This morning, I had a nightmare that I was awakened at an ungodly hour by a nine year old wearing a quasi-realistic mountain lion screen printed t-shirt, with frizzy unkempt hair, telling me that she needed a thin white pillowcase for school. It wasn't until this afternoon, when I encountered this:
That I realized that my nightmare was, in fact, reality.
I think I am not as well recovered from my ailment as I believed myself to be, since I have chased this day around in a half-drunk stupor, trying to discern between delusion and reality. Yes, we have almost completed the purchase of a bright yellow Mini Cooper. No, the ever-efficient Natalee did not load her cello into the car this morning as per her Wednesday ritual. And whether by design or accident, the safe harbor of the ladies restroom at Costco provided me enough reprieve from constant confusion to actually clear my head and think. There were no wiener dogs pushing the door open with their noses. No empty toilet paper tubes on the roller, under the sink, on the back of the toilet, with the nearest usable roll in an upstairs closet. No kids crying for their turn in the shower or which color tampon they can "borrow". Peaceful personal time, at its finest. You never know what you'll find at Costco.
There is nothing so serene as time wasted on a brand new set of patio furniture with the smell of bicycle tires wafting over my shoulder and the soothing whir of a vita-mix demo just down the aisle. No place to be for at least 17 minutes. No errands to run, money to spend, calls to answer. Just me and the listless wandering bulk-grocery shoppers, solving all of the world's problems. And then my prescription buzzer goes off and I trundle reluctantly toward the pharmacy line with 47 post-geriatrics and a few identifiable care-givers. Unfortunately my stolen 17 minutes resulted in a late pick up for a certain cello lesson and the cringe of guilt I felt wearing a beer hat as I went in search of a budding musician in a Presbyterian church that seemed to have disapproval painted on to the walls.
Somehow each one of these crazy days full of children deliveries and minuscule tasks and tiny crises ticks by without catastrophic failure and before I know it, a month is gone, and then a year, and suddenly I've been married for two years to a man that I just met, and finding myself chasing my tail (and his) back to the starting line for a fresh take on how we want to let these days go by. A little less run and a little more soak. Not minding a wait here and there because it's in the sunshine, and there's somebody interesting to talk to, or maybe just a clumsy beetle to watch as we don't hurry anywhere. Maybe it's a pipe dream and we go from one level of panic to the next, but for the life of me, I don't know why. I mean, heck. I made sloppy joes from scratch tonight. No Manwhich or MacCormacks seasoning packets even. Just a little sprinkling, stirring, dumping, tasting, adding... I mean if we don't have to rely on a Safeway within 5 minutes to make sloppy joes, I'd say we're pretty well set for life in the slow lane. Or maybe I'm still a little delirious.