Lyrical Laughs

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ready to be unprepared

My friend Tammy and I spent last Sunday doing anything but waiting for the Super Bowl to start. Oh, stop shaking your head - I watched it, I just didn't watch the four hours of pre-game junk. We ran errands, stopped for lunch and shopped. A funny thing happened in between stops that shouldn’t have surprised us, because Tammy and I both admit to having been there, done that.

As we both got into the car following a stop at a favorite department store, I glanced over at the mini-van next to us. Inside a woman sat in the driver’s seat with her body twisted toward the passenger seat as she carefully placed colorful tissue paper into a gift bag before slipping something inside. I have no idea of the gift or the occasion, but clearly her trip into the same store we had just been browsing in was a search-and-seizure procedure, and not at all a pleasurable shopping trip. Tammy and I nodded to each other in understanding.

Who can relate? In this world of constantly over-extending ourselves, who can't? We've accepted the invitation, plugged it into our calendar - and promptly forgotten about it until the day of the event. Thank goodness for the local Dollar Stores that carry gift bags, department stores that sell scarves, fragrances, candles and chocolate in various forms, and Starbucks gift cards. Before the empty nest, at least once (that I will admit to) I dragged my child to the store, sprinted through the aisles seeking a reasonably priced yet wildly entertaining gift while I ignored her plea for a toy, and tossed the present into one of those gift bags on the way to a party she received the invitation to three weeks ago.

Don’t think for a minute I haven’t made an effort to be prepared for these events. I even gathered gift bags and tissue paper and put them in a safe place, just in case I need to wrap something on the run. There are two problems with this. The first is that I should really put these items in my car if this is meant to be a successful endeavor. The second is that I have completely forgotten where the “safe place” is that holds these gift-wrapping items. The last two times I need gift bags and tissue paper, I bought more. Thus endeth being organized and ahead of the game.

Not only do I truly admire those people who think ahead, I am also extremely envious of the ones who adorn their homes with appropriate seasonal ornaments. Tammy has a beautiful wreath on her front door that is cheerily decorated for Valentine’s Day. We still have the Christmas wreath on our front door. I’m waiting for one of these winter storms to rip our front door open and spew every last needle across our yard.

My dream for the decorative shelf on my kitchen wall was to garnish it with eye-catching, festive items during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July and whatever holidays I could pick up items at the Dollar Store for (anyone else notice a recurring theme here?). At the moment the shelf displays a turkey platter that we keep forgetting to use on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The platter is surrounded by some sort of decanter, some sort of tea bag holder, some sort of handmade sculpture and some sort of dust coating them all.

We can obviously conclude that you wouldn’t want me to be your party planner or interior decorator. But out of this lack of preparedness comes a surprising benefit.

I can get you to a Dollar Store in under seven minutes.

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