Buenos Diaz! Allow me to provide you with a quick update on Funemployment. I’ve gone to bed late and woken up whenever I’ve damn well felt like it. I’ve visited museums, I’ve picnicked in the park; I’ve read by the beach; I’ve gone from being the girl who doesn’t drink coffee to finding myself four drinks shy of a Starbucks Gold Card. In short: I’ve taken a moment to breathe.
I’ve also been writing my face off at all hours of the day. I confess that I’m still trying to figure out a routine, playing around with how to make the best use of my time in order to be as productive as possible. I’ve learned that leaving the house is essential in staying disciplined. At home, it’s too tempting to watch reruns of Say Yes to the Dress, get up and fix myself a snack, or decide that my bookshelves need reorganizing. To avoid falling into this trap, I leave the house in the morning with gym bag and laptop in tow and try not to come back until close to dinner time. Spending all this time at libraries, book stores, coffee shops and even the occasional brewery has reminded me that life is much more interesting when you’re not sitting at home.
Yesterday for example: my day started with an hour long walk around a beautiful lake with my cousin. Not wanting to go all the way back to my house to shower, I decided to head to the nearest gym instead where I could get in some weight work and then just shower and get ready there. That’s exactly what I did, which seemed like a great idea… that is, until I found myself dripping wet in the gym shower and realized I’d forgotten my towel. Awesome. Picture me toweling off with a tiny hand towel I’d found in my gym bag. That was fun.
Later after a quick visit to my favorite bookstore/coffee shop and a lovely picnic lunch at a waterfront park, I set up shop at my favorite library for my usual writing session. It started off well enough- we all know I’m generally at peace anytime I’m surrounded by books. Today I happened to pick the floor (did I mention this library has NINE of them???) where library etiquette apparently went to die. A woman let her toddler scream unbridled while the child demanded a soda, a teenager answered his phone and proceeded to tell his caller at full volume that he has a new stash and to meet him at the crib later, and someone else refused to silence their ratchet rap ringtone while the phone rang and rang and rang.
I was cursing myself for having left my headphones in my car when I suddenly noticed that a man in his forties who’d been walking back and forth in my field of vision was hovering and trying to get my attention. I’d actually been annoyed with him earlier too for also neglecting to use his indoor voice, still I obliged and whispered, “Oh I’m sorry- what was that?” He told me I looked just like Judy Polish-sounding-last-name-ski, so I asked who that was; he let me know that this Judy gal was indeed his ex-girlfriend and then tossed me a folded up library card application. I was about to ask what the deal was when he interrupted me to say, “Just, just you know, do me a favor and read this. Nothing urgent, nothing important. Just read it, you can toss it. Ok. Ok bye!” He then scurried away as quickly as he’d come. I felt several pairs of nosy eyes on me and suddenly felt quite embarrassed, so I left the note untouched for several hours before finally picking it up when it appeared no one was looking. I give you Exhibit A:
I had to laugh at the last part: “I swear I’m not creepy, I just have this super creepy request.” When I did get up and leave the library eventually, I kept looking over my shoulder and peering around corners like a paranoid freak. I kept expecting him to pop up from around a corner to accost me with his flash photography. My friend Carlos says the guy probably snapped a pic from his flip phone 60 yards away. Excellent.
Lastly, I made my way over to Target to pick up a couple of items. I was minding my own business in the lotion aisle when a screaming child came tearing towards me, clearly attempting to flee from his parents who were in hot pursuit just a few yards behind him. He didn’t see me standing there when he came charging around the corner and thus ran smack into me, falling backwards on his rear end as a result. He looked at me with fury in his eyes then took one of those long, deep breaths that you just know is the precursor to a cringe-worthy fit. Sure enough, the fit was had. He screamed and bellowed as he angrily tore open the item he was holding like a tiny little meth addict, which unbeknownst to me at the time was a packet of Peeps. He proceeded to grab a little yellow chick and hurl it in my direction, and it made contact with my face. His parents appeared to haul him away walked away with a renewed gratitude for birth control.
So. Lessons learned. Not having that towel forced me to walk from the shower to the locker room in my bra and underwear, which is a huge step for me since I generally dress immediately after showering. Body positivity is a cause I like to champion, but I am only human and admit freely that fighting that nagging insecurity about my body is an active and uneasy process. As it turns out, no torch-wielding villagers appeared to demand that I cover my hideous body or face death; I didn’t feel as self-conscious as I usually do, which was a nice feeling.
The creepy can-I-take-your-picture guy may have been, well, creepy, but I’ve decided that sometimes the universe senses that you need a compliment and throws one in your direction; who am I to question the source? I mean sure, I’d be smitten if it was Chris or Liam Hemsworth calling me fine; I’d have posed for that photo in two shakes of a lambs tail and invited Liam to play out my own special rendition of the Hunger Games. Still, this library man took the time to approach me and had the balls to do so in what is supposed to be a quiet, leave-me-alone-I’m-reading setting. I’m going to give him some credit and take the little pick-me-up to go.
As for Little Beau Peep, well… his antics made me want to kick him into next Tuesday, truth be told. I am no mother, but if my spawn decided to fly into a Hulk-like fit of rage while tearing open a package of sugar crusted, animal-shaped marshmallows to then chuck at innocent bystanders, he or she would be doomed to learn a hard lesson from their mother about how to act in public. Really though, my annoyance gave way to amusement pretty quickly. I mean… the kid threw a frickin’ Peep at me. A PEEP! What’s more- his little tantrum assured me that I am where I need to be in life, i.e. that I’m not quite ready to have children just yet. Peep this though: there’s something fabulous about the freedom in that statement. That time will come for me someday, that time just isn’t now.