Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Making Time for Yourself

This entry is less of a helpful tool, and more of a personal rant… fair warning. But, there still will be t-shirts. However, they won’t exist. Honestly, I don’t even know why you are reading this. There must be something better you could be doing.

Just so you know, I get up thirty minutes early every morning to go to the park with my dog. There is a reason I have chosen a dog for this activity. Even though I have to remind her not to roll in poo on the ground, she is quiet. Her idea of a conversation is a pat on the head and maybe a good rub behind the ear. People on the other hand, are more demanding.

For example, one Sunday morning on our way to the park, I suddenly realized was MOTHER’S DAY. Walking along a sidewalk on Mother’s Day probably doesn’t seem like such a terrible idea, much in the same way that a few slow moving undead flesh eaters would seem like a serious threat on the first day of zombie apocalypse. However, all the mothers being taken out to breakfast before church were in such a good mood that they seemed compelled to accost me with cheerfulness on their way to being tucked into minivans. I find it extremely unfair to have to deal with cheerful people before I have had coffee. Also, watching these giddy women in dresses and flowers headed to breakfast then church made me feel slightly sad for them. I began to wonder if I could hire a sniper to kill me if I ever walk into a Denny’s on a Sunday morning wearing a corsage. How would you even find a good sniper? Angie’s List? Now I am worried about how the sniper interview would go. Would he bring a resume? What if all his references are dead? What if they aren't?

Of course, Mother’s Day is a once a year event. There are daily obstacles to my being able to make it though the first part of the morning without having to be nice to people. Don’t get me wrong. I am nice to people. I am nice to people all day. I simply prefer not to start too early.

My primary obstacle is a next-door neighbor who gets up very early. She is also quite old. These two aspects blend perfectly into at least five minutes of the day sucked right out of my system. Instead of being on my way to the park, I find that the, “Hi, how are you” which I intended to be the entirety of the conversation will instantly slide into a discussion of how I think the Cowboys are doing this year, and where I think the people who mow her lawn should place the bags of yard trimmings. Neither of these topics are anywhere near my area of expertise. Another concern is that she talks extremely slow. I am not sure if this is because people slow down as they get older, or if everyone else speeds up. When I am finally free to continue to the park, I am now worried that one day I will be living alone and moving in slow motion, perplexed by bags of lawn trimmings. Not a good start for the day.

Another obstacle is my companions in the park itself. Most of these people have the same goal as I do and present no problem. ‘Headphones Bald Man’ is content to continue his walk with a simple nod. ‘Friendly Cyclist’ is fine with a smile and a ‘hi’ as his bike whizzes past. ‘Guy with Hat Walking Dogs through Field’ waves from a distance. The only one who presents a problem is ‘Strange Hippie Chick.’ The problem with this person is that she is not content with simply walking, running, or cycling through the park. In my mind, if you are not a teenager smoking pot, these are the only acceptable park behaviors. She stretches, does yoga moves, and at one point I actually caught her doing jumping jacks. I find it very disturbing. The last time I encountered ‘Strange Hippie Chick,’ she was picking up a couple of Dasani bottles from curb of the parking lot. While I appreciate her efforts to keep the park clean of debris, I did not expect her to look right at me and declare with a menacing tone, “People are pigs.”

I am not sure what to do with that information. Plus, she has gotten off lightly as far as trash pickup is concerned. I have picked up pizza boxes there once. One morning, I even picked up some beer cans. Although I looked like I had just finished off several huge cans of Milwaukee’s Best in the space of time it took me to walk to the trash can, I never thought twice about it. Why does she get to be agitated over a couple of water bottles? Maybe she was mad that the park no option for recycling. Maybe she was upset because Dasani is a Coca-Cola product. Hippies are hard to figure out.

So, if you see people in the morning, please do not bother them by wearing flowers to breakfast, doing jumping jacks, or asking them what to do with bags of leaves and grass clippings. On the other hand, if you are up early and want to be left alone, please try wearing one of the following t-shirts.

Appreciation for those who respect your space

An admonition for those who refuse to leave you alone until you have had coffee

For people who can't take a hint

This one hasn’t been field tested yet, but I think it is a great idea.
No one wants to stop and chat when they are afraid they might have a bee in their hair.


  1. This is a masterpiece! Right from the opening paragraph I was captivated and enthralled. I don't mean to be too insulting but in a better world I could have written something almost as good as this. It sounds that much like me. And closing with t-shirt ideas? Priceless! Loved it!

  2. John Brown jbrown3079 on twitterJuly 13, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Not everyone can fit snipers and recycling in the same story.

    Seriously, your writing is gifted and funny.

    Thanks for the story.

  3. OMG...I soooo need these t-shirts!! Can I wear them all at once? Sometimes the situation calls for that.

  4. Yes! You can wear the nicer ones on the outside, then drill down as the situation calls for it.

  5. I need every single one of those freaking shirts!

  6. If I had one of these I probably wouldn't have to threaten to stab people nearly as much. But then I also wouldn't get the personal satisfaction provided by making people feel horribly uncomfortable. So maybe you should just make one with a death threat built right in, and it'll be the best of both worlds.

  7. T-shirt No. 3 for me. Seven of for every day of the week. ;-)

  8. I too find cheerful and friendly people annoying, especially in the morning. I have also found that walking my dog apparently is regarded as an invite to conversation, even from people I don't know. Apart from this making me late for work (which I hate), it's exhausting trying to be nice and polite and pretend to take an interest in the other person's dog. If I had been interested in their dog, I would have gotten that one I instead of my own..