Saturday, January 14, 2006

Picking and Grinning

Glory be, I left my house today. And no rain fell upon my head, though the Rain Streak continues in the Puget Sound area. I took my daughter with me to run some errands this morning, then dumped her at home with my husband and left home again. I headed for the local thrift store, bought twenty bucks' worth of bargains (3 pairs of shorts for the 7-year old, a Barbie princess costume for the 3-year old, a cardigan for her, two pairs of shoes for her--including a pair of real tap shoes--an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket for me) and then headed to Barnes & Noble where I purchased very expensive books with gift cards.

I spent $26.95 on Jane Smiley's Thirteen Ways to Look at the Novel, and also picked up William Zinsser's Writing About Your Life: A Journey Into the Past, plus finally bought a copy of the much acclaimed Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Buying books at full price gives me shivers.

I returned home long enough to wrap a birthday present and pick up my 7-year old for a birthday party at a bowling alley. Our state recently outlawed smoking in public places and so the bowling alley no longer reeks of cigarette smoke. Only four other boys attended the party, for a total of six children (the Birthday Boy and his sister), but I stayed for the whole party anyway because my husband, Mr. Safety, can't seem to forget about that two-year old child who was abducted from a local bowling alley a few years ago. (She was never seen or heard from again.)

I took a newspaper and a novel (Jarhead), but ended up chatting with Birthday Boy's dad and with another mom. Toward the end of the party, Birthday Boy's mom joined our little cluster and asked me whether I have a regular babysitter for my youngest two children and as I answered her, I had an out-of-body experience in which I watched in horror as my right index finger flew up and and scratched the rim of my nostril, coming dangerously close to plunging up to the knuckle into my nose. And as my finger touched my nose, I maintained a facade of calm, educated reason, while inside my id and my ego arm-wrestled over my lack of restraint and manners and decorum all while my finger hovered, scratched, rubbed. Then I heard a distant scream from deep inside my brain which cried out (strangely enough, in Jerry Seinfeld's voice), "I did not pick! There was no pick!"

You can take the girl out of the house, but you cannot take her finger out of her nose. (There was no pick!)


Blogger Chelsea said...

Just dropped by to say hi. I've been very busy and unable to read blogs as much as I like. I enjoyed yours tonight.

And I do believe you did not pick!

12:13 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

Denial ain't just a river, baby...

8:37 AM  
Blogger Fey Wren said...


Thank you for this. I need a good laugh today.


9:45 AM  
Blogger Julana said...

Merry Christmas again. :-) Hope you enjoy your books.
That is a scary story about the toddler disappearing. I'm with your husband on that one.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes yes... there is a definite difference between an innocent scratch and a pick. NO PICK

1:48 PM  
Blogger MissKris said...

Someday you need to come down to Portland and go to Powell Books...that is, if you've never been there before. You can get books at full price...used...out-of-print...hard-to-find. It's a book lover's true paradise. Dear Hubby and I can go there on a rainy, blechy Saturday and get lost in the aisles for hours. I am totally blissed-out every time I go there. I mean, this place has something like one million or more volumes on their shelves!! I buy a lot of paperbacks...the Volunteer of America thrift store has 'em for 98 cents...can't beat THAT price! I went thrift store shopping yesterday of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday putzing around with Dear Hubby. Hey, next time you go...let me know if you find a good high chair or stroller, haha! My first grandson's going to be making his appearance in the next 6 weeks. We've had only a few less days of rain down here in Portland, too, so don't feel too bad. If it gets too bad I'll come rescue you in my rowboat! ;-)

3:27 PM  
Blogger Goslyn said...

Ha Ha Ha to the nose scratchings. I constantly find myself doing that. It's not picking.

Hope the wet weather dries up for you soon.

6:49 AM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Of course we believe you, Mel. No reasonable individual picks their nose in a bowling alley. We all know that.


11:03 AM  
Blogger tab said...

I have a gift certificate from B&N....having a hard time picking something out---it comes pretty close to killing me to pay full price for a book.

Are you sending some of that rain my way? We need it desperately. We have chances of snow flurries tomorrow morning but I'm not holding my breath. (we're so desperate we're even begging for snow).

2:13 PM  
Blogger Krisco said...

You cannot take Jerry Seinfeld's voice out my head, either.

At least in regard to that topic, and about twenty others. Oddly none of which come clearly to mind, just his tone, fake-yelling. (Ahhhhhh)

So, not strangely enough, after all. : )

9:43 PM  

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