Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This is what happens when coffee and alcohol are eliminated as coping mechanisms

It is customary in our community to post fliers for upcoming events or lost animals near the neighborhood mailboxes. At the beginning of the summer last year I posted my first-ever announcement; I can’t remember exactly how I worded it but I remember the bold-type across the top to get people’s attention that something of mine was definitely LOST. Those who took the time to read the rest would learn that the item I was missing was my sanity, a tragedy brought on by the new summer schedule of no alone time, frequent bickering, and nonstop statements declaring a Code Red of “I’m bored.” One of my neighbors, while innocently picking up her energy bills and Linens ‘N Things coupons, discovered the flier and recognized the work as likely coming from me. We laughed about it, commiserated a little, and then went on with our summer of frolicking in tall grass and sipping cold drinks by the poolside.

Or I may have just spent it locked in my room playing Kenny G trying to prevent myself from curling up in the fetal position. Or maybe it was the Kenny G that put me in the fetal position. Whatever. Anyway, I haven’t posted any fliers lately but last Saturday morning I realized that I was about one dirty cereal bowl left on the kitchen table away from going postal. Instead, I announced to my one and only while bestowing a quick kiss that I was leaving. “Are you coming back?” he slowly asked while maintaining a grin. “Eventually,” I said.

I drove across town to a Borders bookstore, ordered a soda and planted myself in a big, soft chair by a guy wearing headphones. I took my magazine out and laid it on my lap, not yet ready to commit to reading and momentarily content to observe the others around me. The guy on my left was on his computer, and when he got up to cross the room I spotted the dog picture on his screensaver. I envisioned him spending Sunday afternoons walking his dog in trendy parks chock-full of hot babes also walking their pets and wondered if that was how he met girls. I took a long sip of my drink and opened my magazine, ready to distract myself with fashions I will never live up to and advice I will probably never follow. I was minimally distracted with an article about financial choices when I noticed a couple sitting across from another gentleman at a table near me – they weren’t trying very hard to be quiet and so I listened in. It took all of 8 seconds to understand the purpose of this meeting: an engaged couple meeting with their DJ to discuss the music for their upcoming Big Day. I kept my magazine open and looked at it in mock interest, making a conscious decision to listen to their conversation instead.

The bride’s parents are divorced, her dad is remarried to one who is apparently “lucky to be getting a corsage”, her mother is anti-marriage, and her dad supports an alcoholic lifestyle. She doesn’t want the Father/Daughter dance to be too sappy. The groom’s dad tries to save people from inebriating beverages and apparently thinks his son is already going to hell. The parent’s dance is deemed as too awkward and therefore eliminated. They can’t decide on the song to play to transition to “Party Time” so the DJ starts singing snippets from Run DMC, Aerosmith, and Justin Timberlake to give them choices. The groom wants to know if the money dance is too cheesy, after which the DJ offers an alternative of an “Advice Dance”, where the guests dancing with the Bride and Groom offer advice for marriage. For example, if I were a friend of this couple and were invited to this reception and I danced with the groom, I might say something like, “If you'd spent as much time with a premarital counselor as you did with your DJ, you’d be off to a good start.” Plus I might suggest trying to distract the bride’s parents from this portion of the program.

I spent about three hours at Borders on Saturday, mostly eavesdropping on strangers. By the time I left the DJ was talking about his crazy non-law-abiding citizen friend from high school who later became a reverend. He wondered if they had done a background check on him before adorning him in the cloth. Whatever, I was tired of planning this couple’s wedding and I was ready to go home. There’s nothing like hearing a middle-aged DJ singing “Crazy Love” in the middle of a Borders to snap you out of a summer funk.


Heather said...

SERIOUSLY, I'm about to pee my pants.

I'm glad I'm not the only eavsdropper... I frequently use the reading decoy as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I could use an escape to Borders, or anywhere, really. Lucky me, tomorrow I have a dentist appointment. Alone.

talitha said...

Oh, I really liked this one. I love to escape to Borders and do that. Except I would never listen in on a conversation like that. No way, not me.

[[Could you tell I was lying??]]

Randi said...

Yeah, that coffee and alcohol are starting to look pretty good, aren't they?
10 years ago would you ever have imagined that Borders and eavesdropping would be your idea of a break?

Anonymous said...

I, for one, could use a good dose of Kristi humor. My neighbors are all unimaginative and dull. And claim to adore their children ALL THE TIME.

Anonymous said...

I want to know when, exactly, dentist appointments and eavesdropping became the highlight of our days?

Anonymous said...

dear anonymous: I think it happened sometime around "push, she's almost out...waaaaahhh!!!"

Anonymous said...

I wish my trips to Borders were that exciting. Mine usually consist of, "Mom can I get this really expensive make your own wand, dragon, four story castle book. I don't have enough money for it but YOU do!".