Monday, August 22, 2005

Judgemental? Moi'?

Hi there everyone.

Since I don't lead an exciting life, all I have to post on is my rather mundane one.

Here goes...





Well! There you have it! Just another exciting day in the life of Mz. Quintessence!

Actually there is one weird thing. I had to go to the store for dog food yesterday morning. Since all I was getting was the dog food (and a COKE!) I was able to slip into the 10 Items Or Less line.

Now, being the curious sort that I am, I am usually that annoying person in line behind you - or in front of you - giving a sideways glance to see what you're buying. I think the items we buy in the 10 Items Or Less line tend to be those emergency things that we make a special trip out for and that can tell the world a lot about our lives. What things we so desperately need that we will take the time out of a beautiful sunny Sunday morning and go to the grocery store.

Well, the guy in front of me was buying orange juice and milk. He refused the offer of peaches for 79 cents a pound that I suppose all the clerks have been instructed to push on the patrons. Upon closer inspection, I noticed he was wearing dress pants and a striped dress shirt.

My take on this dude is that he is an attorney who leads a life only slightly more exciting than mine, mainly due to the fact that he is an alcoholic. That makes it more exciting, I mean. Not that it's only slightly more exciting because of him being an alcoholic, as in, if he weren't an alcoholic, his life would be much more exciting. It's just that it's probably as mundane as mine with the slight alteration of alcohol fueled days. Thereby giving it a little bit of variation. Am I getting this across? Is the horse dead yet?

So anyway...

I'm the next one in line. And naturally - or, actually probablly not naturally at all - I have to analyze myslef and what my groceries might be telling the world about me. Dog food and Coke. This tells me that my dogs have a better diet than I do. And, generally, I'm an ok person who is kind to animals.

Now the next guy...

I'm ashamed to admit that even I - the 10 Items Or Less Line Sociologist - troubled over this one for quite some time.

The next guy had a pack of cigars and a container of Metamucil. He was about a week and a half unshaven, wearing a dirty T-shirt and shorts, crazy hair and - as best as I can guess - in his 50's.

This guy vexed me at least until the clerk handed me my change when Ding! that light bulb in my head - which can go from a dull, lifeless glow to a brilliant blinding light with alarming speed - signaled the moment of clarity. All at once it was easily apparent.

This guy is a misunderstood genius, laboring away in his, um, laboratory, living off of beta-carboline loaded fried spam sandwiches because he is too busy devising a way to make a Yuengling powered engine to save his county from the looming peak oil crisis to take time out to have any kind of a healthy diet, resulting in ... well, you know ... the need for the Metamucil.

The cigars? Something to do while on the hopper.

And all of a sudden I kind of liked this guy's thinking. I mean, here he is, stuck what...5-6 hours a day? the john, and what does he do? He has a cigar. He relishes every moment of life. Doesn't waste a single minute. Even in such...circumstances...he manages to make it enjoyable and be dignified about it.

You go, Metamucil Guy! You teach us all a lesson about life!

And please, everyone? Don't ruin this for me by bringing up the possiblilty of a Hustler laying on the toilet tank lid, OK?


D.B. Echo said...

Here's a comment that's been delayed by more than two weeks because of certain unexpected life events.

Anne, how could you be so cruel to that poor man? Cigars and Metamucil? Unkempt? Looked a mess? Let me tell you this man's story...

He graduated from college back in 1973 with a degree in mathematics and went on to get a Ph.D. in Economics in three short years. After receiving his doctorate, he slaved away at the lower echelons of the University system, determined to attain a tenure-track position and full professorship. Only once he was on sound financial footing did he keep his promise to his high-school sweetheart: at 27 they married and decided to start a family.

But alas, it was not to be. For his beloved wife had a difficult pregnancy, and died in childbirth, taking their infant daughter with her.

Crushed, shattered, the poor Economics professor lost himself in his work, and vowed to never fall in love again...until...

More than twenty years later he met her - a young and lovely undergraduate taking his class. She was the image of beauty, he was an eccentric bachelor genius mourning his one true love. By chance they met one day, away from campus, and the beautiful student revealed her terrible secret: she was in love with him.

He was in turmoil. Surely he could not break his vow? But one night, in a vision, his dead wife came to him and told him that it was all right for him to get on with his life. Their love was a love to last forever, but while he was on Earth he had to embrace what love came his way,

It was a forbidden love, a love to which they dared not give in. They met in secret, their furtive trysts far from the prying eyes of the other students and professors. On the day she graduated from college, he proposed to her. They were married that September, just days before tragic acts of violence would change the world forever.

They tried to have children, but there was something wrong. For years they tried, but all seemed hopeless. Until...less than nine months ago...they received the news they had waited for all these years. She was pregnant. They were going to have a baby.

But once again the pregnancy was troubled. She spent much of the third trimester confined to a bed. In the weeks before her due date, they made plans for induced labor, perhaps even more extreme steps.

All for nothing. Nearly a week before her due date, the contractions began. They rushed her to the hospital, but the baby would not come. The labor lasted for hours. The hours grew longer and longer...2...6...12...

Finally, after what felt like days, the baby was born. They were the proud parents of a beautiful daughter.

But the story did not end there. Both mother and child were in critical condition. For days he refused to leave her side, terrified that he was about to lose his beloved wife for the second time, and to once again have his child taken from him. But medical care had progressed in the last 26 years, and soon both mother and child were out of danger.

He got a look at himself in a mirror. He was a mess. He had been living on food from vending machines for a week, and it had played hell with his digestive system. And, he realized, he needed to let the world know that at long last, he was a father.

What to do? Only one thing he could think of. A quick trip to the store to buy some cigars to pass around...and maybe some Metamucil.

As he walked into the daylight for the first time in a week, he hoped that the world would not judge his appearance too harshly.

anne said...

Oh, I had no idea!

I'll have to get him a card right away. And a pack of onesies.