Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Shopping List

Current mood: amused
Category: Life


Good Evening My Friends, Family and Everyone In Between:

This evening I was possessed. Something utterly inexorable and unexplainable came over me. So what did this unseen force cause me to do, you might ask? It took me out of the warmth of the indoors, placed me in my car and took me to the grocery store. What the hell was I thinking. Good thing I had my good friend and editor,Ian Wood on the phone to see me through some of the madness. Yes, I was one of those people wandering around aimlessly through the store not really understanding what I was doing there, having to dodge overly processed crap and cheap last minute toys that will end up under the bed anyway displays.. where was I? After an hour or so I ambled up to the front of the store. The checkout aisles were over 10 people deep and I wondered out loud to Ian if I would actually make it through the experience alive. And if I didn't, well, the MS would have to go unfinished.

So here I am standing around with a cart containing more than I had planned on buying as it always does and thinking that I had probably forgotten at least one item, and I was the cranberries, and I couldn't help but notice the woman in front of me. She was well dressed, all decked out in red, probably having come from Church somewhere or the other, with a little white pea-coat on and cute little scarf, properly draped around her neck. And her perfume, well, it was fitting. Very floral. The kind of perfume sitting behind the Macy's cosmetics counter that if you let me smell it I could tell you exactly what kind of woman would be wearing it. She has two carts in front of her, filled to the brim with everything you might possibly need in a nuclear explosion or in case relatives are about to consume the soon-to-be black hole pit known as your house during the holidays and she is staring at her list. And...bitching at her husband about something inaudible to the leaning ear. Her husband, whose name was probably Paul, Steve or Jeffrey, is equally as dressed up, although he looked a lot more uncomfortable than she did in such finery at the local overly heated grocery store, was ignoring her. Obviously ignoring her. I believe he was also staring at an Archie comic Book, which made the situation all the more real.

And then I begin to pay attention to the finer details of what is going on between them. In her tightly clenched, pink chapped hands was not only a list, it was a personal history written down in one word. It contained the story of their entire holiday "merriment" and it gave me the distinct pleasure as a writer to learn even more about what true characterization is. Which is something I keep my eye out for, and as Ian would say, "this makes for very good fiction."

There was probably a good page and a half of very neatly written, in proper cursive and black ink, groceries and assorted last minute items. My eyes wandered a little further down the page and that is when I saw it. In very BOLD writing, with an almost child-like psycho-ish font in bright red, could have been crayon or magic marker, was the word: ADVIL.

Need I say more. I started laughing. Hard. And then re-checked my outward display of frivolity at the expense of what seemed to be a very real holiday family crisis on display or need I say...list and calmed down. I felt sorry, but then again, this is the first year we have decided not to go anywhere, to do anything, other than be with eachother. No traveling. No visitors with the exception of a friend whose husband is deployed and her infant daughter...No crazy airport pick ups. No anything other than us. Do I feel remotely guilty or wishing that there were others here? Maybe a little. But not enough to want to go through what this woman was going through.

Despite the headache of having family and friends around (and remember the blessed quote the wise and all-knowing Ben Franklin gave us..."Fish and relatives smell in three days.) I do miss them and hope they all have a grand time without us. As a matter of fact, this season has been one of sadness for many in our family, as it is the 5 year reunion of my mother-in-law's death, a good family friend of ours passed a week ago and just yesterday, a great aunt passed away. This, of course, makes it all the more important to realize that time is just a passing emptiness unless you use it to your advantage, every second, every minute, every hour, every day. Do not wait for it to happen to you, make it happen because of you. I am not going to rehash out what has happened to me or you or anyone else this year in this blog because it need not be said. Just know that you are powerless without your voice, your will, or the people in your life who help you along in the long and often treacherous journey to finding yourself. Make this year the year that it happens for you. This past year has certainly been the year for me.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Kwanzaa and whatnot and just know that I love you all.

Yours in Lists, Listening to Your Heart and Looking for the Right Moments to Say What You Need to Say...Including the Words...I Love You,


PS: This is my 200th blog and I am thankful for all of my readers. Always.


Travis Erwin said...

Glad to see you back to blogging. And Merry Christmas to you, Ryan, and the girls.

Now where is my ADVIL?

alex keto said...

I'm commenting just to prove I can. I am still a bit mystified by myspace. Let me work on this a bit.

alex keto said...

And by the way, drop this stuff about how I have to fill in the word. God, what a nuisance!