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I am not the world’s biggest fan of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. I appreciate it but I am also not gaga over it. Except for today. It fit the day perfectly.

It was a “hurrier I go the behinder I get” sort of day. I knew last night it was going to be a fussy day so I set my alarm carefully. I gave myself an extra 15 minutes over what I thought would be prudent so I could luxuriate in the stolen time. I thought I could trick my mind into thinking that it got to sleep in so it was a relaxed day. When the alarm went off I accidentally hit the off button rather than the snooze button. Not good.

When I did get up I was in a fright. My to-do list for the day would have made a list-checker person revel in the possibility of so many checks–or be in anguish over the possibility of ending the day with unchecked items.

I made it through about the first four tasks on my list when I got an email about a sale on one of those sites where the prices are amazing but you have 15 minutes to make up your mind. You only get to see if you want to make up your mind if you join and if you get someone else to join, and buy, you get $10. I subscribe to several of the things mostly to see what goes by. Usually I don’t look but just delete the emails. Today I got drowned in one of the sales.

I have been fretting over the costs of bathrooms and closets. I must say that I am shocked. Well, I guess I already said that in “Throwing in the Towel“. Let me say it again. I am shocked! Even cheap stuff costs a lot. A faucet made largely of plastic costs $50 and a when you double the price they will throw in chrome paint on the plastic. I did not know that a “nice” faucet was a hundred or more dollars. What I really did not know was how hard it was to find a decent plain old shower. You get “systems” and being systematized costs lots.

So, after sussing out bathtubs, sinks, potties, faucets, shower systems, bathtub trim kits, toilet paper rollers and towel bars well into the night last night I had to go get a cup of tea. And a nap. And sleep in. And oversleep. When the email with the “closet organizer special” came by I broke my usual delete rule and looked. I cannot tell now if I am glad or sad that I did.

Because I did, we now own closet systems for all of the bedroom closets in our house-to-be. I learned some time back that you need to check the prices on these things before you jump into a buying frenzy. When I checked today I found that the hanging rack setup was half of what it costs other places, which is half of the “retail value” meaning they really are not on sale for half of half but half off their usual special deal price. The shelves, on the other hand, were half again as much as you could find them in a bunch of other places.

I was smart. I got out my house plan. I got our my ruler. I got out my spread sheet and I got stuff in my basket with the 15 minute clock running. I was down to 13 minutes, 45 seconds when the UPS truck pulled up. I thought, I can dash down there, get the package and dash back up in 11 minutes leaving myself enough time to quadruple check the order with its intimidating price and still hit the pay button before my 13 minutes and 45 seconds were up. The nice UPS man brought us light fixtures for the outside of the house. There was a question about one of the boxes which we addressed while fretted the clock and then and I dashed back upstairs.

I got out my ruler and double checked my measurements and the numbers of each item. I still had 3 minutes 48 seconds left. Phew! I was going to make it without making any mistakes on the order. Then the FedEx truck showed up. I looked out the window and could see something coming that I would have to sign for. Woe is me! The driver was approaching the house. QUICK! I would never make it back before the clock runs out and my basket is empty and some other “member” gets my closet. I had nearly driven myself crazy trying to decide if I should buy closet organizers when I don’t have a closet. Tick, Tick, Tick.

Suddenly I thought of what to do. If you add something to your basket the clock restarts. I clicked on something and ran downstairs to sign for FedEx. I ran upstairs to make sure I took out of my basket whatever it was that I had put in it to keep the clock going. Somewhere along the way I got a really good idea of how insane this was. I was playing beat-the-clock for some silly things to put clothes on. It even struck me as bizarre that I was worrying about this after having had all my clothes burn.

We have lots of new clothes. We have prowled every sale with every coupon squeezing the most out every dollar as we put our wardrobes back together. Several times I have gotten a bit queasy over having so many clothes now. I have an embarrassingly large amount of riches. If the Home and Garden Channel is to be believed in their house shows, I don’t have anywhere near as many as at the people on their shows. Still, we have run out of hangers, which must be a really bad sign. I had hangers in my ticking shopping cart to. If I would click rather than tick, we would have places to hang stuff and things to hang stuff on now that we have stuff.

The whole idea knocked the stuffing out of me.

I checked the clock, 4 minutes and 26 seconds. Stuff the stuffing back in and pretend this is normal. I clicked and then went off to my next thing on my list. The list was critical since I just spent an hour on things that were not in my list. Which raises a point about lists. If you do something that is not on the list do you get no checks on the stuff you did not do because you did what was not on your list? Or do you add the thing you did that was not on your list so you can check it off?,

The phone rang. I was needed. I tossed my list away.

As the day unfolded it was like a rolling ball of goo. Each turn of the ball picked up more stuff and most of the stuff that should have been in the ball was not because I had not had a minute to throw stuff in the ball’s way.

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

And so the day went. I had successes because I made it past each crisis moment still upright. I was exhausted by the process of trying. Everyone has gone to bed now and I am sitting at my desk. My list is still sitting here with me. It is going to be a long night. I will put my alarm clock across the room so I will have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once I am up I might as well just stay up.

two red dogs playing chase in the snow