I do have an excuse. I haven't been writing because I haven't really been awake for 3-ish months. Completely exhausted and sick as a damn dog and hardly able to construct a quick email sentence about whether or not I am available for a conference call. I mostly needed to be in a quiet and more private space for a bit while I wrapped my brain first around surviving the day and on a bigger scale, the impending whiz-bang close to 2009. At which time, I will be a mama to TWO. 12/13/09, baby. I can't (and won't) say we're ready or that we know how we're going to swing this, but it's what we want and it's good. We'll know what to do when we do it. Things always come together and I'm just trying to pay attention to the signs and opportunities. The excitement is different and more peaceful this time.
One of my to-do lists currently includes the item, "list of demands." I have no idea what I meant when I wrote that, but I like knowing that, at some point, my demands may be met if I would only submit them in list form.
I shopped at a grocery store in the college neighborhood on Monday. It was heaven: clean, bright interior, landscaped parking lot, well-stocked shelves and Fage yogurt availability. I was asked --MORE THAN TWO times-- not for change or cigarettes but if I could be helped in my food search (the staff must have sensed my wide-eyed wonder). There was actual eye contact as my food was passed over the scanner by the kind hands of a Harris Teeter associate, and polite conversation, even an offer to help me to my car with my seven very manageable bags-- an offer that, admittedly, first tripped my initial "DO NOT follow me to my car, M*f*kr" defense before I realized there is also a HELPFUL kind of following, not just the creepy, "can I have a ride" kind. The icing on the cake? This particularly well-lit, friendly grocery is open until ELEVEN o'clock-- hardly noteworthy to some, but the dingy yellow ghetto groceries close at 9pm due to the sometimes unsavory late night patrons, and visiting at 8:30 leaves you waiting to pay for your mealy, pink tomato in the one open checkout lane, inhaling the scent of a 7-pack per day smoker as she unloads an entire cart of Hungry Man dinners onto the belt while behind you, a ferociously strong person gives you the crazy eye, all of us prepared to accept complete indifference from the disgruntled check out girl with tattoos on her neck who will hear the sound of a dozen eggs being crushed under a watermelon as she bags your items, and throw your tortilla chips in the mix, just for good measure.
Shopping until eleven, like it's the most normal thing in the world. The luxury of it! After a lovely dinner out with old friends, I entered the friendly and well-lit grocery at 8:30pm, childless and free to roam about among the micro-brews and the bok choy, the non-sticky floors and pleasant, non-gaggy smells. It was like a past life. It was like checking into a spa. A spa with more than one kind of yogurt.