Okay, it’s Saturday morning. It’s been raining for forty days and forty nights.
I awake at 9:30. Clothes are strewn all around my bedroom. The bathroom is trashed. The sink and tub are funky. Downstairs is even worse. My dog has been throwing up for a whole week. I try to clean the spots and sprinkle baking soda on them, but now I have white powdery places all over my carpet. There are no dishes in the kitchen, but several breakfast cups with spoons are on the floor around my computer. I finish my Kroger "Nutty Nuggets," not to be confused with its higher priced namesake, "Grapenuts" and place the glass on the floor for the pets' obligatory licking. My stray cat soon has the domed glass crammed on his head, the space traveler that he is. When he finally kicks it off, he comes up to me with one nutty nugget stuck mid forehead. He looks like a married Indian woman. He rubs his sticky, milk-white eyebrows against my chin while kneading imaginary biscuits on my lap. The other cat is asleep, curled up on my hard drive. The space heater purrs along at my feet, or is that the cat? A small dog floats by my window. Maybe I am being punished for some unconfessed sin :-)
After two days of being offline, I’m anxious to check my email. I have about 75 new messages, half of which are junk mail, 17 responses to my yahoo personal and only 2 at the Christian café. Where are all the good Christian men anyway? I attend church, but a guy friend once told me going to church is like taking a trip to the aquarium; all you do is look.
Each response reads basically the same:
“I liked your picture, I’m a laid back, divorced male, yada, yada”…
”You sure are pretty, I am a single, easy going man, blah, blah, blah”…
“I liked your profile and picture; I’m an open minded, spiritual guy…”
Personally, I prefer a little humor and a more unique opening line, and if grammar and spelling are any indication… I’m in deep trouble. Concerning spirituality, he could be a Zen Buddhist for all the word implies. Some “spiritual” people are twelve steppers, which is okay unless their higher power is still a tree, the Big Book is the only book they know and meetings, their only church. And what is the fascination with being agreeable? Is that man speak for “I will let you walk all over me if I like you enough”? Do they think this appeals to us? Or perhaps it is more about self-protection and not letting us into the deeper places of their hearts. Maybe it’s just my angst on the whole subject of dating altogether that has me stuck, and maybe, I only think I'm stuck.
My stray leaps onto the keyboard, adding several indiscernible words to my email before booting me. He sits glaring at me, his whole body obstructing the screen.
“What??” He meows.
“You’re in my way.” I snap back.
He gets up, swishes his tail in my face and gleefully slides my pen onto the floor. As I reach down to pick it up, I feel the Nutty Nuggets rush to my throat. Nothing like a good heartburn to make the day that much more memorable. I rise up just in time to see him skate, with deliberate abandon I might add, my mouse off the desk. It’s at times like these when I wonder why I ever felt the compulsion to take this cat home in the first place.
I think I’m finally ready to get out of the house and planning my morning run by Doppler radar just doesn’t appeal to me right now.
The mulch is out at Wal-Mart. Spring is much pretty obligated now. I've just bought “laying feed” for the chickens. They’re graduating from “starter”, and I am eagerly awaiting my first homegrown egg. I fertilize the lawn this weekend, and it’s only two more weeks until the Velveeta cheese of Tennessee trees, the Bradford Pears, are in bloom. I think I can make it.
Just under the Walmart roof, I see a lady in a vivid, batik sari. She is speaking loudly in her native tongue, but her toddler doesn’t seem to be listening. As I approach, I notice a cell phone mic underneath her scarf. I’m watching her so closely that I almost walk into the opening double doors. After the usual wrestling match with the carts, I roll, squeaking towards the blood pressure machine, the high light of my Saturday, but there’s a line, so I decide to check out the new Spring Paris fashions instead. Hopefully I won’t stroke out in the meantime. A large black man in a brilliant orange, Elmer Fudd hunting cap, flaps up, grins big and says hello as he walks by. The only things in his cart are two, fifty-pound bags of dog food and a sack of cedar shavings.
I see a pair of black strappy pumps for only 7 dollars, an almost exact replica of the 200 dollar pair that my mom bought for me for my 25 year, high school reunion. I was so worried that night about my pink faced, Rosacea flair-up that I pancaked my makeup on. The group photo showed one very pale person in a group of forty, severely sunburned-looking and inebriated classmates.
I can’t pass up the shoes. She need never know.
I catch the thongs out of my periphery. I think they are laughing at me. As a single Christian woman, I consider sex off limits, but what about sexy lingerie? Does it have a place, and can one really find sexy underwear in granny size… in Walmart? And if not in Walmart, where then?
I don’t see my usual checker, the one who resembles Little Richard, always flirts with me and tells me I look like his first wife. I can’t ever decide whether I’m flattered or not.
There’s a guy in line in front of me. He has two bags of birdseed and two packets of peanuts.
“Let me guess.” I say, “The seed is for you and the peanuts are for the birds.”
After he realizes I’m talking to him, he turns around and laughs. “Just a snack on the way home.”
“Sure it is!” I respond. “I’m telling your mom you’re spoiling your appetite.” Sometimes I overestimate my own wit.
I don’t think he quite knows how to take me, but he does smile and says bye after he pays.
My bill comes to 70 dollars. I think I’m the only person I know who can spend that much on cat litter and Metamucil.
This Saturday is just about over, and I want to get home early enough to clean the house and squeeze in my Bible reading before bed. Sunday’s my big social day, and I usually try to be asleep by nine so that I am not too tired for church. An old lady like me needs her beauty rest, and you never know, I may see a fish I like.
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