentioned company’s bar stools available in a size, and in a metal + wooden seat color combo, that worked in our kitchen. Plus, using my precious coupon, *even better* these bar stools were the right price.
[Some assembly required.]
So lickety-split we ordered these bar stools from Wayfair. They arrived without incident, and over the weekend Z-D put together our new bronze metal with dark cherry-stained maple seat counter height swivel bar stools.
Life is good when you’re sitting pretty– and comfy!
• • •
• • •
[Hello FTC! Please note that I’m sharing what happened while buying this furniture. There was no monetary &/or other compensation involved while shopping and purchasing this furniture. But you already knew that, right? However, to be clear, I just wanted to add this disclaimer.]
Off the top of my head I’d say that it’s more important to love than to be loved. Love, an action verb about giving, resonates with me more than the idea of just receiving love, that to me suggests a passive approach to life.
[Good question. This answer subject to change upon further reflection.]
• List things that represent abundance to you.
flowers in crystal vases surrounded by lighted beeswax candles
rag wool scarves and mittens
a fully stocked refrigerator filled with fruits, vegetables, cheese, and wine
a three-car garage
ingredients on hand to make cookies
diamonds, rubies, sapphires– and garnets, even if they’re only semi-precious
comfortable furniture that coordinates nicely, but doesn’t look all matchy-matchy
lazy Sunday afternoons
•What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I find everyday observational humor inspiring because it makes me laugh, not cry, at reality. So when I stumbled upon the following Shopping Cart Alignment Chart by Rob Beschizza at boingboing, and couldn’t stop laughing, I was inspired.
And because I’m a forthright blogger, I will freely tell you who I am according to this chart. I’m never LAWFUL GOOD, but instead vacillate between CHAOTIC GOOD [which gives me more joy than it should] and CHAOTIC NEUTRAL.
~ • ~
Catch up with everyone else who is answering Cee’s Share Your World Questions this week by clicking HERE.