originally posted by: bally001
I wouldn't have really worried about the footnote.
Oh heavens I feel silly now! (You are correct, both in your analysis of the narrative, and in your above-quoted assesment.)
Perfectionism: it's a blessing and a curse but frankly seems to be a bit more of the latter. At it's basis is ineluctable insecurity, right? I think
it's conducive to all sorts of unnecessary tension and conflict, like when that guy parked his Tesla car nex---
I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a moment.
You see, while the wife packed our supplies into a totesack*, the daughter and I got in the muggy car and turned the air conditioning on "full blast".
The wife momentarily joined us, loading the totesack into the trunk before climbing into the front seat.
She failed to fasten the totesack. Consequently, it was thrown on the first hard turn out of the parking lot. There were several clanging thuds as our
stainless steel water bottles flew around in the trunk.
"Oopsieeee," squeaked the wife. I sighed.
Luckily, we didn't have to listen to our water bottles tumble around in the trunk for long. Taking directions from the voice on the wife's phone, it
was hardly ten minutes until we arrived at Bishop's Landing, which was on the California side of the lake, hardly off the beaten path from the lodge.
We practically could have walked.
The car was only off for a second before the dense heat returned, sparking a brushfire in my thoughts as I realized the sun could kill me. 'As long as
I can take even a single sip of water,' I mentally reaffirmed, 'I'll be fine'. It doused the nascent panic.
The wife and I got out of the car while the daughter boxed up crayons that were going soft in the back seat. I opened the trunk and began gathering
the scattered water bottles and sunscreen and puzzlebooks and pencils, repacking the totesack.
A shiny new Tesla with tinted windows pulled into the lot and parked on the dented side of our tintless-windowed Hyundai. A couple exited the
interloping vehicle: the man had a recent jarhead haircut, stern countenance, and puffed-up carriage; in counterpoint, the woman possessed a wholesome
beauty with a friendly, inviting aura…not to mention being very
The pregnant woman stood massaging her big round belly, pausing once to shift her swollen breasts, while she waited for the man to unload the car. The
wife stepped tentatively toward the pregnant woman.
"Must be trying to relax before the baby comes…how much longer?"
Her words were received with eye contact and a glowing smile. "About three weeks."
The wife further closed the distance between them. The pregnant woman showed no signs of suspicion or alarm! I've never understood how sometimes
strangers can meet and seem like best friends
so quickly. The air smelled of blacktop and parking lot tar baking under the sun.
"OOOOOOHHHH! Exciting! Is it a boy or girl?"
I finished loading the totesack and was ready to go. I went over to where the wife stood, thinking if she saw me holding the totesack, she would take
a hint that we were ready. She didn't; she glanced at me and returned her attention to the pregnant stranger.
"Hon, let's g---" I started.
The wife stuck her just-a-sec
finger in the air. "Just a sec," she said.
Anger with words behind it rose in my chest, but I clenched my jaw. 'Let this one go,' I thought. 'Think about something else.' I looked around for an
alternative thing for my thoughts to corrode. My eyes fell to the totesack dangling from my hand. 'Those money-grubbing earth-first parasites must've
made a zillion dollars off these goddamn things. I wish I'd thought of it first.'
Meanwhile, the pregnant woman continued, "We don't know…we didn't want to know. But other women tell me my bump is hanging low, so we're thinking
it's a boy." The man swelled noticeably with pride.
"I wouldn't be so sure," the wife said, pausing to glance toward the daughter, "Back when we were expecting our little one, we wanted it to be a
surprise, too. Same story." The man deflated as the wife spoke. His face sharpened into a scowl. He snorted ever slightly. The wife, unaware of his
body language, continued, "We were sure we'd have a boy. Oh and we wanted
a little boy sooooo
bad. Just goes to show you really
"Stop bothering this woman," I interrupted. The mood - as it so often does when I enter a conversation - blanched instantly. But I kept talking:
"Remember when you were pregnant? You hated
all the unwanted attention you got." It was true, but nonetheless I immediately sensed it was the
wrong thing to say**.
The pregnant woman's smile disappeared and her eyebrows rose to a point in an expression of slight bewilderment, "No, no, it's alright, I---"
The man slung a rugged-looking backpack over his shoulder, slammed his trunk shut and sidled up to the pregnant woman. He and I exchanged glances***.
"Let's go babe," he said.
The pregnant woman composed herself, smiling one last time before waddling away. "Nice to chat…take care..."
"You too and good luck with your delivery…" The couple who arrived in the Tesla started walking across the parking lot toward the beach. The wife's
smile faded and she said, "I'm not feeling all that well again. I'm taking the car back to the lodge. I'm sure you both can walk back, right?"
I think she was really mad at me.
*A reuseable cloth totesack widely available for purchase at major grocers, often featuring screen-printed virtue-signaling buzzwords, such as
**I later surmised that the comment almost certainly seemed paternalistic to the wife; furthermore, the pregnant woman probably thought I was
insinuating her friendliness was phony.
***The contents of this communication, in the mysterious language of the eyes: "Were it not for the tenuous bonds of the social contract, the combat
which would otherwise now ensue would conclude only when one of us lay dead."
edit on 11/5/2019 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason