For the longest time I have labored under the belief that all I needed to reach my full potential was peace and quiet. I begged for peace and quiet. I extolled the virtues and possibilities of being left alone in my peace and quiet.
Now that it has finally arrived, me, myself and I are ready to strangle each other.
Perhaps that's because we're watching too many cop shows while folding the laundry.
It has been a surprise to come face to face with myself at last only to find that I don't know me as well as I thought I did.
Truly, instead of getting down to my life's ambitions, I just started to expose my shortcomings in timely fashion, pulling at all the loose threads with obsessive attention. I even minutely criticized my reflection.
I needed a purpose. Yes, yes, I have my writing and volunteering and all that, but - in addition - should I consider becoming a private detective who specializes in pet disappearances? Sell homemade pastries in the local library cafe? Start a 80's rock cover band and hold concerts in my carport on Friday nights?
Instead I rediscovered shopping.
For years I assumed that I didn’t like to shop, that I loathed it in fact. Now I realize I just hated shopping with children. Shopping for clothes has become utterly enticing now that there are no little people running down strangers with carts, begging for donuts where donuts aren’t sold, opening dressing room doors when I’m less than half naked, and playing hide-and-seek with sticky fingers in clothes racks.
At this point, it’s difficult to tell how far this shopping thing might go as a kind of therapy until I find myself again, but for now I feel a strange compulsion to supplement my wardrobe with articles that make me feel like a rock star or at least have “rock” in the brand name.
I bought my first pair of skinny jeans – the kind that feel like they’re relocating my kneecaps, suffocating my thighs, and are just one step away from those deconstructed things. And I spent more than 50 bucks on a pair of high-heeled sneakers. Yes, high-heeled sneakers. (I’m still looking for neon leg warmers and a hot pink leotard to go with them.)
My new wardrobe has me seriously thinking about that rock band. We’ll name ourselves the Radical Thirty-Something Rebels; I’ll dye my hair blonde and invest in a pleather dress.
I would ask my friends to play in my band, but they’re far too sensible. Moms, too, they don’t seem to be applying black eyeliner, squeezing into skinny jeans and layering funky jewelry merely to drop the kids off at school.
But until I can become a celebrated writer or pet detective, it's all I’ve got.