Will I still be considered to be properly pulling my own weight if I stop on the way home and do a little shopping for myself?
I have the urge to purchase today.
It comes over me, something between an itch I can’t reach and a low-grade fever – just enough to make me goofy but not enough to make me call in sick.
I’m not always this way. I can go weeks and weeks without thinking about a new tube of elbow bleach or a cedar-handled toaster de-crumber, but one morning I wake up, and there it is. Like a tattoo addict with a couple of dollars and a low sense of self-esteem, in my mind’s eye I am already cruising the thrift shops and garage sales, dignity and self-preservation be damned.
It’s embarrassing. It does not fit with my view of myself. You know that view: the view wherein one secretly wishes to be seen as more “contributing” than “draining”, more “Mother Teresa” than “Paris Hilton”.
Why do I want new clothes, a new yoga mat cover, that gorgeous enameled flower pin I saw at Macy’s the other day? The world’s economy is in flux, I may end up sharing the underside of a bridge with countless others in my twilight years, the ice caps are melting, and I have the unnerving suspicion that the cat mocks my low-brow reading materials while I’m away.
And yet I still wish I had something new to wear.
Maybe that’s how the mind works. Maybe a general feeling of helplessness is somehow offset by the brain helpfully supplying one with the things that one can control.
Or shiny, pretty things.
And maybe the women stepping off the Titanic and into the lifeboats straightened their stockings as they were being seated. Because that’s kind of how it feels. I’m nervous, I’m afraid, and my mind is looking for comfort. The desire to acquire something new (or new to me) may be something akin to my post-party, hangover craving for mashed potatoes and gravy, only with less actual restorative value.
It may be a distraction.
In an attempt to waylay the creeping desire to buy something new, I'm going to sew new drapery for the living room. In anticipation of this, Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) has ceased her mocking of the books I've been reading lately and has taken to sitting on her tiny, fuzzy rear-end and thoughtfully pulling at her back claws, her adorably white and razor-sharp nails glinting in the pools of sunlight she regularly occupies.
I told her, on my way out the door this morning, that if she knows what’s good for her, she’ll stop leaving snide post-its in my books and start thinking about getting a job -- or catching me a mouse.
Gas, grass or -- catnip, I believe the saying goes -- no one rides for free.
13 hours ago