Photo from: here
Photo from: here
Mall-walking, clothes-shopping, you’re searching for cute tops and a new pair of jeans. You pop into stores, you do the Figure-8 Walk Around, you pop right out. You pinch fabrics, peek at wash instructions, and hold pants in front of mirrors, bending knees, biting lips, and flipping over price tags.
Sure, everything’s fine and everything’s dandy until later in the afternoon, when you’re still empty-handed and your legs start burning, your boyfriend starts whining, and you get really, really, really, really, really, really thirsty.
But you don’t stop, won’t stop, can’t stop the walking, just can’t stop the shopping. So you keep going, keep plugging, keep trudging along. You keep moving, keep motoring, keep soldiering strong. No, you won’t quit, won’t split, won’t call it a day. You won’t run, won’t ditch, till you find a shirt and pay.
So you keep looking and looking until it finally comes — that moment where you spot a perfect top glowing from the other side of the store. You hold your breath, run over to check, and the color looks good, the material looks good, the price looks good, the wash instructions look good, but …
Panic sets in as you begin frantically flipping through the hangers. Shoot, XXL, XXL, XXL, XL. As you flip you suddenly start worrying that you wasted the day. Your calves ache and your stomach rumbles and you ask yourself: Did I survive six hours on a Dilly Bar for nothing?
But then just as the worry is settling in, putting its feet up, and getting comfortable …
You find one.
Clouds part, sun shines, bugles blare, and angels sing, as you somehow manage to score the absolute last item in your size at the store. Oh, you’re buzzing free and your brain flies as you enjoy one of the three versions of this classic high:
(p.s. Hmm, some of these age better than others. I’ve decided to just let’em hang. – Neil)
Photo from: here
No, when the sky cracks up and the rain smacks down, I’m the one wearing heavy jeans and a thick, spongy sweater that soaks up everything and turns me into swampy slab of peat bog. Yes, I’m drenched, I’m dripping, I’m ice-chilled to the bone.
But that’s what makes it so great when it starts coming down and out pops a giant umbrella from a friend who offers to gimme shelter for a few minutes. Yes, if your special someone is packing some giant nylon heat, then I think it’s fair to say you’re smiling high, your clothes are dry, and you’re rocking the streets under a tiny little patch of
Honestly, whenever I leave the grocery store I feel like I’ve just been had by the lot of them. I fully confess it, too. I wheel in for toilet paper and wheel out with a fat cart loaded to the gills with super-size salsa, half a dozen danishes, and two new brands of frozen pizza.
It hits me like a hammer at the cash register but by then it’s too late.
Yes, I reluctantly pay the bill as my mind flashes back to the Me of 15 Minutes Ago, a barely recognizable guy humming down the aisle and happily accepting little sample cups of drinkable yogurt from sweet old ladies in hairnets while casually tossing brightly-colored cheese bricks and nicely-packaged turkey sticks into my shopping cart.
If you’re with me, then you know this is what makes it so great when you go to the store and the thing you were going to buy is already on sale. Because suddenly the tables are turned and now you’re calling the shots.
“Oh, what’s this?” you ask innocently, approaching a towering display of toilet paper on sale for half price. “Half-off, really? Well that’s perfect because that’s all I came here for, anyway. And hmm, you know what? May as well get seven extra dozen while I’m here, too. … Annnnnnnd I guess that’s everything for today.”
Then you mime making a big check mark on your grocery list and smile as you savor the moment sweetly. Yes, now your wallet stays fat, your smile stays fresh, and you ride the fast lane straight to Penny-Pinching Heaven.
When the cereal’s done but that shiny, off-white milk puddle remains, it’s time to drop the spoon, grab the bowl, and tilt back like there’s no tomorrow. It’s espresso for kids, it’s breakfast dessert, and it’s completely and totally
Photo from: here
And then BOOM: your eyes burst open and you bust out of bed in an adrenaline-gushing, brain-rushing, heart-crushing state of emergency. Dizzy and blind, you urgently stumble over to the clock as thoughts whip through your head — am I late for work, did I miss the buzzer, do I have time for a shower?
You swipe the clock, zoom it up to your squinty eyeballs, and get a good look.
“4:56 AM,” it screams in its trademark crisp, bright-red florescent silence. “4:56 AM.”
And then a slow, thin smile curls on your lips as you turn to stare at your crumpled cocoon, readying yourself to flip the pillow and dive back into Bedhead Paradise. Oh, you know that sweet cruise into dreamland will be a doozy for a few big reasons:
Yes, waking up before your alarm clock and realizing you’ve got lots of sleep time left is a great thing. Sure, your heart pulses and your brain convulses, but you quickly realize there’s a long time left for a lot more sleeping.
And you know what we like to call that around here.
Mustard-mayo swirls drip from the back of the hot-dog, coffee cups splash on the drive to work, and spoonfuls of lumpy ice cream crumble and go for a ride.
Yes, we’re all familiar with the classic Day-Long Shirt Stain, also known as the International Symbol of Clumsiness. Whether it’s a samosa spill on your sari, a wasabi smear on your kimono, or an olive oil splash on your freshly ironed toga, we all know what that spill means and that spill screams: you are messy.
It’s sad but it’s true, folks. Kiss the job interview goodbye, end the first date early, and skip the big toast at your daughter’s wedding. It’s all over now because you had your chance and you blew your chance. Guacamole smears on your tie and tomato squirts on your tux just trashed your night and trashed your mood.
Yes, we’ve all been there. And none of us like stained shirts.
But that’s why it’s so great when you just barely escape the stain. Yes, these drip-dodging miracles can happen one of three ways:
1. The Pick-Me-Up. That lumpy clump of ice-cream rolls off your belly and skids straight to the ground leaving only a couple rogue chocolate chips sitting in your belly-button dent. What a save. Just pick it up.
2. The Camouflage Mirage. When the juicy beef-drippings leaking out of the taco land squarely on a juicy beef-dripping-colored stripe on your clothes. Lucky break and now you can enjoy the day being clumsy in camo.
3. The Against-All-Odds. Here’s where you have absolutely no right to avoid the stain but do so for mystical reasons that defy all logic. Somebody steals a nacho and carelessly drops its load on your sleeve, but somehow it just skis off gracefully onto the tablecloth. A full beer gets spilled and drips all over you, but some quick whisking just blows it away and … no harm done. We can’t explain these ones, but they are true miracles.
Yes, a big spill without a big stain cranks the happiness dial to 10. That’s because you played with fire and came out cool, hung over the edge but pulled yourself back, and nearly ended it all, but instead just ended up being
“We made it, rusty lady,” you say out loud, slapping the dash and honking the horn as you sit jammed in the KFC drive-thru. “Happy birthday, you ol’ highway roller. Never thought we’d get this far.”
And ain’t it true: when your car clicks over a big, fat number it sure is a special day. After all, assuming you cruise an average of 15,000 clicks a year, you only score this major move once every five or six calendar turns.
That’s reason enough to celebrate.
Plus, I’m guessing you probably saw it coming for a while, too. Sure, maybe you were grabbing groceries or dropping the kids off at day care last month when a 99,398 caught your eye or a 198,881 made you do a double-take. And maybe you made a mental note to get ready. Maybe you wondered where you’d be when the big day came.
Maybe you bought a dress.
If so, I certainly don’t blame you because when your rustbucket’s clicker-counter snaps into new territory, it’s like she’s suddenly all growed up. You smile slowly and breathe in chicken and diesel fumes as your mind rushes back to great times you’ve shared over the years: when you first met, playing pranks at the gas station, and mindlessly chilling on lazy summer afternoons.
Yes, watching your odometer click over a major milestone is a great feeling. Congratulations on being there for the big day.
My brother, if your hand is up right now, you are not alone.
See, I’m a bit clumsy in the kitchen, too. My oven burners are covered in burnt sauce stains, my sink drains are full of slithery, rainbow-colored bits of last night’s dinner, and my Tupperware cupboard looks like the Tasmanian Devil’s mudroom.
And add to these issues my apparent love of yanking entire sheets of aluminum foil clear out of the box. Honestly, I just give a little tug and out pops the entire roll, hitting the floor and rolling away while laughing its trademark crackly metallic laugh.
Yeah, just tell me that’s not a pathetic scene: cut to freeze-frame of tired-looking man in bedhead and sweatpants holding the edge of aluminum foil in one hand and an empty box in the other, then slowly pan down to a floor covered in a thick, shiny snake of metal crinkled across the floor.
Folks, the only thing that looks worse is the fat, crumpled rolled-back-up roll half-stuffed in the box after you tried to put it back together again.
Yes, we’ve all been there.
But guess what? High tens around the room, because there is hope for People Like Us. Shockingly, I have recently discovered those little tabs on the side of the aluminum foil box that hold the roll in place! Believe it, food preservation fans, because they truly exist.
Yes, the little tabs on the side of the aluminum foil box can be indented so they anchor the roll in the box. Honestly, it’s a jaw-dropping discovery — like finding out your new apartment gets free Wireless or realizing there’s a little arrow in your car that tells you where to find your gas hole.
Now, whenever it was, whenever it is, whenever it will be: how good does it feel when you first discover those little tabs yourself? Give it up for a pretty good buzz.
So join me today as we give thanks to that modern miracle of the kitchen cupboard: those little tabs on the side of the aluminum foil box.
Also on Saran Wrap.