I’d like to apologize for not putting up a new post last week. I wasn’t feeling well. I spent all of my writing time sleeping. I tried to write while I was sleeping, but my fingers wouldn’t perform the typing motion and I kept falling out of the chair.

The Run Around

I want to be healthy. I have a secret fantasy of running a marathon or being a triathelete. In my dreams, sweat drenched, I cross the finish line to be greeted by a crowd of cheering spectators. Sadly, I’m bad at running. I know what you’re thinking, how could anyone be bad at running? I recently learned that my running style is rather comical. I won’t describe it. If you ever meet my husband, he’ll be glad to act it out for you. After running for about twenty minutes, I have a headache and feel dizzy. Apparently, this also isn’t good.

Still, I know people who run and they always sound so impressive when they say, “I just went running.” or “After my run, I’ll….” Those people seem lean and athletic. They seem like healthy go getters. They seem like people who can endure to the end and get the job done. I want to be like them.

Recently, I’ve decided to start running again. I’ve modified my style to be more normal. My goal is to do it at least three times a week. The problem is that I don’t usually have time to run until about eight in evening. I would never consider running at night alone. So, I’ve come up with a plan. I run around my apartment. I don’t run around my apartment building. I run from room to room in our two bedroom apartment. I set a timer. Right now, I ‘m only running for fifteen minutes. I run from room to room. When I get bored with the running, I do a little dance. Then I run some more. It’s working out well. I keep my heart rate up. My stepson even went for a fifteen minute apartment run the other day. I could be starting a trend.

I’m worried about the carpet. By the time we move out, it might be worn down to stubble. There might be a trail the marks the path I run. It hasn’t happened yet. When it starts to wear down, I’ll move my running outside. For now the apartment run makes me happy. Happiness and health are two of the most important things.

Standing In Line

Standing in line
Standing in line
Someone’s ahead of me every time
Someone’s ahead and someone’s behind
Every time I’m standing in line
This poem was running through my head today while I waited at The Department of Motor Vehicles. When I was eight, I memorized this poem from my third grade reader. I liked the sound of it. I enjoyed reciting it over and over in my head. Sometimes I recited it to my friends, my parents, or my sister. It really meant something to me.
In third grade I didn’t really understand the truth of the poem. It is true though. Someone is indeed ahead and someone is definitely behind when there is a line. The most significant line I had ever stood in at eight years old was the lunch line at school. I went to a small school, so it wasn’t a long line. The cafeteria food was terrible, so I was in no hurry to get to the head of the line.
Today, I wasn’t really standing in a line. I was sitting in a hard plastic chair clutching a small white piece of paper with D403 written on it in bold black ink. Like the other people waiting, my eyes were trained on the lit up board over the door that displayed the number of the next person to be helped.
I was overjoyed when my number came up on the board and was called over the speaker system. “D403 please go to stall number 8,” the disembodied voice said. I leapt from my chair and went to stall number 8. Now that I have a good grasp of the despair of standing in line, I can truly understand the joy of getting out of line. In third grade, I definitely didn’t understand that.

The Price of Gas

I like reading gas prices out loud. This may seem unusual to you, but it’s one of my hobbies. I like to read the prices out loud and comment on how they compare to the average price. I like to point out the difference in prices from block to block. I like to talk about today’s prices compared to yesterday’s and last week’s. I know which sections of town have the highest prices and which have the lowest.

While I say I’m interested in gas prices, my husband says I’m obsessed. He came to this conclusion after he saw me become breathless when we passed a station with unusually cheap gas. I wasn’t actually breathless, I was choking on my own saliva. That choking wasn’t caused by gas prices but by a swallowing mishap. He doesn’t want to believe that. That’s his choice.

If my interest in gas prices is an obsession, it isn’t my fault. You see, I come from a gas-priced-obsessed family. My mother will drive for miles to save a few pennies on gas. The gas she used to get to that cheap gas station doesn’t matter. My parents can have a lively debate on where to get the cheapest gas. No matter how much you paid for gas, we’ve bought it cheaper someplace else.

When I see a person filling up at a station with prices two, three or sometimes even ten cents more expensive than the station up the road, I feel pity for them. I feel pity for anyone who pays more than they have to for gas.

So when I cut in front of you to turn abruptly into a gas station, don’t be angry. Follow me. Top off your already nearly full tank. Squeeze every drop that you can into it and smile, knowing you just bought the cheapest gas in town.

Help Wanted

It’s hard for me to resist a help wanted sign. I have this constant need to ask for job applications. I’m not looking for a new job. I’ve been at the same job for almost three years now. That’s a long time for me. I’m always looking for something better. I’m always reaching, hoping, wondering what I could become.

Yesterday, I drove by a local real estate school and found myself thinking that maybe I should get into real estate. I think things like that quite a lot. I ride in a taxi and consider becoming a taxi driver. I buy a new pair of shoes and consider becoming a shoe salesperson. I eat a salad and imagine life as a farmer.

I would not excel at any of these jobs. I’m horrible at sales mainly because I don’t like spending money and can’t understand why anyone else would. When I worked in retail at a Levi’s store, I often found myself directing customers to the Levi’s outlet store in the next town over. In my opinion, forty dollars is just too much to spend on a pair of jeans. I would be a terrible taxi driver because I don’t like to drive. I especially don’t like to drive other people around. The responsibility makes me nervous and so would the small talk and possibility of being robbed. Farming isn’t for me either because I can’t keep a plant alive to save my life.

When I was in college, I used to ask people whether they liked their jobs. Most people lied and told me that they did. When I asked why they liked them, people frequently told me it was because they get to talk to different kinds of people. That’s a good thing, if you like to talk to people. Most of the time, I don’t.

What job is right for me? I don’t know. I’m still looking for the ideal job. Unfortunately, that might not exist. I’ll keep on looking until I’m sure it doesn’t.