I was out running errands - library, grocery store to get stuff for a good field-trip lunch for tomorrow, because remember this little piece of hell manifested on earth? I decided it wouldn't be fair not to experience the same unsanctified splendours with my younger child as well. That's not true, she actually brought the form home and begged me to sign it and send it back RIGHT AWAY because the first three Moms got to come and she was pretty sure no one else would send it back the very next day (uh, yeah, because NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO GO), so I did. Only afterwards did I realize it's an all-day deal again and it's supposed to be 35 freaking degrees out again and I have to ride on the bus. Again. Please god let the epi-pen chick not be in my group.
....and flowers for my Mom to plant in our front planter, which she does as a birthday gift for me. Of course last year she bought the flowers, which meant I appreciated the effort but hated most of the flowers. This year I bought the flowers, which means she'll still plant it for me but will hate the flowers. We share not one iota of aesthetic sensibility, my mother and I.
Every time I'm driving and I see someone walking along the road hauling grocery bags I have the immediate impulse to stop and give them a ride. I remember hauling grocery bags, and while sometimes it felt like good exercise and a reasonable part of the day's work, sometimes it was just a slog. It would have been awesome to have someone pull up and offer me a quick ride home in an air-conditioned vehicle. Of course, it would have been awesome if it was someone I knew, not some crack-brained stranger who might have a knife hidden under the driver's seat or some kind of paralytic drug that she would administer in order to render me helpless while she parks in some secluded area and forces me to listen as she reads aloud from The Magicians or Little, Big, or some other book that she adores and can't figure out why every single person she recommends it to thinks it's dreck.
So I don't offer anyone a ride, because I am no longer the struggling student or carless young person. I am now the crack-brained stranger. In case that wasn't clear.
As I was pulling up to the mailbox on the way home, I saw a woman walking on the sidewalk across the street who had obviously just been running. She was.... thin. The adjectives I want to insert there are 'painfully', 'skeletally', 'excessively', but I acknowledge the possibility that she just has a marathoners body type and maybe she's completely healthy. I imagined getting out of my van and calling out to her, "you look a little too thin", and her calling back, "you look a little too fat" and the two of us cheerfully going on about our days.