I think we should discuss drug tests. Seeing as I took one yesterday and believe the entire experience could make for a good story. I mean, imagine the poor nurse. The nurse has to sit there and deal with the nervous people who are embarrassedly sneaking glances at her while maniacally downing glass after glass of water. She has to politely ask them whether they feel they can "go" now. I mean, this is all a very delicate situation. Who wants to tell the nurse that they don't yet feel able to urinate into a cup for her? I bet it's even more disconcerting for males. Because then there's the whole idea of performance upon command, to boot. I mean, are you masculine if you can't provide the nurse with the required ccs when she requests them? God, the strike to the ego! The pain! The horror! That you, a male, must uncomfortably squirm in this chair while drinking down water and waiting your required 15 minutes as it makes its way through your body. Oh, this could all potentially be quite entertaining.
Also, I am the bustop picnicker. By which I mean, if I am required to stand next to a pole for a period of 20 minutes, I'm not going to do it. No, instead I sit and decorate the grass or the pavement around me. I place my dollar seventy-five upon a sheet of paper, the coins winking in the sunlight. I take out my book, The Bourne Identity, and read, raising my eyes every few minutes to see if my bus is coming. I eat Cheez-Its. I roll up my sleeves. I play with the green grass and bask in the sun. And then my bus rolls along and I spring up, throw my backpack over my shoulder, take my fare and pleasantly get on the bus.
Then get off the bus and find another bus and frustrate my father but questioning which side of the street I am supposed to stand on. He says I have to take the bus Eastward. I have no idea where that is. I don't work with directions; I need landmarks. At this point I ask "If the bus is going to Evanston, am I okay?" and I can hear the relief in his voice and imagine him nodding fiercely on the other side of the phone, yes, yes. At this point I hibernate again, pull out the book, place my backpack behind myself and the pole (it serves as a cushion) and continue.
Finally, footwear. This is my quest for white sandals and black sandals. I am very particular when it comes to shoes. First, I like sandals. And I especially like strappy sandals, by which I mean that the straps curve up and around the front of the foot. There has to be a slim heel. I have to be able to walk in the shoe, so it can't be too high. In fact, as a rule, I never buy shoes I can't run in. (This means I can run in reasonably high heels, a remarkable feat.) Why don't I buy shoes I can't run in? If I want to be morbid, I can say it is because I can get away no matter what the circumstance. If I do not want to be morbid, I can simply say it is because I am so much in demand by my dear, darling parents and I must rush to do their bidding.
Anyway, the shoes. I have looked at every single pair of shoes in existence. I visited Nordstroms, Lord and Taylor, Macy's, DSW Shoe Outlet, Steve Madden, Aldo and Nine West. And probably more. I think I tried on over 100 pairs of sandals yesterday. And yes, some of them were very pretty, but none of them were me. Plus I dislike this new style of having the strap go around one part of the foot but leaving the other part of the foot open, strapless. I think it looks very ugly. It's also impractical.
I found one pair of shoes I liked at Macy's, but when I asked the price I found out they were $195. Right, I think.
DSW also had some nice sandals. The Steve Madden patent leather black ones were almost what I was looking for. Almost. But they didn't strap around the foot; they had a very contrived front where the straps had been woven together. In fact, rather a lot of shoes suffered from that. Aldo had a pair of sandals that almost exactly matched what I had in mind but the heel was silver and far too long. There was another pair of Nine West sandals that I liked except for the huge, clunky heels. I am not a hooker. I will not buy hooker shoes.
Why is this so difficult? I know I am very particular. I am one of those people who will go shopping ostensibly all day and who will not come home with anything. As I did yesterday, except that I bought the soundtrack of A Beautiful Mind so at least I have that now. Also, I went to my favorite place in the world, and that is the Barnes and Noble at Old Orchard.
I have been to many bookstores in New York. My bookstore of choice is the Borders on 2nd and 32nd. But none of them can compare to the truly beautiful Barnes and Noble at Old Orchard. I don't know why it is, I simply know that that is the happiest place in the world for me to be. I have gone to the mall before simply to sit in one of their oversized squashy armchairs and read all day. Of course, I have paid for this privilege. This usually takes the form of my utilizing their Barnes and Noble cafe. And of course I buy books from them, whenever the need arises. But yes. The highlight of my day at the mall (don't tell anyone) is finally walking into that Barnes and Noble, finding an armchair, smiling at the other people who are reading, and falling into my book.
I shop because it is necessary, an obligation. Sure, I like shoes and clothes and jewelery- especially jewelery. But I really don't want to go to Old Orchard to buy shoes or to find clothes, even though I do it, even though I spend all day running around to every single store in existence in an attempt to find a pair of the perfect black sandals.
No. I go to Old Orchard because I want to hang out at Barnes and Noble, which is my happy place.
I bet you have a happy place, too. It's probably your secret. Maybe it's the beach or a particular friend's house or a niche beneath a bridge. I don't know. But this one's mine. And if you ever want to find me in Chicago, odds are that when I'm not working or sleeping or reading or writing or watching movies or hanging out with friends, I'm at Old Orchard at Barnes and Noble, curled up in an armchair, sneaking looks over the top of my book at the friendly old man who is checking out his gardening magazine or the woman who is enjoying her romance novel. And I feel close to them without knowing them, and to be surrounded by people who have so many possibilities to them, who could be anyone, and who are all reading, to be sitting in this nice armchair that is really big enough to be a bed (a small one, but I could definitely sleep there), to hear the music or tune it out as you choose, to sample a drink or Godiva chocolate from the cafe; yes, this is my mini-heaven. It is small, it is pleasant, it is simple- it is mine.
Happy places are good.
Then my dad picked me up and we went fruit-shopping and meat-shopping and it was all good.
That all having been said, have a wonderful Shavuot!