I had the weirdest experience recently. I finished a meeting and had to be across town for another meeting right on the heels of my first meeting, only the first meeting finished early, so I got to my second meeting early. I’m rarely early. Actually, I’d give it about a 50% chance I’ll even be more or less on time to anything.
I have plenty of redeeming qualities. I can stick to a tight budget. I am probably the World’s Best at Parallel Parking (seriously, I should have a mug made with that). I talk to dogs. I cover my face when I sneeze. I stay hydrated.
I am also chronically tardy. Sometimes it’s only seconds late, sometimes a teensy bit more.
But not this time. This time I was maybe 15 minutes early, which kinda felt like I could fit another whole meeting in there. I thought I could use that time to check email, or else say hi to another friend in that office.
I took my stuff to the conference room, where any plans I had were thwarted when I was waylaid by members of the group I was set to be meeting with – in the future, mind you – who were also early.
This is where it got weird. I had the chance to witness first-hand what early people do with all the time they have when they show up early. This was a rare and valuable opportunity to witness another species in its natural habitat.
Ultimately it was really disturbing.
I mean, you guys, this is what they do: they freaking talk about being early. They revel in it. It’s weird.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a baby shower before.”
This was Mike’s confession to me as we were walking up to the door to our friends’ home, Saturday afternoon.
Had I realized this earlier, I would have though of some way to punk him. Maybe made up some fake baby shower etiquette to share with him in the car. But, right then, on the spot like that, I couldn’t think of the right thing to say that would freak him out just enough for us to laugh about it later, but not enough for him to bolt. These things take some finesse and the look on his face had me worried.
So I just shrugged.
“There’ll probably be mimosas.”
The mom-to-be greeted us with a huge smile, wearing a flattering, floral print dress. Back when I was that far along with either of my pregnancies, you’d likely find me in a baggy pair of overalls that gave me the profile of Uncle Jesse on Dukes of Hazard. On alternate days I’d switch between one of the two knit tops that still fit. On dressier days, I might wear shoes. I could go on like that for a couple weeks.
I love scary stories. Love, love, love them. Until they get the better of me.
The only time I ever got in trouble for reading anything I wasn’t supposed to was in the fifth grade. It was a loaned copy of The Amityville Horror I kept hidden under my pillow until I could finish it. The night I did, I woke up my parents around 2 am to tell them I couldn’t sleep.
They were astonishingly unsympathetic. And I still get creeped out by flies on the window.
I’ve always thought I could write a satisfyingly scary story, except that if it was any good I’d probably lose my marbles a little. The process is the problem. I get this little nugget of an idea, and then I mull it over for a long time before any writing happens. I’ll think about it while driving, or washing the dishes, …. taking a shower … or waking up at 3 am and its pitch black and I’m sure I’ve heard something ….
I have a fairly decent imagination, you guys. I don’t trust it not to freak me out. I won’t stare too long down a dark hallway. Is that the vague outline of a misshapen midget axe-murderer, or a coat on a chair? I can’t listen too intently to silence without wondering if I’m hearing a faint scream for help.
What are you doing for the eclipse? That’s the question of the day around here.
I’ll tell you what we’re doing … I don’t know what we’re doing.
Which means we’re probably doing nothing, if we haven’t made plans by this point. Depending on the the time of day, that answer could bring on either intense FOMO or a sigh of relief.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know we have this thing coming up. August 21, right about midday, for about twenty-seven seconds (or thereabouts, I don’t really know and haven’t looked it up, but it’s not going to be long), the sun will be entirely blocked from the sky. Or almost entirely blocked, depending upon your vantage point.
And if you’re not already within the PATH of TOTALITY (which sounds like a perfect name for a disaster movie to me – I’ve used all caps to convey the proper gravitas), I’m sure you realize you’re going to get there only by navigating your way through a ton of traffic to a place where there’s no parking or toilets and probably the only things gracing the shelves of local grocery stores by the time you arrive will be single bladed razors and cans of Spam that expired in 2013.
I think it would really be nice to have some notice when a panic attack is due.
Like something on my calendar, so I’d know, for example, that at precisely 4am Mountain Time this coming Tuesday I would wake up wondering how much longer we were going to put off replacing the broken microwave, followed by my letting brain wander down various other rabbit holes that have to do with what is otherwise broken or incomplete in my life.
I might try to get to bed a little earlier if I knew I had that 4am thing looming. Maybe decide to actually get up then, instead of laying there, staring into space. I could do some laundry or something. You know, multitask.
A friend of mine wondered on social media recently whether she was of an age to start feeling like a “grown up,” and whether the fact she doesn’t most of the time has something to do with not having kids.
“Does having children make you feel more adult?” She asked.
I’m guessing my friend also had one of these unscheduled appointments, recently.
After the winter we’ve had, I don’t think it’d be too much to look forward to Spring as some sort of relief. But, uh … nope. I mean, just look at this:
Photo by Tim Merrick
On the bright side, we haven’t had to do any lawn watering yet, which is weird because it’s mid May, when everything’s usually veering toward brownish and crispy. But the early freeze last winter broke our sprinklers (as well as a big hole in our bathroom ceiling), so now we have time to figure out how to fix that… and … I can’t remember where I was going with that whole upside thing.
On the downside, we have a river at flood stage running through the middle of town, and winter storm warnings (a month before summer, you guys!) to the north and east of here, which makes escape pretty difficult.
It really isn’t any wonder I’m thinking lately about how ready we’d be for disaster and whether Mike had the right idea when he put together our collection of bottled water and canned meat last winter.