Like every person in the world, I’m bored stiff. You can only pick dog hair off your socks for so long, you know. The weather doesn’t even try to help. This early in springtime it’s a crapshoot — one day it’s warm and sunny, the next few are cold and bleak and ferociously windy. Oh, I’ll go out in it, but only because of the dog and only with reluctance. I just don’t enjoy getting shoved around by brutal, piercing wind. It’s not like you can see it coming and brace yourself. Heck, no. You won’t hear it coming, either. Wind gusts are nature’s sucker punch. They come out of nowhere and frog-march you right off the sidewalk into a street of heavy, fast-moving traffic, dragging a little white dog behind you. I hate that.
Other than dodging cars, though, there’s not much to do. I’ve exhausted my patience with twitter and text messaging. My mind is too unsettled for books. Ditto for movies. The news, of course, is to be avoided at all costs. I’m tired of staring at a computer screen. Everything’s been sprayed and wiped and disinfected a billion times, but here’s a fun fact: the butter on the kitchen counter is coated with a thin layer of Clorox Clean-Up. M-m-m, buttery Clorox Clean-Up.
I can’t be trusted with spray bottles — be glad I don’t wear perfume.
Last week, in desperation, I turned to catalog shopping for something to do and started at L.L. Bean. I had my eye on a soft, warm t-shirt, a sweet little mini-waffle. I picked up the phone, dialed the number, and spoke with a customer service rep named Rose or Louise, something. She asked for the item number, the size and color, told me it was in stock and then asked for my credit card number, the security code, and expiration date. And that’s where things went sideways.
I told her my card would expire in April of 2020 and that I’d surely manage to outlive that, at least. Crickets chirped. Long, l-o-n-g seconds passed in a silence so awkward it hurt. ‘I’m not sure I understand,’ Rose or Louise said, sounding alarmed. I started to explain it was a joke, realized it was pointless and apologized, instead. Then she got it. And she laughed. Hard. But it was too late; I was already red-faced and mortified and sweaty.
That uncomfortable exchange is the story of my life and a perfect example of inappropriate, unwise conduct in stressful situations. Please, learn from my mistakes:
1. Don’t tell expiration jokes, no matter how funny they seem, during pandemic outbreaks.
2. Don’t waste money you don’t have on things you don’t need as a form of entertainment.
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