Things I Experienced While Running Away

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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”  ― Søren Kierkegaard

(Morning view where Liz and Marley like to run…okay, walk usually)

    It had to happen. I had to do it.

I’m talking about running. It’s been too long. You know when it’s time? When the earth’s gravitational force suddenly doubles.

You look in the mirror and see the pudge you’ve been avoiding. Tired eyes. A face that could use a lift.   An attitude that often hovers between exhaustion and who cares? Shabby clothes accessorized with a heavy dose of apathy.

I was just about to take a nap. After all, I’d earned it. Moments earlier I had daftly slid dinner out of a box and into the oven and had just plopped onto the couch after another repetitious day of exhaustion battling the minute by minute necessary chores and emergencies called life. You know what I’m talking about. You have those days too.

But instead, a rare divine moment of alchemy overtake me. That inner whisper that says, “GET UP (you sloth)!” That and the soft sadness of my dog’s whimpering. Oh, the not-so-subtle guilt of my lab’s droopy eyes and hopeful but pouty mouth.

     Fine then! I exerted a small amount of supernatural strength and laced up my running shoes. These suck. They hurt my feet and need replacing. Anyway.

Grab the poopy bags. In my case, it’s a minimum of a dozen; running with labs requires a bit of extra preparation.   Collar. Leash. Quick sips of water. Tunes. Keys. Lock door. Check. Slam door. Go!

Put something on with 4/4 beat and start pounding. It hurts. I don’t seem to have a regular rhythm or routine to running these days. It was the 2nd time in a week, but also in about six months as well.

So consistency is not my strong suit. What can I say? Keep going Liz I tell myself.

A few houses later I drift past my neighbor’s house. Her daughter will marry this weekend. Bless them I think. So busy I bet. Time to keep going. A few seconds later I float past another neighbor’s home with two dogs who speak in the language that only dogs know. They announce loudly, “HEY! IT’S MARLEY AND LIZ! DOES ANYONE IN THE HOUSE HEAR ME? IT’S MARLEY AND LIZ!”   I’m tempted to stop and go pet them. Better not. That’d be the end of tonight’s workout.

Huffing and puffing, I make it to the end of block one. YES! The next ten houses is straight down hill. I’m cruising to a little John Reuben singing Bobble Head.

     “Let me see your neck neck bobbing with the vertical fist. You put the two together and it goes like this.”

Christian rap. It’s the only kind I can tolerate. I feel kind of like a bada** listening to it.   When I was running, I knew I would have to write about it later. I knew right then and there I would at some point use the substitute word bada** because I don’t have the literary courage to say well…you know the real word.

I’ve now gone straight down the vertical hill bobbing with my horizontal fist pulling my dog who also doubles as my resistance trainer.  Ok, now I’m getting into it a tiny bit. Just keep going I tell myself. Like the wise Clownfish sage Dory who is forever embedded into our collective subconscience with her exuberant message:

     Just Keep Swimming

     Because that’s what I’m doing, metaphorically speaking. I’m swimming against the tides of life most days it seems.

Technology that overwhelms us with it’s incessant “reply ASAP” feeling. Or more frustratingly frequent: websites that give me the FREEZE OUT. Passwords that I know by heart suddenly don’t work. Pages don’t load.   Email I don’t have time for or read.  People I should but don’t reply to.  News doesn’t ring true. Trolls say mean things. Things disappear. And then fall apart.     Yeah, and that’s just my digital life.

So I keep going. Running. I’m playing a mental game I played in my early twenties when my first son had incredible colic. I used to run with a Walkman CD player on my hand like a pizza delivery man so it wouldn’t skip.

I’d run away. I’d run away from the noise.

I’d run from the responsibilities I didn’t think I could handle for one more day.

I’d run far, far away from the stress and go to the imaginary place in my head where everything is copacetic and cool. In this place in my head, people agree and life isn’t determined by income, time constraints, or other people’s desires. In fact there aren’t even voices, just faces. And music. And animals. And just this peacefulness.   I admit, it’s kind of a selfish utopia.   And though I always knew it didn’t really exist, it always felt so good to be running towards it, striving, endlessly striving to find it.

I’m about ¾ of a mile now. Not that far, but I’ve already thought more thoughts then steps travelled. This much I know is true.

I’m running away again. I’m running away from Hillary. I’m running away from Donald. I’m running away from ALL THAT because I’m so tired of hearing about it, thinking about it, and in shreds as what to do about it.

       I run thinking if I just run far enough and hard enough I might possibly be able to run out of this spare tire that is causing serious bladder inconvenience. I mean really. You throw a tire on a water balloon and see which object survives.

       I’m running away from my bullet-point two-page To Do List that I still haven’t gotten through from Monday. I’m running from all the responsibilities and future things I don’t know if I can handle. I’m trying not to run while amoritizing the remainder of my mortgage while simultaneously figuring out our emergency equity thanks to rising home values.   Still, worry thoughts creep in. I shoo these thoughts away with my hand while flying down hill again. My dog is so lucky. He thinks of none of this. He just breathes the cool air and keeps running.

A weird thing happens next. As I literally swat away my pesky thoughts, a small missile hits me in the forehead. At least that’s what it feels like. It’s a bug; who knows what kind? Clearly an armor-shelled kind like a beetle or something. I silently thank God for not allowing him to fly into my open mouth. That would’ve scarred me for life.

Still stepping out. Next stop. A teenage girl is melded into her boyfriend against a car under the street light in an intimate embrace. Oh yeah. I remember. I was young once. Slow down sweetheart I think.   It only gets harder from here. Then harder still. Enjoy. Don’t rush. You’ll be grown sooner than you think.

Soon, I’m by the house that always dries their clothes at night. My goodness! They use the best dryer sheets! It pours out of their dryer vent and perfumes at least three yards. It smells so clean and pure. At this moment I’m listening to U2’s “Lady With The Spinning Head” at top volume, an absolute running favorite of mine. I smell this and close my eyes and suddenly I’m six years old again. I’m running through sheets in a clothes line in a little dress with my wavy hair blowing and shoeless feet. I’m not really here I imagine. We are all just whispers in someone else’s dream. I’m breathing better. I feel the rope of anxiety releasing a bit from my neck.   It’s all going to be okay I think. At least I hope it will be.

It’s totally dark now. I always run at night since my first free moment from responsibility rarely falls before sunset. Anyway, I hit a dark patch for a while, and then I find myself under a tree arched over the sidewalk. A man with a jet black dog has suddenly appeared. I yank out my earphones as I realize he’s been talking to me for a while. I catch the end of his sentence: “We’ve been waiting for a while for you.”

I’m not alarmed. It’s not the way it sounds, but I had to quickly transition from the music-lined utopia in my head to absorb and comprehend what he meant.   Then I got it. His dog was as excited to meet my dog and I, as much as my dog was jazzed about meeting the two of them.

Anytime I come to a complete HALT after running hard, I sort of feel like my heart might explode, but mostly I was trying to just be cool as I didn’t want this neighbor I’ve not met yet to have to call 911 and deal with two rambunctious dogs.

We chat and laugh a bit over the crazy antics of excited dogs. Now I’m glad it’s nearly pitch dark. Like I said earlier, spare tire issues are seriously annoying me here! I need to get home to make the round-the-block bathroom trip again.

Home again and quick pit stop then it’s out the door to make another neighborhood orbit. It’s easier this time. Every house left behind is another step towards victory, another step in the right direction. I’m about to complete my second lap. I’m looking down focused on breathing mesmerized by my tall shadows under the streetlights. I’m skinnier when I’m fifteen feet tall. I like it like this and…..

     JESUS! I look up. Just standing there is a skeleton in a hoodie with a scythe in his hand. Seriously, I said JESUS when I saw this because that is the quickest best prayer you can ever pray when you have your wits scared out of you.

It was only a few feet from the sidewalk.   Out of the corner of one eye, I saw a glimpse of something as I was chasing after my own shadow. So I looked up. As I approached the darkened house with porch lights turned off, the dark shadowy figure seemed to come out of nowhere. Don’t panic! It’s just a skelly with a scythe–but it’s not real! The not real part took a nanosecond or two to click in. It was just a life-size Halloween decoration a few feet away from their front porch..a few days early.

See, Liz? I told you it was a good idea that you learn to run faster. Besides it was just a decoration. I did a double take. It hadn’t moved…. yet. But we live in a weird world these days. I double checked with my dog. He wasn’t alarmed. He was still pacing himself one dog’s length ahead of me, so it must be okay.

Life and death. Love and loss. Alone, yet not.  Cool breeze mixed with hot sweat.   Fear and hope and faith. Reality and dreamland.  Our only true constant we navigate by is change. Time passed and time still to go.   Miles still to run and words still to write, I press on. Ever onward.

 

 

 

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Eggy Peggy and the Japan Man

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PHOTO CREDIT:  PINTEREST SITE

 

It happened at IHOP the other day. I hadn’t had my morning cup of coffee yet. And I needed one. Like ALWAYS, I had a zillion things on my mind I was hoping to accomplish, knowing about 92% of them would actually be completed around the twelfth of never.

So I’m sitting there with my clever, sweet 8 year old son and our neighbor’s daughter, a smart, loveable 9 year old girl. They’ve been bus buddies for four years.

However, this Monday, we decided to change it up, trick the bus driver, play hooky from our stop and just have some pancakes. Or chicken and waffles, if you want to be precise. OK, that’s what she ordered. My son ordered the super-soaked chocolate chip pancake slathered in HFCS-laden pancake syrup, complete with a big whip cream smiley face and red-dyed maraschino cherry nose.

I was half listening to their simultaneous conversations happening, as I was mentally strategizing how I was going to get thru another impossible day.

It’s not that life is actually impossible. It just seems like it is. Our endless tasks, jobs, home and family responsibilities, volunteer commitments, bills, appointments, projects, and people to communicate with via email, texts, Facebook, Skype, blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, and heck, even telepathically if you’re as busy as I am tend to make our brain tired. To the point, it’s sometimes hard to actually concentrate on what our children are saying.

Suddenly, I miraculously decided to turn down the volume on my own mental noise. I decided to PAY ATTENTION to what these two precious children, who are strangely almost preteens, were saying. It seems like they were waddling around in diapers only a few weeks ago, yet here they were– lips moving, full of words, thoughts, ideas, and chock full of randomness!

Both were talking at the same time. My son was saying something about Macon Bacon and Eggy Peggy. They were characters on a paper search-and-find placemat. Our friend-like-a-daughter was saying how when she grows up, she wants to marry a Japan man, have two kids, and 3 cats. She was going to name them Messiah, Shiloh, and Little Tokyo.  

Both children continued to talk at the same time about these most random thoughts that had instantaneously occurred to them. Neither topic was related to the other. Neither seemed to care that I had but one set of ears, exactly one to hear half of what each mouth was saying, until the waitress came, asked us what we wanted, and harshed that mellow!

I had no clue what I wanted to eat. I was simultaneously visualizing a grown woman in Japan with two kids and three cats in the yard while my son was running around saying “Where is Eggy Peggy?!?!”

“He’s with the Japan Man!”

“Huh?” said the waitress. Oh. My overloaded brain.

“One coffee straight up please!”

And then it hit me. THIS IS WHAT CHILDHOOD IS ALL ABOUT!

Finding Eggy Peggy and Macon Bacon and living in the now. Dreaming of a perfect future; nothing wrong with dreaming that a Japanese husband just may be the ideal guy, as long as he likes felines. Randomness as opposed to every second of our day micromanaged to obey multiple agendas simultaneously.

I don’t think either one was all stressed out about how they were going to get through the day. I know neither one cared how much the food cost as a ratio in proportion to GDP of the family’s earned income like we adults stress over. They were unaware if bills were caught up at home, and I seriously doubt they were thinking about what will they be when they grow up.  

Suddenly, I found myself just wanting to inhale this exuberance of youth. The infinite time that still seemed to lay before them. The lack of hard core responsibilities and tough decisions.

Right now, deciding what to order was all that mattered. I got out my phone. We watched YouTube videos of Okinawa.   For a quick three minutes, I was somewhere else if only in my mind:

I’m running down the white sands of an Okinawa beach beside a translucent blue ocean. Three adorable exotic cats are running beside me.   I’m in hot pursuit of Eggy Peggy and the Japan Man. And they are running–fast!  As fast as they can, chasing two shadows in the wind–shadows of two precious children, growing up faster than all the ones that preceded them as small voices trail behind them, “Run, run, fast as you can. You’ll never catch us!”

Laughing at me and my tired spectacled eyes, and so many true stories under my belt, sadly, I know they are right.

Living in Today

Living in Today      I have a daughter who lives on the other side of the world right now.  It’s weird, because wherever she is, she is nineteen hours ahead of me thanks to daylight savings time and 8000 miles of ocean and continents.   Whenever we talk, she is always living in tomorrow, but I am still stuck right here: IN TODAY.   When we Skype, I usually start with, “So tell me, what can you tell me about MY tomorrow that I don’t know will happen yet?”

      I find it interesting that my Monday is always her Tuesday and so on.  So in an attempt to avoid Murphy’s law and various other pitfalls, I jokingly request she give me tomorrow’s headlines for my life as soon as she knows them.

Okay, not really, but it almost seems plausible.

          I find myself having this same beef with God lately.  Could you please let me know what’s coming down the pike tomorrow?

     You see it’s been a challenging year here.  Life situations  (aka “crisis events”) have been too many and too close together.

It’s too much!  I’d say while shaking my fists, as if God had suddenly decided that Job needed a twin sister!  I can’t bear another bit.  Silence.  Other than the sometimes discouraging and fear-inciting voices inside my head .

How many times have I looked at today’s headlines or story line in my life, and then logically predetermined tomorrow’s outcome?

Then like Ty Pennington giving some lucky family a spanking brand new home on Extreme Home Makeover, God who is merciful gave me a Big Reveal moment inside the quirky head that is home to what can only be described as Liz Logic.

Yes, the same brain that is home base to creative pursuits such as writing and photography and imagination of every dimension is also the executive studio of worry, FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real as Joyce Meyer adequately acronymed it!) and as a triple treat: anxiety.

It’s indeed hard to live fully present, in the present.  I haven’t perfected it.  But I have started attempting it more.  It’s a process of mindful letting goPrayer helps.  As does focusing on the positive moments of the day and small victories achieved.

Also essential?  A network of like-minded friends.  Negativity breeds in times of uncertainty.  So does positivity.  Pick one.

But the most important thing is living for today is simply LIVE TODAYNot tomorrow, today.   The bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow because apparently we were designed to have only enough mental storage capacity for worries for ONE DAY ONLY.   That is all the room for worry the human brain can comfortably hold.   We are told God’s grace is always sufficient for the day.  He even knows the number of exact number of hairs on our head (which for some unfortunate souls have diminished to the “less than 100” range as evidenced by comb-over fashion futility).  Yes, God dresses the lilies of the fields finer than kings and cares for the sparrow, how much more does he care about me?

If God’s promises are true for eternity, they are certainly true for today.  But it takes FAITH, an earnest attempt at, not just reading or memorizes promises, but believing them to be true.

Having a crystal ball or magic time machine that could tell me what tomorrow will bring wouldn’t ultimately fix the circumstances that will invariably arise.  But having faith in the God who holds tomorrow will at least help us get through.

SOME PERSPECTIVE ABOUT LIVING FOR TODAY:

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.  Khalil Gibran

When Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow meet, only Today gets to shake hands twice. That makes Today twice as important as the other two. But it also means that Today must be careful, because who knows whether Yesterday or Tomorrow washed their hands after going to the bathroom.”    Jarod Kintz

Unrepentant Si-coanalysis of a Crapitalist Clan

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It seems like there’s a big quack these days about a certain dynasty and a scandal over some words spoken.  According to news reports, nearly everyone has gotten quite a few feathers ruffled over some words that were said.

  • Something about being gay.
  • Or kneeling to pray.
  • Or not willing to pay.
  • Or the freedom to say.
  • It looks like you can’t stay.

Something similar to all that.

Well hrmph!!!  I don’t even know how to express my opinion any more on things.  Because low and behold, what if I offend someone?  Uh oh!  Then they may not like me anymore.  And then I’ll have what my best friend refers to as a “nervy-b”, you know a big old NBD.  And just like if you give a mouse a cookie, then if you have a nervy-b over something your ears may be allergic to, well then you’re probably going to need a pill for that!

See the thing is this.  I don’t care if you’re gay.  I still love you.  I’m Christian.  And I like to pray.  Even if you don’t, if you’re relatively nice and can slightly stifle any arrogant opinions, we’ll probably get along just fine!  And no matter where we stand on things politically, philosophically, spiritually, or even mentally, I think we all could stand to lighten up.    Did you know you can lose 5 pounds in water retention simply by refusing to be offended?  OK, I kind of just made up that statistic, but hey, it sounds good.

See here’s the thing about that certain duck-yodeling, jam-making, Tupperware-sipping, before-meal-praying, Father Time/ZZ Top imitating, beard-wearing clan of men:  Like you and me, they have a right to say whatever they say.  Double true,  because they’re on a “reality” show – a show that’s always loosely based on reality – which in real life is a place where people actually say what they feel like saying, regardless of potential collateral damage to other people’s feelings!

Kinda like your family!  Kinda like mine!

The bottom line is you can be gay and choose not to be offended.  You can also pray and choose not to be offended by anyone else who has something to say.   But if you have a lick of  common sense anywhere, what should at least offend your senses, is their extreme overkill of CRAPITALISM!

I’m sorry but I do not need to see Duck Dynasty pajamas, lunchboxes, cereal boxes, sleeping bags, fortune cookies, posters, hunting gear, calendars, wisdom books, t-shirts, chia pets, camoflauge matching bra and pantie sets, fake beards, deer salt licks, cans of seasoning, coordinating duck-camo paint colors for my entire home, school supplies, recipe books, hoodies, musical instruments, mag rags, and even duck tape plastered to every end cap and register row of every aisle of every store in America.  I’m sorry, and maybe I’m the only one in all of America, but I find this particular dynasty at least fifty shades of MORE annoying than the Biebster, One Direction, or the infamous twerk girl!

     You see I am learning to respond to a different call.  My commander isn’t impressed with all this mess quite frankly.   Don’t worry, loveable Uncle Si, Phil, Willie and the gang are going to be just fine!  They already had a booming business before they got their reality TV show, and their exclusive merchandising rights to everything ever invented since the beginning of time insures that they can afford to have an even better barber (should they ever need a shave) then 2008 Presidential hopeful John Edwards ever could have hoped to have had access to.

And before you call me a hypocrite because I actually believe in the free market, freedom of speech, and freedom to choose who you feel called to be, know that I also freely choose not to have this particular long-bearded portraiture tattooed on my flannel PJs obliterating whatever bit of feminine mystique I might possess.  It’s just not me.

It’s Christmas.  And my prayer is that long after the 75% off sale of DD merchandise everywhere fades into oblivion, and 2014 unfolds with an as-yet to be revealed ULTRA MEGA SUPER DUPER STAR, that you and I can learn to live more simply by having less:

Less irrelevant media.  Less crap.  Er, excuse me–merchandise.   Definitely, less sensitivity.

It really is true.  Less is more.   Thus sayeth Liz, your every-present activist advocating common sense, decency, and a bit of laughter to lighten your load in life!

Merry Christmas!  Quack quack!       

 

I Went to Wal-Mart and Got Depressed

Twilight MomI went to Wal-Mart today to get a memory card and came back with a mild case of depression.

I know why.

I parked all the way out on the last row in the gardening section.  I like stopping there first and make my way to the store because it’s easier to park on the side than in the middle.   Plus seeing all the plants and beautiful flowers helps me prepare for what I invariably see.

The faces of Wal-Mart.  Don’t laugh.  Yes, there are websites about this phenomenon. 

Still, I got depressed.

First, I profusely thank a beautiful woman from India who greets my arrival in gardening:  “Welcome to Wal-Mart!”  Her beauty is eclipsed only by a serene sense of joy.  I make a mental note to smile more peacefully and perhaps consider a gold stud in my nose someday.

Next I walk by pharmacy.  A Caucasian 25ish looking man is studying anti-diarhea medicines intently.  Bummer!  Oops, not my business.  Moving on.

A fortyish mom strolls by.  Her cart has about seven boxes of Tampax and one box of Great Value Fruit Spins Cereal.  She probably has a lot of daughters I think.  I wonder if her husband is attentive or tuned out to PMS drama.  Perhaps she doesn’t have a husband or seven daughters, and she’s about to make a hefty donation to a local shelter.  It doesn’t matter because I’ll never know!

I walk parallel to the cash registers as I make my way over to the grocery section.  That’s when I see a man in his early thirties with oxygen tubes running from his backpack to both nostrils conducting his banking business from a chair.  I utter a small prayer for him.  Lord, just heal him.  Amen. 

Next I see what looks like six similar sixty-something sisters walking towards me.  They are laughing joyously and have very large gaudy flower printed shirts on that resemble one another.  I am not one to judge or be bothered by people of copious size.  I just find it interesting that all are snowman-shaped in terms of physique and have shirts on that look as if they are in a 1970s time warp.  No judgment here, just observation. 

I make my way back towards electronics where I only need to get one thing:  A memory card for my camera.  I’m proud of myself; I didn’t grab a cart on the way in, so I’m super focused this time with no extra unplanned purchases!

I walk past the Crafts and Fake Flowers department.  I see a lady yelling profusely at her baby.  “I said STOP THAT!”   The baby begins to cry.  Do I intervene or walk on by?   I am running late.  I am a coward.   I justify or else lie to myself by thinking other people’s lives are not my business.

Two aisles over, I see a moderately large African-American woman scoot past me in a hurry.  I only see her from the back.  The reason she stands out the most is because she has a huge red silk Superman Cape on, complete with a Superman S in the middle of a yellow diamond on her back.  I assume she has clothes on underneath, but I’m not sure.  I hope she is off to save the distressed baby in the Fake Flowers department.  To each her own I think.  I am just about in electronics. 

A tall thin Arabic young man is politely helping another customer with a question.  I patiently wait.  A few minutes pass; he finishes answering the customer’s question and quickly took steps to evade me. Believe me I understand, if they help every person that ask them a question, they probably won’t have time to clean their area, stock it, ring people up etc.  I blurt out anyway.  “HEY!  I need your help!  Can you please come with me and unlock the doo-hickey that keeps the memory cards on it?”  (For security purposes—otherwise every picture-clicking thief would just lift these tiny little storage units.)

He walks over with me.  “Oh, you can just pull it off the rack.”  And with kind smugness, he shows me how you can just slide an item off of a straight pole.  Apparently, they are no longer locked up on the pole, they are encased in plastic vaults on the pole that you can just take  to the register where they will promptly wave a magic shoplifter tool over it and extract it for you.

I thank him for his kindness and apologize for my stupidity.  “No problem,” he says gleefully.

I realize it’s been less than five minutes and all of a sudden I am feeling stressed but can’t pinpoint exactly why.

I go to the register and a woman in a sari and hijab rings up my memory card.   Almost done!  I feel myself getting happier inside.  Oh no. Five swipes and my credit card doesn’t go through.  I swear I have money I want to say.  After all, I’m the only person in all of Wal-Mart getting stalled out over one item on their charge.  “It’s okay” she says, “let me try.”  She slides it on the register’s card reader.  It works!  Vindication!

I decide as long as I’m here and mildly hungry, I may as well get a quick smoothie and small fry at the McDonald’s at the opposite end of gardening.  I pass the nail salon where five Asian women are furiously filing, filling, and painting several sets of fingernails.  That’s when I almost gasp when I get to McDonald’s.

There at one of the tables is a man and a woman together, both in wheelchairs, drinking out of a large Styrofoam cup and eating some fries.  Both look like they are in their fifties.  Both clearly have had a stroke as I watch their hands shuffle and try to cope with the items in their bag.  The man looks really tired and weathered.  He has a gray beard that rests on the middle of his stomach which rests on his lap.   I internally say a simple tiny prayer, just “God bless them.  Help them if they need it.”   I smile at him.  He doesn’t smile back. 

I grab my small order and berate myself for buying fast food yet again when I don’t really even like it that much, but was in a hurry and I still haven’t been to the store yet.  Rather than forage for food in my barren pantry, I took the easy route again.

I walk the length of a football field all the way back to gardening.  I finally arrive at my car.  I see old cars with missing hub caps and several with all the windows rolled down.  It’s hot outside; their A/C’s probably don’t work.  I see an employee try to corral about fifty wayward carts with a single strap all by himself. 

I start my car and am just incredibly happy I’m leaving.  See I love diversity and diverse people.  I really do.  But for some reason at Wal-Mart, I get sad.  I see people who just look like they have challenging lives.  I see lots of people younger than me in scooters.  I see weathered faces.   I see people that look worn out before their time, older than their true years.  And then I remember; I am a face at Wal-Mart.  Who knows the sympathy I may garner unaware?

Maybe it’s not Wal-Mart or the people that shop and work there at all.  Maybe it’s just the vastness and quantities of items contrasted against such a sea of humanity.  It just doesn’t go together…all the cultures, and shapes, and colors, and personalities and varying degrees of health, all swirled around with blenders and towels and diapers and DVDS and fake flowers and groceries towering under a fluorescent sky and vinyl earth.    

Something just feels all wrong I think.  These people should be out shopping in open air markets, or walking their dogs, or cuddling their babies, or eating an apple/cranberry/spinach salad, or receiving medical treatment, or taking a long walk on the beach, or reading a book for five minutes without once looking at their phone.  Then again, who do I think I am?  Who am I to judge?

I get my memory card.  But more so, I get in the car with a load of memories.  Ah, the more to write about, the more to write about. 

DISCLAIMER:   I have NEVER or WOULD NEVER take pics of anyone at Wal-Mart no matter how tempted unless I had permission.  I just did a Google image search and since these pics are always taken unaware, I chose one that is not distasteful, embarrassing, or over the top.  I picked this one because it shows how we are all a montage of personalities; we all want to put our mark on the world in our own way!  Besides, who doesn’t internally smile when Rob Pattinson looks at you with those mysterious Edward Cullen eyes?  Even if it’s off the back of another mom!